Living in A World of Takeout Windows
Throughout history, iconic monuments have define the values of a culture - from the Lincoln Memorial to the Great Sphinx.
Upon entering the Land, t
he Jewish nation was instructed to construct a monument that would define the character of the new State. Massive tablets were to be erected, inscribed with the entire Torah in seventy languages. Once fixed, the words were to be concealed with plaster (See Devarim 27:3-5, Rashi ad loc).
The question is obvious: if the words were inscribed for all to read, why were they then obscured with plaster?
Perhaps our tradition is imparting a critical message. In the end, letters that merely rest on the surface have little to no significance. To truly capture the essence of Torah requires a probing mind and heart. Hashem didn't want the nation to simply the read words, He wanted them to search out meaning.
We live in a society that values the "take-out" window but some pleasures aren't as easily accessible as coffee and fries. They require
tenacity and resilience. It may be frustrating, but when it comes to Torah we need to crack beneath the plaster. Only then will we arrive in our Promised Land.
Rabbi Daniel Green