Sharing Torah Insights

Interconnected Pieces

Posted on ג׳ באדר ה׳תש״ע (February 17, 2010) | in Terumah | by

[This  Dvar Torah is based on an idea I heard from Rabbi Yaakov Hillel when he was in Los Angeles a few months ago.]

This week’s parsha discusses the construction of the Mishkan and all of its vessels in great detail. Hashem tells Moshe to create two poles made out of acacia wood and covered in gold with which to carry the Aron (the Ark).

These poles are quite similar to those made for carrying the Mizbeach (the Altar) and the Shulchan (the table for the Showbread), but the instructions are different. Only when describing the Aron’s poles does Hashem command Moshe to ensure that the poles are never separated from the Aron (לֹא יָסֻרוּ מִמֶּנּוּ).

What is so special about these poles that they can never be removed? If their use is purely for carrying the Aron around, wouldn’t it be more practical to remove them when the Jewish people were camped? This question is made even stronger by the Midrash which notes that there wasn’t actually enough room in the Kodesh Kodashim (Holy of Holies) for the poles.  Yet, a miracle occured and not only did the Aron and the poles fit into the Kodesh Kodashim, but there was room for the Kohen Gadol to enter for the Yom Kippur service.

Rabbi Yaakov Hillel says that the poles are actually symbolic of those people who support Torah and Torah learning in their communities. Just as the actual poles were inseparable from the Aron and equally deserving to rest in the Kodesh Kodashim, the supporters of Torah are also spiritually connected to the institutions and people that they support.

The Midrash also teaches us that when Hashem performs miracles to help sustain Torah, those miracles are performed primarily for the “poles” who support Torah.

Have a happy Shabbat!

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