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Parashat Beha’alotcha – Supporting Torah

…וְזֶה מַעֲשֵׂה הַמְּנֹרָה מִקְשָׁה זָהָב עַד יְרֵכָהּ

This is how to form the menorah, hammered work of gold, from its base…

 

The Menorah, the seven armed candelabra in the Mishkan and later the Bet HaMikdash, was a source of light for them. Chazal tell us that the Menorah symbolized Torah, the source of light in the world. Many things about the Menorah teach us about Torah and vice versa as well.

In constructing the Menorah Hashem commanded Moshe that it was to be formed from one piece of gold, melted and hammered into shape. It wasn’t made to be stood on a separate supporting base, rather Hashem commanded the the base be one piece together with the Menorah. And so Moshe made it. One piece of gold was melted, hammered, and finally formed into the Menorah. The base, the exquisite artwork and the actual cups where oil was placed to be lit was all one piece.

The Chafetz Chaim writes that we can learn an important lesson from this. Those who study and follow the Torah will be the most honorable members of society in the world to come. Along with them, in the very same place, will be those who supported them and enabled the study of Torah.

A similar concept is found in the construction of the Aron. While traveling through the desert and taking the portable Mishkan with them, the Aron was built with beam coming out from the sides so it could be carried on the shoulders of the Levi’im. Though the eventual goal was to bring it into a permanent Bet HaMikdash, where it would no longer need to be carried around, Hashem commanded that the beams, the supports it was carried on, be made with thicker ends (like a q-tip) so that they not be removable. The limited time they acted as supports tied them together forever. Wherever the Aron went, the supporting beams went too.

 

Shabbat Shalom

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