Kenneth Cohen

No Hypocrisy

The various objects that were used in the Mishkan and Beit Hamikdash have their own special symbolism. The holiest of all of these objects is the ארון קודש, the Holy Ark.

If we look closely at the construction of the Ark, we will notice that it wasn’t very large. It only needed to hold the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, as well as the broken tables, as well as the Torah written by Moshe Rabbeinu. That original Aron Kodesh is hidden somewhere near the Temple until today. It is questionable the state of the jar of Manna will be, which is also in the Ark.

It is also interesting to note that there were three boxes that made up this sacred utensil. Both the inner and outer box were laden with gold. This was the source of its main message. There was really no reason for this inner box to be golden, when nobody could see it.

The lesson was to teach that one must not be a hypocrite and must be totally honest. The way this is worded is that one must not be אחד בלב, one way in your heart, and אחד בפה, and one way in your mouth.

An observant Jew should stand out for his integrity. He should be known for his truthfulness and dependability . It becomes almost impossible for a true Torah Jew, to ever tell a lie, or be insincere.

This is what the holiest object of the Tempe is teaching us. If Judaism and its observance is not based on truth and total honesty, then there is something terribly wrong.

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