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Prayer Skills-Terumah-Turning Wood Into Gold

The 29th of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Chananya Yom Tov Lipa (ben Yekusiel Yehuda) Teitelbaum (1836-1904), author of Kedushas Yom Tov. “They shall make an Ark of acacia wood.… You shall cover it with pure gold, from with in and from without shall you cover it (Exodus 5:10–11).” The Midrash Tanchumah teaches that there were actually three boxes that form the Ark: a box of gold on the outside, a wooden box in the center, and another golden box on the inside.


This is the power of Torah; it is able to take even a prayer, or any intention when fulfilling a mitzvah, that is impure, represented by the box made of wood, and transform it into a prayer or mitzvah as valuable as gold: Just as the first and the last boxes are of gold, despite the center being of wood, so too, a prayer or a mitzvah that begins with purity, and has some sense of purity at its conclusion, will enclose the “wooden box,” the impure thought, prayer, or mitzvah. (Kedushat Yom Tov)

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