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Pekudei: Netziv: The Poles of Malchut

“The Ark of Testimony and its staves, and the cover (Exodus 39:35).” When describing the Ark, the verse mentions it together with “it’s staves.” The same is true of the Copper Altar, “The Copper Altar and its copper meshwork, its staves, and all its utensils.” However, when the verse mentions the Table, it does not mention its staves, nor does it mention the staves of the Golden Altar.


Once the staves were inserted into the rings of the Ark, they were never removed. However, whenever the Mishkan was erected, the Copper Altar was placed in its proper position and its staves were removed until the next trip.

The Ark and the Copper Altar had to have their staves in place from the time they were made until the Mishkan was complete. This was to teach us that the power of Torah, symbolized by the Ark, and the power of Service of God, symbolized by the Copper Altar, can be carried in every generation, to every place, wherever we are exiled. We know this from prayer, that is in place of the offerings on the Copper Altar, that are accepted from whereever they come.

However, the power of the Kingship, symbolized by the Table, and the power of the Cehunah, symbolized by the Golden Altar, are only effective when Israel is dwelling in their land and all the vessels are in their proper place. (Netziv, Ha’amak Davar, Terumah)

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