Good Shabbos all dear readers!
I’d like to dedicate these divrei Torah to Rebbetzin Chana Golda bat Sveta, may she have a speedy refuah shleima.
In this week’s parsha, we are instructed to use a lot of gold. We are told to overlay the planks forming the walls of the Mishkan with gold, to fashion much of the Aron Kodesh from gold, to craft and beat a fine menorah from one large chunk of gold, etc….
Gold seems to have a special significance, doesn’t it?
Aesthetically speaking, it is an elegant material to adorn things with… but let’s mine a little deeper into this gold business, and discover some special symbolism that it holds, and what gold, when utilized for a higher purpose, when used for a Terumah in Hashem’s service, can really teach us!
The Golden Rules:
1.) Be a giving person. Be giving with your time, when it comes to Torah study. How special an opportunity it is, that you get a peek into Hashem’s Divine Mind, and His blueprint for the world, and all the blessing that comes about as the result of your efforts! But if you cannot study Torah, or perhaps can not study as much as you’d like…
Support Torah Study, Torah Institutions, and Talmidei Chachamim!
Four gold rings were adjoined to the four corners of the Holy Aron, and inserted through these rings were golden staves, to support and carry the Aron, when the Bnei Yisroel were on the move. The Torah states: “B’tabos ha’Aron yihiyu habadim lo yasuru mimenu – The poles shall remain in the rings of the Ark; they shall not be removed from it.” Rashi enforces the Torah’s words, saying, ‘they shall not be removed– ever!‘
What is the reason for the Torah’s serious declaration? What does the prohibition on removing the poles symbolize? The staves were used to support the Aron, right? They symbolize those who fund Torah study! And those who support limud Torah, receive infinite reward. They are eternally adjoined to the blessing and sanctity of the Holy Torah, just like the staves that were never removed from the Aron, which symbolized Torah!
2.) Uphold the laws of Torah in all areas of your life, and have Ahavas Yisrael.
While we’re still on the subject of the golden Aron Kodesh, let’s talk a little bit about its solid gold capores/cover.
Fashioned from one piece, the capores displays two golden figures, called Keruvim (Cherubs), with bodies made to look like birds, the faces like pure little children. Their wings spread a shade over the Aron’s cover that they sat atop of, and touched each other at the tips, their countenances facing down towards the Ark. From between the two figures, Hashem’s great Voice would emanate, when He wished to speak to His Children.
Chazal teach us, that when the Bnei Yisroel upheld the laws that Hashem had bestowed upon them, and followed the derech eretz, and made kedusha permeate their life, the Keruvim faced each other. When the Bnei Yisroel were stumbling or failing in their missions, and not following the proper paths, the Keruvim turned their faces away from one another.
We must remember, that all that we do in this world, is reflected back in the Upper Worlds. Life around us reflects how we are living. When we choose to leave behind a life of light and Torah, and not get along with our loved ones, friends, and fellow Jews, Hashem, and the heavenly beings are sad. The light turns away from us, until we right our ways, and strive to find it, and cherish our life of Torah again. Until we do that, heavenly beings, as we see with the Keruvim, turn away from one another in unhappiness.
3.) What is more important in upholding a life of Torah and Yiddishkeit, than being a sincere person?
The Aron Kodesh, once again, teaches us another lesson.
The Luchos were actually housed within 3 consecutive chests: The outer one, made of solid gold, which was visible to the eye; The middle one, made of uncovered wood; and the innermost (and smallest) one, made from pure gold.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein taught, that the Aron represents Torah, and the manner in which it was made, teaches us how to be a true Torah scholar. In this case, it tells us, that to be sincere in our Torah, we must not be just gold on the outside. It’s not all about our external self, our outward actions.. even if they seem admirable and good, we must ask ourselves: Are we golden on the inside too? Am I just as noble on the inside as I am outwardly? Do I feel sincere love and awe of Hashem within my heart, sincere desire for His Torah, sincere care for others, sincere passion for my own meaningful growth?
You can’t be two different people… If you are truly a person of Torah, you’re golden, inside and out. And you’re beautiful, and true, like the Torah.
4.) Trust that Moshiach will come, and Hashem will fulfill His promise, that we will be redeemed through Moshiach ben David, Hashem’s anointed, and our king.
How on earth does this relate to gold, you may wonder?
Let us cap off this parsha post together, with a mind blowing explanation (I believe from the Baal haTurim)…
Gold is royal.. just picture a gold crown, atop a king’s head. (Of course, we know, that isn’t all it takes to make a Jewish king!) The Hebrew word for gold, “Zahav”, has the gematria (numerical equivalent) of the number 14.. The name “David”, is also the equivalent of the number 14! Dovid was also the 14th generation from the erection of the Mishkan!
May Hashem always bless us with the strength and clarity to follow all the Torah, all of the Golden Rules He has bestowed upon us, and may we merit our king Moshiach’s arrival, and the dawn of an eternal, peaceful, illuminated, GOLDEN era, speedily in our days!
The Messenger Bird