web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Men Are From Mars

The-Shmuz

He made the washbasin of copper and it base of copper, from the mirrors of the women who gathered at the entrance to the Ohel Moed.” – Shemos 38:8

 

The Torah specifies that the washbasin in the Mishkan was made of copper taken from the mirrors that the women brought as donations. Rashi explains that by telling us where the copper came from the Torah is teaching a significant lesson.

Moshe Rabbeinu was appalled by the idea of using the mirrors in the Mishkan because they were used to enhance a woman’s beauty, which is a source of yetzer hara. Yet Hashem said that not only should they be used, they were the most precious of all the items that were donated. In fact, the very reason Hashem wanted them to be used in the Mishkan was that the women used them to beautify themselves and attract their husbands.

This Rashi leaves us to wonder: how could Moshe Rabbeinu have been so mistaken? Chazal tell us he was the greatest human who ever existed. For forty days, he lived like a malach – without food, drink, or sleep – and he learned the entire Torah. Yet he looked at these mirrors with disgust until Hashem told him that they were actually the most precious gift given. How is it possible that Moshe was so off in his understanding?

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

The answer to this question can be found by watching little children at play in the local public schoolyard. The girls will be off on one side playing jump rope or hopscotch while the boys will be off to the other side playing tag or touch football. Even though the classes are mixed, it is rare to find boys and girls together in play.

The reason for this is that boys and girls are different. They have different interests, desires, and value systems. They are different in the way they behave, relate to each other, and communicate. In fact, boys and girls are so different you might assume they come from different planets. It isn’t that they are socialized or trained differently; it is that their inner makeup is fundamentally different.

As an example, studies show that when asked “Who is your best friend?,” three-year-old boys are as likely to name a girl as they are a boy. At that age, mixed gender friendships are quite common. Yet by the time this same group of children is five years old, only 20 percent will have a best friend from the opposite gender. By the time that they are seven, it is almost nonexistent for a boy to have a best friend who is girl, or for a girl to have a best friend who is a boy – because by then they have almost nothing in common.

This separation and disinterest continues until puberty when something remarkable happens: the boys become very interested in the girls, and the girls become very interested in the boys. It isn’t that their differences have disappeared. Quite the opposite, they are even stronger now, but there are powerful forces developing within them that pull them to each other – attraction and infatuation.

Hashem created these forces so that man and woman could marry. If it weren’t for these forces, a successful marriage would never exist. To ask two individuals, vastly different in nature, outlook, and temperament to live as one would never happen – it would be impossible.

To allow man and woman to create a successful union, Hashem put various forces into the person, and attraction and infatuation are two of them. They are very powerful – so powerful that they can pull together opposites and bring them together in harmony, peace, and love. But of course they can also easily be misdirected and misused.

The answer to the question on Moshe Rabbeinu seems to be that he was fully aware of the powerful force of attraction and the pull it exerts. What he wasn’t aware of was the purity of the women who donated the mirrors. Hashem told him that these women were different. They used their beauty only for its intended purpose – to attract their husbands. These mirrors had become holy as they had been used to strengthen the bond of love and devotion between husband and wife. The children brought forth from such a union were pure and exalted; therefore, these mirrors were the most precious of all the donations.

This concept has great relevance in our times. We live in an age when the very social fabric of society seems to be tearing apart at the seams. With divorce rates in the Western world hovering at 50 percent, the concept of raising children in a stable home seems to be a relic of the past.

One of the causes of this breakdown is the misuse of the very system Hashem put into man to allow him to flourish. Attraction and infatuation are tools that, when used properly, allow a husband and wife to achieve harmony, tranquility, and peace. However, when misused, these forces no longer accomplish their intended purpose, and the couple suffers – never quite understanding why their marriage doesn’t work anymore.

Understanding the purpose and proper use of these forces Hashem created is one of the keys to living a successful life.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Men Are From Mars”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What, me incite terror? Abba: "The Jews must be barred by any means possible."
Ex-Senior Justice Official Asks Homeland Security to Ban Abbas from US
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

The-Shmuz

What happened was that Frank Jr. stopped being the little babe looking with love into his father’s eyes, and the relationship took on a very different nature.

Is it possible a man could be standing in a burning building, knowing this life is in danger, and be too lazy to move?

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

When Hashem formed man, He gave him the keys to Creation. As the Midrash tells us, Hashem said to Adam, “This is your world now. You are in charge of it; take care that you don’t destroy it.”

Imagine a man who, after having a few too many drinks, gets into his car and begins driving. It takes a while before he is pulled over, but finally the police arrest him, and he stands trial for driving while intoxicated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/men-are-from-mars-2/2014/02/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: