Parshas Baha’alotcha – One Solid Piece

By Rabbi Dovid Markel


The Torah describes the Menorah that was used in the Temple in the following manner[1]:

This was the form of the menorah: hammered work of gold, from its base to its flower it was hammered work; according to the form that the Lord had shown Moses, so did he construct the menorah.

On the verse Rashi comments:

“There was a block of gold weighing a talent. He pounded it with a hammer, and cut it with a chisel to extend its limbs in the prescribed manner, and it was not made limb by limb and then connected together”

The menorah was not made up of separate pieces of gold. Rather that it was one piece of gold that was pounded and shaped into the menorah.

In the prophecy to Zurabavel[2], the Jewish people are compared to the golden menorah. Just as the menorah that was used in the Temple was made of one solid piece of gold which was hammered to shape the menorah, so too the Jewish people are also one piece of gold that are hammered out to create their separate parts.

The lesson from this is as follows: A person should not be haughty about the heights that he has reached, nor should he view the negativity of his fellow disparagingly.

When one hammers a piece of gold to cause it to spread and take shape, there are two things that happen. Part of the gold is pushed upward from the hammering and part of it is pushed downwards.

When one sees evil in his fellow he should know that it is possibly his own evil that he perceives and not his fellows.

It is possible that some of his own negativity was propelled downwards to his fellow, so that his friend must deal with his own evil.

When one sees goodness in himself, he should know the same. He should not be haughty about his goodness as it plausible that it is not his own doing.

It is possible that the reason that he is good is because his friend’s goodness was propelled upwards, so that he gains from his friends accomplishments.

(Based on the discourse “V’ze Ma’ase Ha’menorah, 5730)


[1] Bamidbar, 8:4

[2] Zecharya, 4

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