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“And the Keruvim shall be spreading out their wings on high… with their faces one towards another.” (25:20)

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Every Jew must strive to attain both attributes which are implied by the Keruvim. He should “spread his wings upward,” making every attempt to consecrate his whole being to Heaven. At the same time, however, it is necessary to maintain “their faces one towards another”, concerning himeself with his fellow Jews’ welfare and seeking ways to be of service to his friends during their times of need. These two behavioral patterns must be intergrated into the personality of a Jew. Rather than being contradictory, they complement each other.


The Talmud (Bava Basra 99a) questions the disparity between two pesukim. The pasuk in our parsha describes the Keruvim as facing one another, while the pasuk in Divrei Hayamim 2 (3-13) depicts them stating “Their faces were to the house.” The Talmud responds that when Bnei Yisrael fulfilled Hashem’s will, their virtuousness was reflected in the Keruvim embracing one another as a sign of Heavenly approval. When they did not properly uphold Hashem’s mitzvos, however, the Keruvim turned away from one another. We may suggest that the Keruvim were not merely indicating Hashem’s displeasure, but rather they were also portraying the source of His disappointment. When Jews are loving and caring to one another, they are fulfilling the will of Hashem. This effects a favorable response, represented by the Keruvim‘s embrace. When Jews turn away from each other, on the other hand, each one is concerned only with his own little world. This source of displeasure is likewise portrayed by the Keruvim. Our relationship with our fellow Jew reflects our orientation towards Hashem.

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