Midreshet Amit


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Parshat Teruma

By: Sari Ambrose

This week's parsha is Teruma. In it, we are commanded to build the Mishkan and its various components. Let's take a look at one of them: the Aron (ark).

Hashem specified that the Aron was to constructed out of wood, and plated with gold on the inside and out. What is the significance of this detail? Why does the Aron need wood? There was no shortage of gold, as we see later in Parshat Vayakheil that Moshe ultimately had to stop the donations as he received all that was needed. Furthermore, isn't a solid gold Aron more befitting the Luchot that were housed in the Aron than one that was merely gold plated?

The Chizkuni answered in the following way: gold is far heavier than wood. By commanding this style of construction, Hashem made the Aron lighter for the Jews who would be carrying the Aron throughout their travels. Even though the Aron, as Chazal said, "carried itself", Hashem wanted to demonstrate His concern for those who were responsible for this burden. This shows Hashem's care for us and serves as a role model as to how we should care for each other. We can learn a different lesson as well. Solid gold is also quite pretentious, while gold plate on a wood base reflects humility. Perhaps, Hashem wanted us, the craftsmen and carriers of the Aron, to learn the lesson of humility, particular surrounding the Torah which must always be approached with great humility. Although they seem different, these two messages are actually interdependent, as humility and concern for others often go hand in hand.

On one occasion many years ago when my father was walking to yeshiva on a particular stormy morning, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l invited him into the car that was taking him. Rav Moshe always sat in front so that the driver would not feel like a mere chauffer, and he turned around to talk to my dad, who was just some child in the car, asking him his name, his grade, and inviting him to join him for this lift whenever he wishes to. Rav Moshe, who represented Torah in the recent generation, internalized and lived these lessons of the Aron; humility and concern for others. Shabbat Shalom, from Midreshet AMIT, a place of Torah and compassion.

Sari comes to AMIT from Manhattan, NY and plans to attend Queens College in the fall. She loves working with the kids at Beit Hayeled and partaking in chesed experiences each and every day. Her favorite class this semester is "Be All You Can Be" taught by Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb because "I can take the ideas that I have learned and use them in my everyday life."