web analytics
August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at 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.

Current Top Story
Firefighters put out fire in firebombed car near Beit Hanina on August 3, 2105.
Jewish Woman Severely Burned, 2 More Injured in Yet Another Arab Firebombing Attack
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

By internalizing the Exodus, it is as if we ourselves were redeemed from Egypt.

Neihaus-073115

Each Shabbos we add the tefilla of “Ritzei” to Birchas HaMazon. In it we ask Hashem that on this day of Shabbos He should be pleased with us and save us. What exactly do we want to be saved from? Before we answer this question, let’s talk about this Friday, the 15th of Av. Many […]

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
Shmuz-logo-NEW

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

We are affected by our environment. Our perspective on the world is affected by what those around us do.

It is the right amount of the right middah in the right time that is the key to perfection. Each middah has its place, time, and correct measure.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him.” – Vayikra 19:17   When the Torah mentions the obligation to rebuke a fellow Jew, it ends with the words “and do not carry a sin because of him.” The Targum translates […]

The answer to this question is based on one of the greatest shortcomings of man – self-limiting beliefs.

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/men-are-from-mars/2013/03/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: