Parshas Behaaloscha

SIVAN, 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 Shlomo Kluger (1785-1869) was the Rav of Brody, today a part of Ukraine. He was one of the leading halachic authorities of his time and a fierce opponent of the haskalah movement. He authored approximately 160 sefarim, though many remained in manuscript form.


וְזֶ֨ה מַֽעֲשֵׂ֤ה הַמְּנֹרָה֙ מִקְשָׁ֣ה זָהָ֔ב עַד־יְרֵכָ֥הּ עַד־פִּרְחָ֖הּ מִקְשָׁ֣ה הִ֑וא

כַּמַּרְאֶ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶרְאָ֤ה הֹ' אֶת־משֶׁ֔ה כֵּ֥ן עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הַמְּנֹרָֽה

{במדבר ח:ד}

 "This was the form of the menorah: hammered work of gold, from its base to its flower it was hammered work; according to the form that the Lord had shown Moses, so did he construct the menorah"


Rashi explains that the reason the passuk starts with the word, "זה"  - this, is because Hashem was pointing at an image of what the menorah was meant to look like. He pointed to it with his finger, saying ‘this’ is the menorah that is to be built.

It was unusual that the Ribbono Shel Olam should feel that an image was necessary to illustrate the menorah to Moshe Rabbeinu. Why was the concept so difficult for Moshe to understand? 

Reb Shlomo Kluger explains that the purpose of the menorah being created from one solid piece of gold was alluding to a fundamental message to Klal Yisroel. The message was that the same way this menorah is made from one piece of material, so to Klal Yisroel is one cohesive unit. Hashem was telling Moshe that this was to manifest itself through Klal Yisroel recognizing this and hence operating as one entity. Klal Yisroel is an agudah achas, treating each other with "אהבה, אחוה, שלום, ריעות". Moshe was well aware of the different types of Jews that comprised Klal Yisroel, and therefore had a hard time imagining how this would work. Hence the Ribbono Shel Olam showed him an image of the menorah, to illustrate that just as the menorah is one pure piece of gold, so to, Klal Yisroel must overcome the challenge of diversity and be united as one.


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