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Isaiah 6

1In the year that King Uzziyahu died, I beheld my Lord seated on a high and lofty throne; and the skirts of His robe filled the Temple.

bish-nat MOT ha-ME-lekh u-zi-YA-hu va-er-EH et a-do-NAI yo-SHAYV al ki-SAY RAM v'-ni-SA v'-shu-LAV m'-lay-EEM et ha-hay-KHAL

אבִּשְׁנַת־מוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ עֻזִּיָּהוּ וָאֶרְאֶה אֶת־אֲדֹנָי יֹשֵׁב עַל־כִּסֵּא רָם וְנִשָּׂא וְשׁוּלָיו מְלֵאִים אֶת־הַהֵיכָל׃

 6:1   I beheld my Lord seated on a high and lofty throne

Rabbi Abraham Issac Kook (1865-1935)

Yeshayahu sees Hashem sitting on His heavenly throne, with the base of the throne filling the Temple. Though He dwells on high, God is still intimately involved in this world, the manifestation of his presence emanating from the Beit Hamikdash. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook expressed a similar idea in the 1920’s, when he wrote that the State of Israel will be an ideal state which will be “the pedestal of God’s throne in this world, whose aim is that the Lord be acknowledged as one and His name as one.”

2Seraphs stood in attendance on Him. Each of them had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his legs, and with two he would fly.

בשְׂרָפִים עֹמְדִים מִמַּעַל לוֹ שֵׁשׁ כְּנָפַיִם שֵׁשׁ כְּנָפַיִם לְאֶחָד בִּשְׁתַּיִם יְכַסֶּה פָנָיו וּבִשְׁתַּיִם יְכַסֶּה רַגְלָיו וּבִשְׁתַּיִם יְעוֹפֵף׃

3And one would call to the other, “Holy, holy, holy! the lord of Hosts! His presence fills all the earth!”

גוְקָרָא זֶה אֶל־זֶה וְאָמַר קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת מְלֹא כָל־הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ׃

4The doorposts would shake at the sound of the one who called, and the House kept filling with smoke.

דוַיָּנֻעוּ אַמּוֹת הַסִּפִּים מִקּוֹל הַקּוֹרֵא וְהַבַּיִת יִמָּלֵא עָשָׁן׃

5I cried, “Woe is me; I am lost! For I am a man of unclean lips And I live among a people Of unclean lips; Yet my own eyes have beheld The King LORD of Hosts.”

הוָאֹמַר אוֹי־לִי כִי־נִדְמֵיתִי כִּי אִישׁ טְמֵא־שְׂפָתַיִם אָנֹכִי וּבְתוֹךְ עַם־טְמֵא שְׂפָתַיִם אָנֹכִי יוֹשֵׁב כִּי אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת רָאוּ עֵינָי׃

6Then one of the seraphs flew over to me with a live coal, which he had taken from the mizbayach with a pair of tongs.

ווַיָּעָף אֵלַי אֶחָד מִן־הַשְּׂרָפִים וּבְיָדוֹ רִצְפָּה בְּמֶלְקַחַיִם לָקַח מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

7He touched it to my lips and declared, “Now that this has touched your lips, Your guilt shall depart And your sin be purged away.”

זוַיַּגַּע עַל־פִּי וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה נָגַע זֶה עַל־שְׂפָתֶיךָ וְסָר עֲוׂנֶךָ וְחַטָּאתְךָ תְּכֻפָּר׃

8Then I heard the voice of my Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me.”

חוָאֶשְׁמַע אֶת־קוֹל אֲדֹנָי אֹמֵר אֶת־מִי אֶשְׁלַח וּמִי יֵלֶךְ־לָנוּ וָאֹמַר הִנְנִי שְׁלָחֵנִי׃

9And He said, “Go, say to that people: ‘Hear, indeed, but do not understand; See, indeed, but do not grasp.'

טוַיֹּאמֶר לֵךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ לָעָם הַזֶּה שִׁמְעוּ שָׁמוֹעַ וְאַל־תָּבִינוּ וּרְאוּ רָאוֹ וְאַל־תֵּדָעוּ׃

10Dull that people's mind, Stop its ears, And seal its eyes— Lest, seeing with its eyes And hearing with its ears, It also grasp with its mind, And repent and save itself.”

יהַשְׁמֵן לֵב־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע פֶּן־יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמָע וּלְבָבוֹ יָבִין וָשָׁב וְרָפָא לוֹ׃

11I asked, “How long, my Lord?” And He replied: “Till towns lie waste without inhabitants And houses without people, And the ground lies waste and desolate—

יאוָאֹמַר עַד־מָתַי אֲדֹנָי וַיֹּאמֶר עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם־שָׁאוּ עָרִים מֵאֵין יוֹשֵׁב וּבָתִּים מֵאֵין אָדָם וְהָאֲדָמָה תִּשָּׁאֶה שְׁמָמָה׃

12For Hashem will banish the population— And deserted sites are many In the midst of the land.

יבוְרִחַק יְהֹוָה אֶת־הָאָדָם וְרַבָּה הָעֲזוּבָה בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ׃

13“But while a tenth part yet remains in it, it shall repent. It shall be ravaged like the terebinth and the oak, of which stumps are left even when they are felled: its stump shall be a holy seed.”

יגוְעוֹד בָּהּ עֲשִׂרִיָּה וְשָׁבָה וְהָיְתָה לְבָעֵר כָּאֵלָה וְכָאַלּוֹן אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׁלֶּכֶת מַצֶּבֶת בָּם זֶרַע קֹדֶשׁ מַצַּבְתָּהּ׃