Hello everyone, and Good Shabbos!
Who doesn’t find a gem beautiful? Did you know that the Luchos (Tablets, on which the 10 Commandments were inscribed) were carved out of sapphire?
Sapphire is a precious stone, with a deep blue hue. The Kohein Gadol’s Me’il (robe) had to be made from pure blue fabric. What is the significance of blue, in such holy objects?
The commentator, Ha’Emek Davar, answers, that the color blue, signifies remembrance. The Kohein Gadol’s garments were intended to evoke a zicharon, a remembrance, of Hashem. This is also the case with techeiles (a rare blue dye), which is to make us remember Yetzias Mitzrayim. The deep blue sapphire that the Luchos were made from, was meant to arouse our thoughts, to remember Hashem in Shamayim (blue, reflecting the heavens).
The fifth Aliyah (portion) of the parsha, begins as follows:
“Vayomer Hashem el-Moshe pasal-l’cha shnei-Luchos avanim karishonim v’chatavti al-haLuchos et-hadvarim asher hayu al-haLuchos harishonim asher shibarta – Hashem said to Moses, ‘Hew for yourself two stone Tablets like the first ones, and I shall inscribe on the Tablets the words that were on the first Tablets, which you shattered.'”
(Here, Hashem is commanding Moshe to carve out the sapphire needed to create the second set of tablets, to replace the original ones, which Moshe smashed upon seeing the Jewish People reveling around the Golden Calf, recounted earlier in the parsha (sorry for the spoiler!).)
The Midrash teaches, that Hashem directed Moshe to the supply of sapphire that the Luchos were to be formed from– a sapphire mine, right under Moshe’s tent!!!
Let’s take another look at the words “pasal-l’cha – hew for yourself”.
At first glance, we say that this just means that Hashem is charging Moshe with a mitzvah, a commandment, to fulfill this mission. Moshe’s part in creating the second Tablets, is to carve out the stone.
But with the Midrash by our side again, we can look a little deeper. The words “hew for yourself” have another interpretation– the spin is, “hew for yourself“, is literal!
Hashem told Moshe, that he could keep the spare sapphire chips for himself! “And with these,” the Midrash continues, “Moshe became very wealthy.”
A Mashal (parable) of my own:
Like Moshe, there is hidden treasure very close to us. Sometimes though, we just need Hashem to point it out to us. These treasures are very precious. They are our opportunities in life.
We all have so much potential, so much talent, so much to share with the world, to do one more mitzvah– with which we can serve Hashem.
But sometimes these chances to shine, share, or do the right thing, are obscured– hidden by a mist of self-doubt, lack of self-confidence. Sometimes in the way of our opportunities stands a wall, built from our own excuses.
We need Hashem’s help in that case, to point the way for us, to make it through that fog. How to be a light shining in the world, like a glittering jewel. How we can hew the gems from our life, and serve Him with clarity and joy.
And how kind He is, that He allows us to gather up all the chances we can to do the right thing– like the glittering sapphire chips– and He allows us to reap the rich rewards of our efforts!
We are so wealthy!
The Messenger Bird