Can someone explain this passage? I absolutely do not understand where does it say anything about mirrors or women? bemarot means "in a vision" as in Bereshit 46:2 and hatsoveot means probably "enlisted ones" as in Bemidbar 4:23. So proper translation should be something along the lines of "and he made the laver of copper and post of it copper, in a vision of the enlisted who enlisted at the portal of the tent of appointment." Can someone clarify these two words at least? Is it talking about some vision of the sons of Kohath, who carried the Laver? (Bemidbar 4:15)


במראות (bemar'ot), while it can refer to a vision, also means mirrors -- it is the plural form of the word מראה (mar'ah) -- See Wiktionary's definition.

The word הצבאות (hatzov'ot) is a bit ambiguous. Note that not everyone translates it as "enlisted ones" in Bamidbar -- for example, here's Mechon Mamre's translation there:

from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them: all that enter in to wait upon the service, to do service in the tent of meeting.

Here too, we can translate as doing service (from Sefaria this time):

And he made the laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, of the mirrors of the serving women that did service at the door of the tent of meeting.

We know it refers to women because the word is in feminine form.

I should point out that many commentators follow Rashi here with an aggadic explanation. The women in Egypt would use their mirrors to beautify themselves and convince their husbands to be with them, and they gave birth to many legions (צבא).

It has nothing to do with Kehat or visions.

  • So, you mean like in 1 Shmuel 2:22? But who were these women? – Aleksandr Sigalov Feb 13 '16 at 22:14
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    They were the women of B'nei Yisrael who donated their mirrors. – Scimonster Feb 13 '16 at 22:52
  • No, who are they? Why they serve in the sanctuary? Are they kohanim wifes/daughters? – Aleksandr Sigalov Feb 13 '16 at 23:19
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    1) see my previous comment 2) i wouldn't say that they serve in the sanctuary -- more that they serve the sanctuary itself by donating their mirrors. 3) no, see my previous comment again. – Scimonster Feb 14 '16 at 6:12
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    If it doesn't answer your question, perhaps you should clarify your question. – Scimonster Feb 15 '16 at 7:49

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