18

Well, here's what comes to mind. Bowing is not reserved for G-d. There are many cases in the Bible when prominent Jews bowed to kings such as the prophet Natan bowing to David (Melachim 1:1:23) and Yosef’s brothers bowing to Yosef (Breishit 42:6). Even Avraham (Breishit 18:2) bowed to strangers whom he suspected of being idolaters (Rashi to verse 4). ...


17

I go through the math here. Admittedly I use a lot of very rough estimation. I caught some mistakes in my math in the video which I have edited here, as well as adding a section below regarding the contents of the Aron. It's important to note that according to R' Meir, the amos used are 6 tefachim each, while according to R' Yehudah, the amos used are 5 ...


13

The short answer(s): Q: What will be the reaction of Jewish people if the Ark of the Covenant is discovered today? A: Celebration and some serious debate about what to do next. Q: What could be its consequences? A: Nothing immediate, most likely, other than the above. Q: Will it bring joy? A: Yes. Q: What would they do with it? A: Likely put it into ...


10

What was in the Ark? The Talmud teaches us (Shekalim 16a and Bava Basra 14a) that the Ark contained both sets of Tablets (the broken ones and the 2nd set) as well as the Torah Scroll the Moses wrote. וארבעה לוחות היו בו שנים שלמים ושנים שבורים דכתיב {דברים י-ב} אשר שברת ושמתם בארון הלוחות היו כל אחד וא' ארכו ו' טפחים רחבו (שלשה) ששה ותן ארכן של לוחות ...


10

Nitey Gavriel (Sukkos pg. 379 footnote 15) brings the custom in the name of the Malbushei Yom Tov to Levush 664:4 and Nitzutzei Zohar Parshas Tzav, who explain that it is in order to leave the sparks of judgment behind at the conclusion of the days of judgment and not take them back home. The custom is also brought in the Bikurey Yaakov (S"K 16). The Nitey ...


10

"The box in which the Philistines sent a gift to the G-d of Israel was placed next to it" (Bava Basra 14a). To expand on Shalom's answer: The basic reason that the Philistines made these particular images is that these were the plagues they had been struck with (I Sam. 5:6 and Rashi there). Malbim (to 6:4-5) explains that the Philistine "priests and ...


10

Rashi's source is a Gemara in Sotah (35a): נמצא ארון ונושאיו וכהנים מצד אחד וישראל מצד אחד נשא ארון את נושאיו ועבר שנאמר (יהושע ד, יא) ויהי כאשר תם כל העם לעבור ויעבור ארון ה' והכהנים לפני העם ועל דבר זה נענש עוזא שנאמר (דברי הימים א יג, ט) ויבאו עד גורן כידון וישלח עוזא את ידו לאחוז את הארון אמר לו הקב"ה עוזא נושאיו נשא עצמו לא כל שכן It follows ...


10

Rashi in his commentary to Devarim 10:1 writes that there were indeed two; the one made by Moshe was the one that the Bnei Yisrael carried with them when they went into battle. At that time: At the end of forty days [which was the first of Elul], God was reconciled with me and said to me, “Hew for yourself [two tablets],” and afterwards, “make for ...


8

The suffering question is a complicated one best addressed separately. As for the Ark: it was cared-for quite well (well it was briefly seized by the Philistines ~3000 years ago but soon after returned). The traditional Jewish view has it that about 2500 years ago, they knew the Babylonians were going to plunder the First Temple. To keep the Ark out of the ...


8

Levush Orach Chaim 133 says that this is done to help us have the proper intention by Tefila. Rivivos Efraim Volume 3:395 says that the reason we open the Aron Kodesh has to do with the Posuk "Vataal Shaavosom El HoElokim ותעל שועתם אל האלקים" which is said regarding the place the Sefer Torah rests upon, and the proof is that we open it up for Shema Kolainu ...


7

The practice of having a curtain separate between the sifrei Torah and the people is a well-accepted one. Tosafos (M'gila 26b) discusses whether the practice is to have the curtain inside the box housing the sifrei Torah or outside of it.* Although it is not discussed in these terms by that G'mara, the basis for having such a curtain (which you called a ...


6

In Shivat Tzion it says to kiss the WALLS of the Shul because of their holiness, and I say Kal WaHomer the Aron.


5

"Wait until the Aron is closed" - I suspect it's for practical reasons; at some points in the services, people will sit down (e.g. Tachanun) at the next prayer, and they ideally should remain standing while the Aron is open, so we wait. Another practicality is you can offend the poor confused fellow who's been honored with closing the Aron by starting the ...


5

Nitey Gavriel (Rosh Hashana pg. 153) brings the custom to have white paroches etc until after Yom Kippur. In Nitey Gavriel (Sukkos pg. 362) he brings the Maharil, Sharey Efrayim and Minhagei Amsterdam who say to put up white paroches etc. on Hashana Rabba - implying that they had already been changed back from Rosh Hashana. However he writes (without citing ...


