1) Gold and Silver Purpose
“Kol hazahav asuy l’melacha.” (38:24). Gra brings down that there’s a Midrash that says that zahav, gold really should have been created because the world shouldn’t be using it. But, it was created for the Beis Hamikdash because it says in the pasuk, “Kol hazahav”, for the Mikdash, for the house of Hashem. “Kol hazahav ha’asuy l’melacha.” And, also it says that the zahav ha’aretz hu tov, and that’s for the Beis Hamikdash. “Hahar hatov hazeh v’ha’levanah.” And, that’s Midrash Tehillim
Torah is Greater
There’s another midrash that says: Why is kesef called silver? “She’hichsif”, because it’s embarrassed from gold because most silver is considered inferior to gold. Gra says that that’s why the pasuk says, “Tov li Toras picha mei’alfei zahav va’chesef”. There’s nothing that’s more precious to us than the Torah because why? Because all the ingredients in the world are supposed to be used for Torah, and so if you think about this idea of kesef, that it’s kind of embarrassed. It’s embarrassed from the gold, that means that it looks at something that is greater than it, and it becomes humbled.
So too, we’re supposed to look at the Torah and become humbled, and that’s the ultimate humbling. The kesef and the zahav, they look at the Torah, and say: The Torah is greatest. And, that’s “Tov li Toras picha mei’alfei zahav va’chesef”. There’s nothing more precious than gold and silver. It’s interesting that when a person would go through the Beis Hamikdash, he would see all the investments that the Jews, Klal Yisrael put in to make it a beautiful place. Of course, it was a place that brought awe and trepidation, but it was all for the purpose of serving Hashem. We should be zocheh to do so.
2) Mirror Lessons
The Torah tells us that the women brought their mirrors to the mishkan as a donation. Rashi brings down that Moshe was hesitant to use them for the miskan as they were used by the women in Egypt to beautify themselves for their husbands. Hashem told Moshe that he should accept them and they are dear to Him. They were used for the kiyur. What is the significance?
Gra makes an interesting comment here. He explains, based on Chazal that the Yetzer Harah plays an integral role in human life aside for doing his bid (or perhaps more, see Gemara in Sukkah, beyond the scope of this work) to entice man to sin. If not for his presence, people would stop procreating and people wouldn’t eat. He is just a force that must be kept in check with the help of Hashem. Thus, the lesson of the mirror is that when the power of the yetzer hara is used appropriately in a healthy manner, then it is part of Avodas Hashem. When we utilize our healthy human desires and sanctify them and chanel them to the service of Hashem, this is precisely what they are there for. Thus, when entering the mishkan, one met with the kiyur, washing his hands to prepare for the service, reminding himself of the mirrors which created this vessel. The lesson being: Use your human desires for the service of Hashem and thereby elevate yourself to greatness.
Rabbi Yosef Tropper is a rabbi and psychotherapist. Subscribe at ParshaThemes