web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

The-Shmuz

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

A replica reminds a person of the original. Granted it is in miniature, and granted no one would mistake it for the original, but it carries, almost in caricature form, some semblance of the original.

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: