Sunday, December 13, 2009

Space for the Holy Ark

The Gemora states that neither the body of the keruvim, nor the ark itself took up any space in the inner sanctum.

The Maharsha says that this miracle was done to indicate that Hashem has no physical aspect, and therefore the ark and keruvim which were designated as the ultimate resting place of Hashem's presence did not use up any physical space.

The Ben Yehoyada says that the ark took up no space to hint that any expenditures that one makes for Torah do not come off his general budget set by Hashem for a year (as per Beitza 16a). The keruvim, which symbolize the Jewish nation, took up no space to hint that all sustenance provided to the Jewish nation is done miraculously by Hashem, and is not part of the general account made for the world's sustenance. He quotes his son, Yaakov, as explaining that this miracle was done to teach us that when one is involved in Torah (symbolized by the ark) and mitzvos (symbolized by the keruvim), he should do so without any earthly intentions, just as these items were not related to the physical space where they were situated.
Shabbos in the Daf
The Gemora states that the Aron, the Holy Ark, did not take up any room in space in the Mishkan and in the Bais HaMikdash. This was truly a miracle. Similarly, we can suggest that Shabbos, despite the prohibition from refraining to work, does not take up any space either.

The Zohar states that one’s sustenance is blessed from Shabbos. Although one refrains from work on Shabbos and it would seem that this would be detrimental to ones livelihood, one should not be concerned, because by observing Shabbos, his efforts during the week will be blessed.