5 Tammuz

Ezekiel's Vision of the "Chariot" - “Maase Merkava” (3332)

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“And I saw, and behold, a tempest was coming from the north, a huge cloud and a flaming fire with a brightness around it; and from its midst, it was like the color of the chashmal from the midst of the fire…” (Yechezkel, 1:4)

Ezekiel was among the only prophets to prophesy outside of the Land of Israel. On the 5th of Tammuz of the year 3332 from Creation, when he beheld a vision of the Divine “Chariot” (“Maase Merkava”), he was “in the midst of the exile by the river Chebar” (Yechezkel, 1:1).

“Maase Merkava” is an allegorical vision of the spiritual structure of the world. Interestingly, when the children of Israel left Mitzrayim, they reached such a lofty spiritual level, that the vision of the “Merkava” was revealed to them as well.

“R. Eliezer says: Whence is it derived that a maid-servant beheld at the Sea of Suf what was not beheld by Ezekiel and the other prophets?… An analogy: A king of flesh and blood comes to a province, a circle of guards around him, warriors at his right and at his left, armies before him and behind him — and all asking “Who is the king?” For he is flesh and blood as they are. 

But when the Holy One, Blessed be He, was revealed at the sea, there was no need for anyone to ask “Who is the King?” For when they saw Him, they knew Him, and they all proclaimed: “This is my G d, and I will extol Him!” (Shemot, 15:2”. (Source: Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 15:2)

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