the box containing the decalogue's tablets, in the Holy Temple of old; and the cabinet for Torah scrolls in modern synagogues

learn more… | top users | synonyms

19
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do we bow down in the direction of the ark?

This is a question I've had for many years, to which I've never received a satisfactory answer: In Hebrew school, we were taught that idolaters bowed to a idol of their god. They would claim that ...
17
votes
1answer
218 views

Why do we open the ark for important prayers?

What is the origin of the custom of opening the ark for important prayers (not connected with the need to take out the Torah scroll)?
12
votes
2answers
487 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What will happen if the Ark of the Covenant is discovered today?

I read this question and the answer says that the Ark of the Covenant was buried somewhere beneath Jerusalem during the First Temple period (~580 BC), to hide it from the Babylonian invaders. It seems ...
10
votes
2answers
182 views

Source for kissing an aron

I've seen people kiss an aron kodesh (cabinet holding Torah scrolls) when they approach it and, if they were standing near it, before they leave it. Does this have any written source; or, are there ...
9
votes
2answers
280 views

Why was the “Ark of the Covenant” lost?

Why is it that in spite of the fact that the ark carried Torah tablets and other sacred objects, it was lost? Was it not taken care of by the priests of that time? Or was it destined to be lost? Why? ...
9
votes
2answers
174 views

Is there any halachic problem with an ark having a “lazy susan” for the Sifrei Torah?

Our shul has a small ark. There is room for 4 Sifrei Torah with 2 on each row. As a Ba'al Kri'ah / Gabbai, I find it difficult, sometimes, to shuffle Sifrei Torah between the front and back row, esp. ...
9
votes
0answers
28 views

Was the Ark of the Covenant ever cleaned [duplicate]

Was the blood that was sprinkled on the Ark on Yom Kippur allowed to dry and accumulate through the centuries, or was there a provision for cleaning the Holy of Holies and the Ark in particular?
8
votes
1answer
331 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

Can one stand a child in an aron kodesh in order for the child to kiss the sifrei torah?

Can you place (stand) a 2 year old child on a shelf in an Aron Kodesh which is on the same level as the Sifrei Torah in order for the child to look at and kiss the Sifrei Torah?
6
votes
3answers
286 views

Of Rats and Hemorrhoids

The Plishtim or Philistines captured the Ahron Kodesh from the Jews (Shmuel I Chapter 5), then they returned it with a gift of golden rats and hemorrhoids as that was what they were punished with for ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

What was in the Ark of the Covenant?

Shemot 25:21 says: And you shall place the ark cover on the ark from above, and into the ark you shall place the testimony, which I will give you. This seems to be reaffirmed in Melachim I 8:9: ...
6
votes
3answers
384 views

Can you turn your back to the Aron HaKodesh?

I'm quite certain that it is mentioned in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that one should not turn one's back to the Aron HaKodesh (ark which holds the Torah Scrolls). Can anyone tell me where this is ...
6
votes
7answers
195 views

Cherubim on top of the ark

Jews are forbidden to create any graven images of anything in the heavens yet Hashem commanded the ark be adorned with cherubim. Is this an exception or a contradiction?
6
votes
1answer
52 views

Praying directly before an aron

It is very common to have a pictorially adorned curtain on an aron kodesh (cabinet that hold the Torah scrolls in a synagogue). It is also very common to have the shatz (prayer leader) stand before ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

When do we change back the ark-cover etc from white to the rest-of-the-year colour?

When do we change back the proches (ark-cover) etc from white to the rest-of-the-year colour? I would have thought right after Simchas Torah or possibly Isru Chag?
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Can a congregant who has been asked to open the Ark, walk in front of the Ark to get to the other side of the 'bimah'?

Can a congregant who opened the Aron Hakodesh walk in front of the open ark and walk to the other side of the platform where the Aron is situated?
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Paroches on an Aron

I am going under the assumption that an Aron (cabinet) must fulfill certain requirements for it to be Kosher to place a Torah in. Is one of those requirements that it must have a Paroches (curtain) or ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Source and reason for throwing the Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh

I have seen in many Shuls on Hoshana Raba after using the Hoshanos people throw the used Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh. What is the reason and source for this Minhag?
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Praying with the aron still (but now unnecessarily) open

Often, kadish follows a prayer for which the aron (cabinet for Torah scrolls) is open. Examples include "Avinu malkenu" (sometimes) and the prayer accompanying putting the Torah scroll back (sometimes)...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Was there space in the Aron for two sets of Luchot?

The Holy Ark was 2 1/2 Cubits, by 1 1/2 Cubits, by 1 1/2 Cubits (Shemot 25:10). The Talmud discusses (Baba Basra 14A-B) how much space the Luchot occupied in the Ark. The Talmud says that each tablet ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Who put the staves on the aron, and when?

