Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Terumah

Seeing is Believing

By Rabbi Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

The first fund-raising campaign in Jewish history was held in the midbar (wilderness), soon after the Torah was given to the Jewish nation, as the beginning of the effort to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle). From the donated precious metals, stones and textiles would come all of the structures, fixtures and utensils of the Mishkan, as well as the priestly garb. The first set of construction specifics were for the Holy Ark that would hold the two tablets of the Decalogue. While all of the fixtures had structures to facilitate their transportation through the midbar, the staves of the Ark were unique. "The staves shall remain in the rings of the Ark, they may not be removed from it." (Shemos/Exodus 25:15). Why?

Ralbag (acronym of Rabbi Levi ben Gershom of Provence; 1288-1344; author of a rationalistic commentary which explains the text and collects the philosophical tenets and moral lessons contained within) explains that this mitzvah (Divine command) comes to teach the completeness of the Torah that was represented by the tablets within. That is, G-d commanded to leave the Ark whole, with the staves intact, to teach us that the Torah is complete. But how could the generation of that time, which had witnessed the miracles of the Ten Plagues, the Splitting of the Sea and the Revelation at Sinai, question that the Torah, which G-d Himself had just given them, was NOT perfect? Furthermore, if someone was lacking in this belief, how would seeing the staves in the Ark turn him around?

Rabbi Alter Henach Leibowitz (Rosh Yeshiva/Dean of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Kew Gardens Hills, New York) elucidates that the teaching function of the staves in the Ark was not to impart that which was not yet appreciated. Rather, they were there to instill and concretize that which the Children of Israel KNEW with a complete belief, but that some might not have FELT in the depths of their hearts. Therefore, by leaving the staves in their rings on the Ark, the Jewish people would always see the Ark as a complete unit, reinforcing the same truth of its contents.

There are many matters of faith and truth that we know absolutely, certain that they are part of our essence. But in times of crisis and challenge, when the fortitude of our trust in G-d is put to the test, how will we fare? The distance between the head and the heart can be a great one. Vigilance and visual cues will assure that the truths of Jewish faith contained in the Decalogue are etched onto the tablets of our souls, firmly embedded in the depths of our hearts.

Have a Good Shabbos!

Copyright © 2003 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Project Genesis, Inc.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of the Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 414-447-7999



View Complete List

Sadly Released from Prison
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

A Test of Your Own
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Blood Libel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

> Be Patient!
Shlomo Katz - 5761

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Interpreting Dreams
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Freeing the Spirit
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Smelling The Fragrance Of Hope
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

A Plea For Shabbos
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Lost Jewel
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Purpose of Mission
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Everyday Miracles
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764


The Triumph of Quality Over Quantity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Rabbi Frand on Parshas VaYeishev
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Chanukah Vs. Purim
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Hashem Peeking From Behind the Curtain
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information