Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha
"A window shall you make for the ark......"(6:15)Rash comments that according to some this was in actuality a precious stone that illuminated the ark.Rabbenu Bachya in Parshat Tazava (Exodus 28:15)states that this stone was called "Barekis". In the Temple the High Priest wore the Breastplate (Choshen) that contained 12 stones corresponding to the 12 tribes.According to Rabbenu Bachya,the "Barekis" stone was used as the stone corresponding to the Levites.In addition,because The Levites were given the special task of illuminating the world with Torah Study,as the verse states in Deuteronomy (33:10)---"They (Levites) shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob and Your Torah to Israel",this stone was appropriate for them due to its tremendous illuminating properties. A question can be asked,why was this stone chosen specifically as the one taken into the ark with Noah? Surely there are other ways and means that can be used for light in the ark? The Torah is perhapes teaching us a very important lesson concerning Torah study as represented by the "Berakis" stone as follows: That no matter what situation a person finds himself or herself , the principles of the Torah and Torah learning must be upheld and used as a guiding light. The generation of Noah went through a tremendous upheaval and destruction,yet the "Berekis" stone was saved and used by Noah for illumination,thus teaching us its importance.... Similarly, in Pirchei Avoth (4:9) it states,"Rabbi Yonasan says,Whoever fulfills the Torah amidst poverty shall eventually fulfill it amidst wealth...................". No matter what a persons circunstances may be,he or she must look towards the Torah for illumination, especially during times of darkness (Chos Veshalom).... Have a good Shabbos.......
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