The taste of Shabbat – Teruma 5778
Rav Mordechai Elon
After describing the ark, its cover and the cherubs, the Torah moves over to the table, on which was placed the showbread every week.
There is another table mentioned in connection to the temple:
רַבִּּי שמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, שלֹ שה שֶׁאָׁכְלוּ עַל שֻׁלְחָׁן אֶׁחָׁד וְלֹא אָׁמְרוּ עָׁלָׁיו דִּּבְרֵי תוֹרָׁה, כְּאִּלּוּ אָׁכְלוּ מִּ זּבְחֵי מֵתִּי,, שֶׁ מֶֶּּׁ אמַר
)ישעיה, כח( כִּּי כָׁל שֻׁלְחָׁ וֶֹּת מָׁלְאוּ קִּיא צֹאָׁה בְּלִּי מָׁקוֹ,. אֲבָׁל שלֹ שה שֶׁאָׁכְלוּ עַל שֻׁלְחָׁן אֶׁחָׁד וְאָׁמְרוּ עָׁלָׁיו דִּּבְרֵי
תוֹרָׁה, כְּאִּלּוּ אָׁכְלוּ מִּ שֻׁלְחָׁ וֶֹּ שֶׁל מָׁקוֹ, בָּׁרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁ מ אמַר )יחזקאל מא , כ"ב( וַיְדַבֵּר אֵלַי זֶׁה הַ שֻׁלְחָׁן אֲ שֶׁר לִּפְ יֵֶּ
Rabbi Shimon would say: Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices; as is stated, "Indeed, all tables are filled with vomit and filth, devoid of the Omnipresent" (Isaiah 28:8). But three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at G‑d's table, as is stated, "And he said to me: This is the table that is before G‑d" (Ezekiel 41:22).
“The table before G-d” was seen by Yechezkel in his vision of the third temple, in which he sees the altar. This is how it is described:
הַמִּּזְבֵֵּּ֡חַ עֵֵ֣ץ שלוֹ שׁ֩ אַמּּ֨וֹת גָּׁבֹֹ֜הַּ וְאׇ רְכֵּ֣ ו שתַַּּֽיִּ, אַ מ וֹת וּמִּקְצַֹּֽעוֹתָׁיו֙ ל֔וֹ וְארְכּּ֥ ו וְקִּירֹתָׁיָ֖ו עֵֵ֑ץ וַיְדַבֵֵּ֣ר אֵלַ֔י זֶׁה הַ שֻׁלְחָׁ֔ן אֲ שֶׁרָ֖
לִּפְֵ יֶּּ֥ ה'.
The altar was wood three cubits high and two cubits long, and its corners, and its length and its walls were wood. And he spoke to me, "This is the table that is before the Lord".
The prophet sees the altar, not the table of the show-bread, so why does he call it a table? We would normally call the table “the table before the Lord” as it was next to the holy of holies, so the verse is unclear.