Midreshet Amit


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Parshat Truma

By: Rabbi Daniel Goldstein

In this week's parsha, Teruma, we read of the construction of the Mishkan and all of its vessels. Prominent among them was the ark and its covering adorned with the two keruvim. What are the Keruvim and what do they symbolize?The Gemara in Masechet Sukkah tells us: What is the derivation of keruv? R. Abbahu said, ‘Like a child'(ke-rabia), for in Babylon they call a child Rabia.

There are different opinions as to why Hashem wanted the face of a child in the Mishkan. The Torah Temima tells us that the face of a child serves to illicit Hashem's mercy. R'Simcha Zisl Ziv, the famed Alter of Kelm suggested that they are to remind us that we should approach Torah as children, eager to learn and not jaded by cynicism and the sense that we are "finished learning".

For one answer, the message of the Keruvim is directed towards us, and for the other, towards Hashem, yet they are interconnected. What chance do we have when we stand before Hashem? Why should Hashem ever look at us—limited and flawed and show us any mercy? Perhaps it depends on how we present ourselves to Him. If we take the attitude that we are complete, and have no more room to grow and no more knowledge to learn, our flaws will only be accentuated all the more. Once we declare to Hashem that we are finished, we are truly finished. If, however, we stand before Hashem as children—as works and progress, then He will show us leniency as we continue to grow.

The Keruvim were placed on the Aron to remind us that Hashem offers us a lifetime to grow. Let's take Him up on His offer.