- Kew Gardens Synagogue

‫פרשת תרומה‬
) ‫ (פרק כה' טו‬.‫ לא יסרו ממנו‬,‫בטבעות הארן יהיו הבדים‬
The poles shall remain in the rings of the Aron; they may not be removed from it.
Rashi is bothered with the following: since the pasuk already said that the poles shall be in the
rings to carry the Aron, why was it necessary to add ‫לא יסרו ממנו‬/they may not be removed from
it? He answers, based on .‫יומא עב‬, that it is to teach us that once the poles were placed in the
rings, they must remain there permanently and if one removed them he was in violation of
both the positive and negative commandments that are mentioned in this pasuk. ‫ חז"ל‬in ‫סוטה‬
.‫ לה‬tell us that although its bearers held the poles on their shoulders and seemed to be carrying
the Aron, in reality the Aron bore them; when it moved they were lifted with it, for in truth it is
the Torah which carries and sustains the Jewish people.
Why was it that ‫ לא יסרו ממנו‬was applied only to the poles of the Aron but not to the other ‫כלים‬
which had ‫בדים‬, i.e. the ‫שלחן‬, ‫ מזבח הזהב‬or ‫?מזבח הנחושת‬
Rav Sorotzkin, in his sefer ‫אזנים לתורה‬, explains that the poles of the Aron were unique in that
they were used not only for transporting but also had deeper, mystical purposes: Firstly, they
demarcated a boundary within a boundary; for it was within the ‫קדש הקדשים‬, between the
space of the poles (and on top of the ‫ (כפורת‬that the ‫ שכינה‬rested. Also, they protruded into
the ‫ פרוכת‬as ‫שתי דדי אשה‬. They therefore symbolized the constant and nurturing relationship
Hashem has with us. By not allowing the poles to be removed from the Aron, the Torah is
telling us that no matter what should transpire, the ‫ שכינה‬will always abide in ‫ כלל ישראל‬and
we will always be Hashem’s “favorite child”! He reinforces this by pointing out that when ‫שלמה‬
‫ המלך‬is building the Bais HaMikdash, where there would no longer be a need to transport any
of the ‫כלי שרת‬, the pasuk in ‫ מלכים א' ח‬still describes the poles of the Aron but there is no
mention of the ‫ בדים‬of the other ‫כלים‬-the Aron’s poles’ symbolic significance remained in place.
Rav Hirsch presents us his own approach: “The ‫ בדים‬of the Aron symbolize the destiny and the
mission of carrying the Aron and its contents beyond the precincts of its present standing place,
if this becomes necessary. The command that the poles must never be removed…establishes
from the outset and for all time to come the truth that this Torah and its mission are not
confined to the soil on which the Sanctuary or Temple once stood. The constant presence of
the ‫ בדים‬testifies that Hashem’s Torah is not bound to or dependent on any particular placetestimony that is boldly underscored by the by the contrast between the Aron and the other
furnishings of the Mishkan, especially the ‫ שלחן‬and the ‫מנורה‬, which do not have permanently
attached poles.” He concludes this piece with a dramatic statement: “Israel’s Table and Israel’s
Menorah-the fullness of its material life and the flowering of its spiritual life-are bound to the
soil of the Holy Land; Israel’s Torah is not.”
The Meshech Chochma also provides us with his understanding of ‫לא יסרו ממנו‬. He begins with
a question posed in Medrash Rabba: We know that the Mishkan was constructed before the
Aron-and rightfully so, for one must build a house before making the furnishings that will go
into the house. Why then does the Torah state the command to build the Aron before the
command to build the Mishkan itself? It answers that (we know that) the Aron represents the
Crown of Torah and the Mishkan was a microcosm of the world. Just as the Torah was created
(2000 years) before the world, “so too in the making of the Mishkan, Hashem put the command
to make the Aron before the command of making all the other vessels.” The Medrash continues
and says that by all other ‫ כלים‬the command is ‫ועשית‬/You shall make-singular. Yet with regards
to the Aron the pasuk tells us, ‫ועשו ארון‬/They shall make the Aron-plural? It answers that HKBH
was telling Moshe, “Let everyone come and be involved in the making of the Aron, so that they
will all merit having an attachment with the Torah.” The Meshech Chochma refers us to the
‫ אלשיך‬who explains the last portion of the Medrash: The other divisions of our nation, the ‫כתרי‬
‫כהונה ומלכות‬, are reserved for those with the “right genetic makeup”. The Torah, though, is
open for all to take and make his own-‫ועשו ארון‬, plural. The Meshech Chochma adds that we
know that the Torah’s army, our ‫תלמידי חכמים‬, also symbolized by the Aron, can only subsist
with the help of the ‫מחזיקי תורה‬, the lay-people who support them, who become “the poles of
the Torah.” ‫ לא יסרו ממנו‬is teaching us that the support must be unwavering and unconditional!
He adds another reason for ‫לא יסרו ממנו‬. Rambam tells us that in the Bais HaMikdash, the
candles of Menorah remained lit not only through the night but also during the day . He believes
Rambam’s source for this is the :‫ גמרא שבת כב‬which tells us that with regards to the daily
obligation to kindle the Menorah, the Torah writes ‫יערוך‬...‫מחוץ לפרכת העדות‬/Outside the
curtain of testimony…(Aharon) shall arrange (the Menorah.) The Gemara asks: “Does Hashem
(really) need the Menorah’s light? ...Rather (the light) is a testimony for all mankind that the
‫ שכינה‬dwells with Israel.” According to Rambam, the true “testimony” is during daytime when
no one requires the light of the Menorah and just as during the day He does not need the light,
so also during the night. And similarly with regards to the Aron: The ‫ גמרא סוטה‬mentioned
earlier told us that there really was no need for the poles of the Aron, for the Aron contained
the Torah, which sustained the entire world and therefore was able to “carry itself.” By
specifically telling us, even when the Aron was resting and not traveling, ‫לא יסרו ממנו‬, the
Torah is alluding to the aforementioned phenomenon-just as the poles were not needed when
the Aron was at rest, so too were they not needed when it was traveling, ‫!שהוא נושא את נושאיו‬
‫לזכר נשמת אבי מורי ישראל מנחם בן שלום ז"ל‬
‫ולזכר נשמת הרב יהודה בן אברהם שמחה (קופרמן) זצ"ל‬