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Torah Thoughts from Rav Alex Israel


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ספר במדבר-הארון


The role of the Aron

Bamidbar 10/35-36

  • In these pesukim. What powers and what effect does the ארון have here? (When it begins to move AND when it stops.)

  • When the Ark sets out on its journeys who else journeys?

  • Is this a prayer or a statement? (mepharshim)


How would you describe the function of the Aron?


To supplement your knowledge, see the following mekorot. For each source, make a note as to what you learn from that source:


  • Bemidbar 7:89; Shemot 25:22

  • Tehillim ch. 99 How is God described in the opening passuk?


1. The position of the ארון within the camp of Israel

i. What is the proper position of the Aron within the camp of B’nei Yisrael?

See 2:2,17 and Rashi on passuk 9.


ii. Compare this with the order of travel in 10:11-22 and Rashi on 17, 21, 25. Where is the Aron to be positioned in the Camp of Israel?


iii. Now see 10:33-35. Where is the Aron now? Does this conform with that which we have seen thus far?


iv. How does Rashi solve the problem?

(see also Ramban and Ibn Ezra on passuk 33)


2. Two Aronot

Rashi refers to TWO Aronot. Where does this come from?


i. See Devarim 10:1-5

What is the identity of the ארון עץ  mentioned in passuk א?


ii. See Rashi in Devarim on י'/א' ד"ה בעת ההיא

Why does Rashi not want to identify this Aron as THE aron (of Betzalel)

  • To your mind, what is problematic according to the theory of TWO aronot? What does this theory solve, and what questions does it raise?


iii. The Ramban (in Devarim) argues with Rashi. See the Ramban's comments:

 “וטעם אעשית לך ארון עץ .... הנכון על דעת רבותנו"

  • What is the basis of Ramban’s disagreement with Rashi?

  • Note the earliest source of this debate in Massechet shekalim? 

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