by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
When we see something in the Torah that doesn't seem to make sense, it is a sign that we must look deeper. Indeed, there are a lot of things in the world that do not seem to make sense, but then, when we search, we find a very good reason for them.
The Torah explains how, early in the morning, the on-duty kohen (priest) would unlock the gate to the Sanctuary. Next to the locked gate there was a small hole in the wall. With the key in his hand, he would reach into that hole, all the way up to his armpit. He would then unlock the lock that was on the other side of the gate! [i]
Now, that doesn't seem to make any sense at all. It's backwards! Why in the world would the Designer of All have made such an apparent mistake? You do not design a lock that has to be opened by reaching through a hole in a wall to get to the lock that opens from the other side. But since G-d told us to make it that way, there must be a good reason for it.
Here we have the explanation to one of the greatest mystical questions of all. How do I open the upper gate to holiness? Here, in the Temple, we see that the Gate of Holiness opens from the inside. It opens from the upper to the lower. We have to do all that we can in order to open that door, but it is only G-d's kindness from the Inside that finally unlocks the lock. We have to take the proper actions in order to come to it, but that wonderful gate to the innermost spiritual world opens from the Higher to the lower.
[i] Gemora Tamid 30b
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