This Dvar Torah was prepared in the merit and memory of my grandfather: Rav Yitzchak Zev Ben Yisroel Mordechai HaKohen Solomon
"The Keruvim shall be with wings spread upwards,
sheltering the Cover with their wings, with their faces facing
towards one another..."
Facing one's friend or one's house?
There is a discussion brought down in the Gemarah (Maseches Baba Basra 99:a) whether the Keruvim were facing "Esh El Achiv" (one facing the other - head to head) or were they facing the "Bayis".
The Ksav Sofer brings down that the Pasuk writes
that each Keruv was facing the other. This was so, when the Bnei
Yisroel were keeping Hashem's commandments. Yet when the Bnei
Yisroel were not doing Hashem's will, the faces were facing towards
The Ksav Sofer explains that the Keruvim are hinting to the two roles that we find in Klal Yisroel. That of Yisachar and Zevulen.
For Zevulen is to support Yisachar to help him spend his time learning Torah, and Yisachar is to learn with Zevulen, and to show him which way is the correct way to go in life.
When each one has their face to each other, each one is watching over the other, then they are both doing Hashem's will.
However, when Zevulen says that he doesn't care
about Yisachar, let him fend for himself, and Yisachar doesn't
try to show Zevulen the correct way to go, here they are both
facing towards their own home, and not caring about the other,
this is not what Hashem wants from us.
Cute or destructive?
Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, Rosh Yeshiva Knessses
Yisrael of Slobodka once said an interesting idea about the Keruvim.
He said, we find the word Keruv mentioned in two separate places in the Torah.
The first place we find it is by Bereishis(3:24), when Adam was sent out of Gan Eden, and there were placed at the entrance to Gan Eden, Keruvim.
Rashi on this Pasuk explains Keruvim as: "Malachei
Chabala" (Angels that are destructive).
The second place is in this week's Parsha, and here
Rashi explains Keruvim as: "the face of a small child."
One may ask, how can Rashi get such totally different translations from the same word?
Once it sounds like a nice quiet kid, the next explanation
puts into our minds some dreadful angel?
Comes Rav Epstein and explains that this is what
happens when someone gives his son Chinuch (Education).
If one gives his child a good education, one's child is then similar to the Keruv who had its wings over the Ahron Kodesh.
However, the same child, when he doesn't receive
a good Jewish education, this will distance the child from the
same Ahron, and he may grow up to become a "Malach Chabala"
- a harmful angle.
Which Derech (Way)?:
It says in Mishlei (22:6), "Chanoch Le-Naar Al Pi Darko, Gam Ki Yazkin, Lo Yasur M'Menah"
What is this Pasuk coming to teach us?
One is to educate a child, according to the Midos that the child has in him, and one is not to try to get rid of the bad Midos, rather he is to change them.
There is little use in trying to get him to get rid of these bad Midos, for when he gets older, and he is no longer threatened to behave well, he will go off the correct path.
Our goal is to rather get him to use his presently bad Midah towards good goals.
As we know, it is brought down in the Gemarah that if a person was born in a certain month he would become a bloodsheder...
So he should use this Midah and do good with it, become a Schochet or Mohel for example.
Good Chinuch brings out the good qualities in every
Midah that ones child has.
How do you spell education in Hebrew?
Rav Pesach J.Krohn(The Challenge of Chinuch Tape #626a) explains this Pasuk in Mishlei (22:6)
that "Chanoch" means to educate each child according to his way.
Yet when we look at the Pasuk in Mishlei, we see that it is missing a Vav.
Chanoch is written without the letter "Vav". Why?, Rav Krohn asks, Davkah "Chanoch" - education, is written incorrectly!
Why is the Vav missing?
He answers that maybe Shlomo Hamelech is teaching
us that it is very easy to teach a good student. Those that have
a good memory, those that enjoy learning. Yet what about those
who are not as gifted, that are maybe even lacking some learning
ability. This is Chanoch Lenar Al Pi Darko, these kids need Chinuch
especially, according to their needs. For they are not complete
and are missing the ability of being a "gifted child".
Why the ring?
The Tabernacle was surrounded by walls on each side.
The walls were made out of huge wooden planks of acacia wood.
Each of the planks was 10 cubits long, 1 1/2 cubits wide, and
one cubit thick. The North and Southern walls were made out of
20 such planks.(Artscroll Stone Chumash)
What is meant by the Pasuk tells us that, "...the
planks shall be even at the bottom("To-Amim") and together
they shall match at the top, for their was a single ring that
joined them("Te-Omim") together at the top..."?
The Pasuk is saying that the two planks were similar to each other, yet they were not one actual entity, for there were the handles of the planks in between them, below.
Yet at the top, they were attached as one, for there
was the ring at the top that joined the two planks together.
Rav Shimon Shcwab tells us that everything is hinted to us in the Torah.(Masechet Taanis 9:a)
When one gets married, he/she becomes one with his partner.
They now become one.
Yet this oneness has two aspects to it.
1) "To-Amim below - in the physical world, they can't be exactly the same, no two people are alike.
2) However, from on top, above, the spiritual aspect, they can be a complete singular entity, in their Hashkafa and their goals in life, to serve Hashem the best possible way.
This oneness is done through the giving of the ring, which is the acquiring of this oneness.
This is the source of being Mekadeish ones wife, through a ring.
This brings out the oneness of spiritual goals.
And as we know, marriage is similar to a small Mikdash.
(Rav Shimon Schwab Mayan Beit Ha Shoeiva)
I would like to thank my mother for helping me out
by looking over the first draft.