5

The Mishnayot in the last chapter of Zevachim outline the journey of the Tabernacle. When the Jews arrived in Israel: The Tabernacle was in Gilgal for the 14 years of capturing and dividing the land. It then moved to Shiloh for 369 years. When Shiloh was destroyed (I Samuel 4), the Tabernacle was moved to Nov until it too was destroyed (I Samuel 22:19) ...


5

It is a demonstration of honour to stand but not a duty. See here The original rule is this (SA YD 282, 2): הרואה ספר תורה שהוא מהלך חייב לעמוד לפניו ויהיו הכל עומדים עד שיעמוד זה שמוליכו ויגיענו למקומו או עד שיתכסה מעיניהם. ‏ Everybody need to stand when they see a Sefer Torah walking until it reach his place (for instance the ark). The link ...


5

See O.C. 132:2 Ba'er Hetev #9. He says that Mahari"l bowed down 3 times when he left his place, and faced the ark while doing that. He repeated this when he was at the entrance of the shul. He then adds that when leaving, one should not have his back to the ark, but should face sideways. One should also face sideways when he leaves the teiva (after being ...


4

I made these from Baba Basra 14. It shows the difference between how R. Yehuda and R. Meir calculate the dimensions of Aron:


4

As HodofHod said, we bow in the direction of Jerusalem, and that is also the wall on which we place the ark. I was taught that this means that if you're at the sides of the room (with the ark in the center), you don't bow toward the ark; you bow toward east. In some congregations I see everybody bow toward the ark, forming basically a semi-circle, but I ...


4

A different approach to this issue may be offered based on the following verses (Jeremiah 3:16-17): וְהָיָה כִּי תִרְבּוּ וּפְרִיתֶם בָּאָרֶץ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה נְאֻם ה' לֹא יֹאמְרוּ עוֹד אֲרוֹן בְּרִית ה' וְלֹא יַעֲלֶה עַל לֵב וְלֹא יִזְכְּרוּ בוֹ וְלֹא יִפְקֹדוּ וְלֹא יֵעָשֶׂה עוֹד:‏ בָּעֵת הַהִיא יִקְרְאוּ לִירוּשָׁלִַם כִּסֵּא ה' וְנִקְווּ ...


4

There is a long, long history of decorated curtains/parochets in front of arons/arks. The first one I found in Tanach was in the original Mishkan, according to Shemot/Exodus 26:31 - 33, dividing the original Ark's "most holy" area from the just plain "holy" area in front of it. It was multicolored and had cherubim on it. The second one mentioned was the ...


4

Rashash (Yoma 53, in part, in my own translation): It's difficult to understand why they didn't make another aron in the second temple. If it was because it's written "and put the testimony in the aron", implying that its main need is nothing but the testimony, isn't "and put the urim, etc., into the justice breastplate" also written about the breastplate?...


4

Open the ark after kaddish but wait for the chazzan to walk towards you before you take out the Torah. When he does, take out the Torah and hand it to him. He will recite the pesukim(according to Ashkenazi custom); after which you should close the ark. He can continue walking if you don't close the aron if the minhag is such or wishes to do so. It is ...


4

Bava Basra 99a states clearly that they were in the form of children: תניא אונקלוס הגר אמר כרובים (דברי הימים ב ג, י) מעשה צעצועים הן It was taught in a Braisa: Onkelos the convert said, the Keruvim were of the form of children. Rashbam to this Gemara makes reference to Sukkah 5b, which similarly indicates this way. The Gemara there first notes ...


3

What will be the reaction of Jewish people if the Ark of the Covenant is discovered today? Will it bring joy? this obviously may vary from person to person, but i think most jews will be happy about it. What would they do with it? no one would be permitted to touch it, since that requires purity from "tumah" (impurity), which occurs when even being ...


3

The reason is because the ark itself is beautiful; it was made in Europe three centuries ago and is so nice that pictures of it were used for postcards. Because, strictly speaking, there's no real requirement for the Aron to have a curtain outside the doors, the importance of having a beautiful yeshiva/Aron Kodesh wins out. I have seen several other ...


3

In Yoreh De'ah Siman 282 there is nothing in the halachos of respecting a sefer Torah which dictates what direction the sefer Torah should face when it is in the Aron, as long as it isn't placed on its side or upside down. Rabbeinu Tam (who holds that sifrei Torah should be placed laying down) brings one of his sources from the way in which the sefer Torah ...


3

Shulchan Aruch YD 282 prohibits sitting next to a sefer because that would be bizayon to the sefer. It seems to me standing shares the same din. According to rules of chinuch I would say that one should not deliberately put a child in such a place, if the child goes on his own, at the age of 2 I would assume take him down (or tell him to...)


3

The Philistines had been afflicted by hemhorroids, which were then irritated by rats, as a punishment for stealing the Ark. By their thinking, they could appease the Ark (or whatever force behind it) and stop this nuisance by returning the Ark, along with some golden rats and golden hemhorroids, for good measure. Nothing to do with how they worshipped; it ...


3

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed says it is permitted. It is permissible to decorate the parochet (curtain) and the aron kodesh in the accepted manner, for people are accustomed to the decorations on them and the artwork does not distract them from praying.


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