Kenneth Cohen

Honesty, Simplicity, Integrity

There was a very clear message connected with the Holy Ark. it was meant to be a symbol of honesty, simplicity, and integrity.

There were two major factors that carried out this message. The Keruvim, those child like figures placed on the Ark, were the symbols of purity and innocence. And the fact that the Ark was laden with gold on the outside as well as the inside, taught about the importance of integrity.

These two symbols represent not only how we are to serve Hashem, but also how to interact man.

We are to be genuine in the manner in which we present ourselves. There is no place for phoniness or hypocrisy. We must be consistent to say what we feel. Devious behavior with insincerity and putting on a show, is unacceptable in our service of G-d and man. The sweet innocence of a child, as reflected in the Keruvim, should not be lost, just because we get older, and face disappointments.

The gold on the inside and outside, is a reminder of the need for total sincerity. We must not be one way in our heart, and one way in our mouth. Or a better way to put it, is that we should not talk from both sides of our mouth.

As the years go by, and we have faced many disappointments from people, who should have known better, it must not harden us.

We need to be more careful as to whom we let into our lives. But we must never compromise the honesty, simplicity, and integrity, that are the symbols of the Ark and Keruvim.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at