Thursday, February 25, 2016

Most Precious Holy Mirrors

In this week's parsha, Ki Sisa, we read about the Kiyor, the Laver, which was a large copper receptacle that held water. It had a stand, also made of copper. It had several spigots, from which the Kohanim, the priests, would wash their hands and feet, before doing the Temple service.

What is unique about the Kiyor, was not so much what it was or how it was used, but rather, where the copper, of which it was made, came from. 

In next week's parsha Rashi explains. The women gathered at Moshe's tent with the copper mirrors they used to beautify themselves, intending to donate them. Moshe was disgusted by the mirrors, because, seemingly, they are used for the evil inclination's bidding. Hashem told Moshe to accept them, "for they are most precious to me of all." because of these mirrors, the women established great numbers in Egypt. When their husbands would be exhausted, laboring under Egyptian bondage, they would go out and greet them with food and drink. They would feed them, and entice them with words, they would hold the mirror in a way that both her and her husband could be seen together, she would say "I am prettier than you."  in this manner she would awaken his urge to be with her...

It is with these mirrors that the Kiyor was made, for the Kiyor is to bring peace between husband and wife...

How important is the relationship of a couple to Hashem? How is it, that the instrument of vanity, is most precious to Hashem?

In Shir Hashirim, Song of Songs, King Solomon compares our relationship with Hashem, to the relationship of a husband and wife. This relationship with Hashem is the foundation on which our purpose and mission as the Jewish people is established. Every mitzvah, every prayer and every part of Torah we learn, comes down to this relationship. Being one with Hashem.

The microcosm of this relationship is that of a husband and wife. This relationship is so central to Judaism, that the mirrors that brought husband and wife together as one, are not only special, but most precious of all. It is so important that no service could be done in the Temple before washing hands from the Kiyor, which was made from these mirrors. The Kiyor was placed between the altar and the Holies, the center of all of the action in the Temple. It was seen and served as a reminder of the importance of the husband and wife relationship.

This shows us how important it is to work on our personal relationship. It is not ok to take it for granted, and keep the status quo. If you are not growing closer together, there is a problem. If you feel that your relationship is on the rocks, you are not alone, don't be ashamed to get professional help. Most good marriages are that way because they were willing to go to a professional and sort out their issues. If you think your relationship is just fine, then you must take it to the next level, there is always room to grow.

The Kiyor, made of these mirrors and placed centrally in the Temple, is a reminder, that your relationship is central to Judaism, it is the foundation of Jewish life, and it is not just special, to Hashem, it is most precious of all.