Parshas Chukas

TAMUZ, 5779

 Interpreting Artifacts

As in the gift of Manna, so it is in the memory of artifacts

After the exodus from Egypt, Hashem gifted the Jews with manna, ’heavenly bread’, to consume during their travels in the wilderness.

Hashem furthermore commanded Moshe:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר משֶׁ֗ה זֶ֤ה הַדָּבָר֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֣ה הֹ' מְלֹ֤א הָעֹ֨מֶר֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ לְמִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת לְדֹרֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם לְמַ֣עַן יִרְא֣וּ אֶת־הַלֶּ֗חֶם אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶֽאֱכַ֤לְתִּי אֶתְכֶם֙ בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר בְּהֽוֹצִיאִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם

“Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded: Let one omerful of it be preserved for your generations, in order that they see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I took you out of the land of Egypt.”

Like the saved Manna, the Torah is providing us with a template to preserve the meaning of the Holocaust artifact.



Dear Friend,

Rav Meir Shapiro (1887-1933), was the Rav of Lublin, Poland and renowned for establishing of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin and the study of Daf Yomi. In the years 1922-1927, he was the first Orthodox Jew to be a member in the Sejm (Polish Parliament) representing the Jewish religious population.


The Gemara  relates that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Kabbasai said, “I always thought that when the Torah said ‘The pure shall sprinkle (purify) the impure’ (Bamidbar 19:19 - see Parah Adumah), it meant that one pure person could purify one impure person. Then I learned from the ‘Treasure of Yavneh’ that one person could purify many impure people.” (Yerushalmi Demai 3:4)

What correlation is there between the parah adumah and the the “Treasure of Yavneh?” When the second Temple was going to be destroyed, Rav Yochanan ben Zakai prayed that the sages of Yavneh should be spared. Rav Meir Shapiro zt”l, explains that he requested this because he felt that even this relatively small number of sages would be able to revitalize the entire Jewish people.


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