Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Terumah

Among the items to be donated for the construction of the Mishkan are twelve precious stones, avnei milu'im, for use as part of the Choshen (breastplate). (25:7)

Rashi explains avnei milu'im as stones which serve the function of filling in the settings or indentations created for them in the Choshen. He derives this from the word milu'im which means something that fills a void. See Rashi in next week's Parsha, as well, 28:17. (The Ramban strongly disagrees with Rashi's explanation of milu'im. See the M'forshay Rashi for a defense and analysis of Rashi's view.)

The avnei milu'im were precious and beautiful. (28:17-20) To function as filling in or taking up space a stone does not have to be beautiful. According to Rashi why does the Torah choose to call these precious stones milu'im, referring merely to their function of filling in an existing setting - wouldn't it make more sense to call them stones of beauty or another name which references a positive defining characteristic beyond merely filling in? Furthermore each of the twelve avnei milu'im represent one of the twelve sh'vatim (tribes). Each shayvet has its unique role and mission, its specific tasks and its special way of serving Hashem. It would seem that stones representing the sh'vatim could be described with a bit more glamour than merely milu'im.

One answer I've heard which has timeless relevence is that in order to be build a Mishkan, or any other community project, each contributor must understand that his role is to provide what is needed, not what he would otherwise desire to provide. Filling the void per se is what is precious, and that is why, according to Rashi, the Torah describes these stones as milu'im. Even though the stones have such obvious beauty, perhaps because they have unsurpassed beauty, the Torah is emphasizing that their eternal value is in their role of filling a void.


Gal Einai, Copyright 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

Standing Still and Moving Up
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

A Timeless Moment
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Jewish Reactions
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Moshe Went, but Never Left
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Deep Heat Therapy
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Love your Neighbor as Yourself
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Sputterless
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

The Spiritual Environment
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

> Just One More!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

The Covenant and Remembrance
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Hide & Go Seek
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

ArtScroll

Our Doting Father
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Was Moshe a Bad Neighbor?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Unending Continuity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

On a Personal Note
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information