The exact location on the
mountain where the creation
began is known as “the
Foundation Stone,” and it was in
the inner Temple chamber known
as the “Holy of Holies.” It is
called the Foundation Stone, as
it was from this stone that the
Creator expanded and enlarged
the earth. This tradition is
cited in Midrash Leviticus
Rabbah (20:4), Midrash Tehillim
(Psalm 50), and in the Talmud
There is also a tradition that the human being was created at the site of the Temple in Zion. This tradition is cited by Maimonides in his code of Torah law, Mishneh Torah, where he states that the human being was created at the site of the altar of the Temple on Mount Moriah (Beis Habechirah 2:2). The tradition that the human being was created at the site of the Temple is cited in Midrash Genesis Rabbah (14:8), and in Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer, at the beginning of Chapter 12.
According to this tradition, all human beings have roots in the site of Zion’s Temple, for this is the place where the human being was created. This tradition therefore reveals that when all human beings will journey to the Temple – “a house of prayer for all the peoples” (Isaiah 56:6) – they will be journeying to the sacred place of their roots.
The Prophet Isaiah conveyed the Divine message that we, the People of Zion, are to inspire human beings to begin this journey by developing a model society in Zion which will serve as a “light to the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). As a result, states the Prophet to our people, “nations will go to your light” (ibid 60:3).
In this spirit, Midrash Tehillim on Psalm 50 teaches: “When the Holy One, Blessed be He, renews His world, He will renew it from Zion.” The Midrash then cites the following prophecy as a source for this teaching:
“It will happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Temple of Hashem will be firmly established as the head of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. Many peoples will go and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the Mountain of Hashem, to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.’ For from Zion will go forth Torah, and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2,3)
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen