(Exodus; Chapter 25, Verse 10 – 11)
“They (the Children of Israel) should build an
ark of cedar wood... You shall cover it with
pure gold on the inside, from the outside you
shall cover it.”
The Ark was the holiest vessel in the
Tabernacle which remained in the Holy of Holies.
From the Cherubim, on top of the Ark, G-d's
voice was heard to Moses.
The Ramban, Nachmandies, (25:11) infers
from the Torah that there were actually three
boxes that made up the Ark. A pure gold box on
the outside, a cedar wood box in the middle, and
a pure gold box on the inside. This is from the
double wording in the verse, “you shall cover it
with pure gold on the inside, from the outside
you shall cover it.” The double wording tells us
that the coverings shall all be separate.
Why, the Ramban asks, does the Torah
explicitly say the inside should be covered in
“pure gold” but, on the outside, it only says to
cover the Ark?
The Ramban answers that, just as a
craftsman designs his product to look great on
the outside, it is obvious that the exterior
must be at least as beautiful as the interior.
It was unnecessary to mention that the outside
be made of pure gold.
The Ramban further explains that the Ark
was a vessel which represented the beauty of the
Torah and those who study it. The beauty of the
Torah only exists if the inside is equal to the
outside. So too, an individual studying Torah
must strive to have his actions reflect his
Representing Torah, one needs to lead a
genuine life. Actions with ulterior motives and
hidden agendas do not represent the true beauty
of Torah. Just as the Ark needed to be gold on
the outside and gold on the inside, so too must
a person who strives to be a vessel of Torah.
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