The sacred incense connects us to Hashem's Infinite Oneness. * A mysterious herb raises the smoke to the heavens.
What if you could smell the fragrance of the Beis Hamikdash, the Temple, and feel the presence of Hashem in your soul? What if you could experience a glimpse of the essence of Torah and prepare yourself for the coming of Moshiach, the Messiah?
This is the vision that Rabbi Dr. Yosef P Glassman, MD, shares in his article "Moshiach's arrival: Wake up and smell the ketores", published on The Lakewood Scoop, a news website for the Orthodox Jewish community. Rabbi Glassman believes that Moshiach is coming today and urges us to wake up and smell the ketores, the sacred incense that will be burned in the Beis Hamikdash.
The ketores hasamim, or the incense of spices, is a mixture of 11 herbs that creates a smoke that connects us to Hashem's Infinite Oneness. Rabbi Glassman mentions two of these herbs: the ma'aleh ashan, the mysterious herb that raises the smoke, and the levonah, the frankincense that has a psychoactive effect.
Rabbi Glassman suggests that we should burn and inhale levonah as a way to prepare for Moshiach and to experience a hint of the essence of Torah. He explains how to obtain and use levonah, and its spiritual significance.
Rabbi Glassman cites several sources from Torah and Chassidus that support the idea of burning and inhaling levonah. For example, he quotes from Parshas Tetzaveh, where Hashem commands Moshe to make ketores for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. He also quotes from Likutei Torah, where the Alter Rebbe explains that ketores represents the union of all levels of soul with Hashem.
Rabbi Glassman also relates levonah to the theme of Moshiach. He quotes from Yalkut Shimoni, where it says that Moshiach will smell with his sense of smell and judge with righteousness¹. He also quotes from Tanya, where it says that in the time of Moshiach, all Jews will comprehend Hashem with their intellect and feel Him with their emotions.
Rabbi Glassman concludes by saying that burning and inhaling levonah is not only a way to prepare for Moshiach, but also a way to hasten his arrival. He says that by doing so, we are fulfilling the verse: "And you shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them". He says that when we make our bodies and souls into a sanctuary for Hashem, we are bringing His presence into this world and making it ready for Moshiach.
Rabbi Glassman offers practical advice on how to obtain and use levonah, as well as spiritual insights on how it can elevate our souls and bring us closer to Hashem. It also reminds us that Moshiach is coming today and we should wake up and smell the ketores².
Source: Conversation with Bing, 2023-10-24
(1) It is said.... undefined.
(2) Wake up an.... undefined.