The Kruvim

D'var Torah by Rabbi Jay Spero


The Kruvim

Contact Rabbi Spero at 862-9546 or


In this week’s portion, the Jewish people are commanded to build the Mishkan—the tabernacle. This would be a special place for G-d’s presence (although G-d’s presence is manifest everywhere, human beings relate to the concept of a specific place to worship).

In the Mishkan was the Aron Hakodesh — the Special Ark — which contained the tablets on which the ten commandments were written.

On top of the Ark there were Kruvim two cherub like golden figures: “You shall make two Kruvim of gold — hammered out from one piece — from both ends of the cover (of the ark)” (Ex. Ch.25 V.18).

What was the significance of these two Kruvim?

The Kruvim had significance in several aspects. The two Kruvim had the face of a young boy and a young girl. We learn from this that one of the integral qualities needed to grow as a Jew is one of the most beautiful qualities found in children: the trait of curiosity. Curiosity, which hopefully leads to investigation, is an extremely powerful trait. As Jews, we are not meant to have “blind faith”, or “to go with the flow”; rather we are meant to investigate and understand the mitzvos (commandments) to the best of our ability. The Kruvim  symbolize this important quality which we must instill in ourselves and in our children.  

The Kruvim also have wings which reach over and above their head. This teaches us that we must constantly aspire to reach upwards and to strive to become the best Jew we can be.

“It is there I will set My meetings with you, and I shall speak with you from atop the cover, from between the Kruvim that are on the Ark of the Testimonial Tablets. Everything that I shall command you (to give over) to the children of Israel” (Ex. Ch.25 V.22). When G -d spoke to Moshe, he would hear the voice of G-d come from between the Kruvim. This teaches us that the will of G-d is expressed through the Torah. As the Classical Kabbalistic work, the Zohar, proclaims, “The Torah and G-d are one.” This means that in order for us to relate to G-d, we must look into the Torah (written and oral) to ascertain how to go about this goal, much like a guide to life.

This is why the faces of the Kruvim were directed downwards and towards each other. That they look downwards towards the Ark, teaches us that we must always look towards the Torah. Why do they also appear to be looking at each other? Besides G-d and the Torah, there is also a third element: the Jewish people, who accepted upon themselves this awesome and joyous responsibility to keep the Torah.

The Kruvim also symbolized the love between the Jewish people and G-d. When we acted in a moral and just way the Kruvim faced each other. When we did not act this way, they would turn away from each other.

Nowadays there is no Temple.  However, by using our intellectual curiosity, we can develop the proper love required for G-d and our fellow man.


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