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The Ark

 The Ark which is usually found on an eastern wall of any synagogue contains the most sacred of possessions of the people, the Sefer Torah. The Torah is compared to the Tree of Life which was in the center of the Gan Edan. To enter the Gan Edan one would have to enter through the eastern gate to get to the Tree of Life which was guarded by an angel holding a sword of flaming fire. This idea continues today by understanding the significance of the Tablets of the Testimony found in the Kodesh Kodeshim [Holy of Holies]. Here curtains containing embroidered cheruvimon them guarded the Ark of the Testimony. Before the holy place stood the Mitzbayach [alter] containing the fire which only the kohainim[priests] were allowed to approach. Today we find the Ark representing the Holiest place in the Temple, the Kodesh Kodeshim and the synagogue representing the Temple [Gan Edan]. Here we have free access to the Ark which holds the words of Hashem by which we receive life. As it says in Devarim 32:47 “For this is not a trifling thing for you: it is your life; through it[Torah] you shall endure on the land that you are to possess upon crossing the Jordan.”