CAN OUR CHILDREN HEAR THIS?
This week’s sidra, parashat Naso, is the longest in the book. Why? Because for twelve days, the Princes of the tribes brought their gifts to dedicate the Tabernacle. Each gift was exactly the same but the Torah spells out each one, in full detail, twelve times.
With the Tabernacle dedicated, now was the time for Moses to enter to hear the voice of G-d. In the final verse of the sidra, this is indeed what happens.
How did Moses hear that voice? Where did the voice come from? Did Moses hear it from heaven? Did it come from the walls of the Tabernacle? Did it come from the Ark?
The Torah tells us that Moses heard the voice of G-d not from the Ark itself but from the covering above the Ark, mibein shnei hakeruvim, “from between the two cherubim.” These were the intertwined figures of a golden boy and a golden girl. It was from between these two children that Moses heard the voice of G-d.
This is striking imagery! To hear the voice of G-d coming from between two children! What can it mean?
The late Dayan Moshe Swift once gave the following explanation.
To hear the voice of G-d coming from two children represents two things:
First, that the message has to be clear – that even children will understand it.
Second, that it has to be relevant – that children will be excited about it and will want to share with others.
This is a powerful lesson for us if we want to inspire others. The Judaism we impart has to be a Judaism that our children are able to hear. It has to be a message that is clear, and a message that is appropriate.
Six months have now passed since one of the supreme masters of this message has died. Jonathan Sacks excelled in distilling the message of G-d into components of limpid simplicity that even youngsters could appreciate. And he did so in a way that made it seem ever relevant to our lives. May we learn from his teachings and aspire to do as much as we can to follow his example – the same example G-d sets for Moses in our parasha.