Dear SHA Community,
Mishenichnas Adar, marbim besimcha - when Adar arrives, we increase our joy.
Rosh Chodesh Adar occurred this past Tuesday and Wednesday, we are now in the month of Purim! We are looking forward to dress up days and our annual Purim Carnival next week. There is much to look forward to!
SHA wishes mazal tov to Zahava Azous and the Azous Family on the occasion of her Bat Mitzvah.
The Torah presents the plans for the building of the mishkan – the Tabernacle – and its vessels. The first vessel described is the aron – the ark. The aron was placed in the kodesh hakodashim – the holy of holies - and held the sh’ne luchot habrit – the tablets of the covenant.
The Torah describes four qualities of the ark – its material (sheetim wood), its dimensions (2.5 x 0.5 x 1.5 cubits), the requirement to cover it in gold on the inside and outside and its gold crown.
A lesson from the vessels of the Tabernacle
The Talmud in Masechet Yoma (72b) writes:
Rava said: From (the description of the aron) we learn that a Torah scholar whose inside does not match his outside is not a Torah scholar. The Talmud continues and describes such a person as to’evah – something disgusting.
Rava compares the ark, which guards the tablets of the law, to a Torah scholar, who knows and guards Torah knowledge. Rava teaches that a Torah scholar must emulate the ark which is covered in gold on the inside and outside; his outward behaviors and internal values must be congruent and pure. Such a person is worthy of the title, Talmid Chacham, and is described as tocho kevaro – his inside matching his outside appearance.
Applying this lesson
How can we train ourselves and our children to be tocho kevaro?
One approach: Torah itself is described as truth and the aron/ark is a vessel that contains the manifestation of truth. By being steadfastly committed to truth in all ways, our outward actions will match our inside thoughts and we will develop integrity. We will be appropriately described as tocho kevaro.