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Foundation Stone

by Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis
Hebrew "Even ha-Shetiyah." The Even is the capstone of creation. Under this stone God trapped the floodwaters of the abyss (Isa. 2:2), the source of all the world's water. All the world's winds also originate from there (Otzer Maasot, p. 121). This stone sits under the Temple Mount. The stone is actually a piece of God's Throne of Glory (Zohar) and inscribed with the Tetragrammaton. A chunk of the Stone was used by God to make the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. God moved this stone only once, to unleash the Flood of Noah's day. When King David tried to move the stone into the Holy of Holies, chaos was unleashed and it was only by using the theurgic power of reciting the Psalms that he was able to drive the waters of the abyss back to their proper place (Suk. 49a; 53a). Other traditions claim the rock levitates in a cave beneath the Temple Mount and when it finally falls the coming of the Messiah is imminent.

(Suk. 53a-b; P. Sanh. 29; (M. Yoma 5:2, B. P. YOma 8:4; B.T. Yoma 54a-b; Zohar II).

Article copyright 2004 Geoffrey Dennis.

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  • Also known as:
    Even ha-Shetiyah

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