Vayakhel (37:5) says that B'tzal'el built the aron and put its staves into the rings on its sides. P'kude (40:20) says that Moshe put together the mishkan and put the staves on the aron. What gives?
3
votes
1answer
79 views

History of decorated Paroches - curtain on the Aron Kodesh

In Praying directly before an aron the question is asked whether it is proper to pray in front of a Paroches that is decorated. I am aware of a few Shuls that do not have any decorations or words on ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Building on top of an aron kodesh

Are there any halachic parameters regarding a building which has an aron kodesh in it and what may or may not be built on top, meaning on the floors above? For example it would seem to me that it ...
3
votes
0answers
15 views

Why single out the miracle with the aron in כהושעת אלים? And why in that spot?

In the hoshana כהושעת אלים, most of it talks about the miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim and the splitting of the sea (letters א-נ), then moves on to the circuits around the mizbe'ach (ס-ע), then - ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Can Torah scrolls be stored in drawers laying horizontally?

All arks that I have seen have the Torah scrolls stored standing vertically in the ark. Is this an absolute halachic requirement that the Torah must be stored vertically? What if an ark contained a ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

How was Klall Yisrael able to have the miracle of being gathered between the two poles of the Aaron HaKodesh if they weren't able to be near it?

I recently saw while learning Navi that before crossing the Jordan that Yehoshua gathered all of Klall Yisroel and told them that they would experience miracles in their conquest of Eretz Yisroel. ...
2
votes
0answers
20 views

Special merit of the keeper of the Ark of the Covenant

In Shmuel 1, chapter 6, the Plishtim returned the Ark of the Covenant back to the Jews, and it rested on a big stone in the field of Joshua from Beis Shemesh (verse 14). What was the special merit of ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

What is the reason for the ark opening & closing procedure during Aleinu in High Holiday Musaph?

The Art Scroll & Birnbaum siddurim Nusach Ashkenaz for both Rosh Hashannah & Yom Kippur state this ark / opening procedure during the cantor's recital of the Aleinu prayer during Musaph on ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Fasting when seeing an Aron Kodesh fall with a Sefer Torah inside

Discussed already were the "customs" surrounding fasting when a Sefer Torah falls the floor: The earliest source is the Shu"t Mishpetei Shmuel 12 quoted by the Magen Avraham 44:5. He bases it on ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Parshas Terumah vs. Vayakhel - instruction vs action

Last night my chavrusa and I were comparing the language surrounding the command of the construction of the Tabernacle versus the language used to describe the fulfillment of that command. By the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

where was the ark of the covenant during the time of the judges?

After Joshua, during the time of the judges, where was the ark located? In Judges 18 it seems that the people did not have a central place of worship.
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Why were there two Cherubim on the Ark

Why were there two Cherubim on the ark? And what was their role?
1
vote
3answers
130 views

Why was there no ark in the second temple?

Since the exact dimensions of the ark - Aron - are mentioned in the Torah (Shmos 25:10 and on), why didn't they make one to replace the missing one in the 2nd Temple?
1
vote
1answer
379 views

Why is the Paroches inside the Aron Kodesh in Ponevezh Yeshiva

This is a picture of the Aron Kodesh in Ponevezh. I have heard from a former Talmid of Ponevezh that the Paroches is inside the Aron. Does anyone have a source/reason for why the minhag in Ponevezh ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

Why when we read from two Torah scrolls is the one taken out first returned last and vice versa?

When we Askenazim read from two Torah scrolls, the one taken out first is returned last and the one taken out second is returned first. But we say “maalin bekodesh ve’ain moridin” – we go up in ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Praying in front of the Aron HaKodesh

Sometimes I find myself in situations where I can only pray behind the Aron HaKodesh. Is there anything wrong with that according to Halacha? I ask because seemingly Chazal wanted the Aron HaKodesh ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Can the Torah Scroll be opened while still inside the Aron Kodesh?

I can't imagine for what reason, but can a Torah Scroll be opened while still in the Aron Kodesh? In other words, must a Torah Scroll always be removed from the Aron Kodesh in order to open the Torah ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Is there nowadays any advantage in having an Ark which is movable?

The Mishnah in Taanis 2 (1) refers to the practice of taking the Ark out of the synagogue into the the town square on the more serious fasts for rain and putting ashes on the ark: סדר תענייות כיצד:...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Was the use of Acacias for the Ark and Tabernacle more than practical?

I know of the story that Yaakov planted Acacias (Hebrew: שיטים) specifically for the future construction of the tabernacle, ark, altars and showbread table. I've also found a write-up on acacias that ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Why were there only two tablets in the ark?

In book 1 of Melachim (Kings) Chapter 8 it says that there were only 2 tablets in the Ark. What happened to the Mon (manna) and Moses' staff? Weren't they supposed to be in there as well?