Thursday, February 25, 2016

Square, Not Round

Now it came to pass when he drew closer to the camp and saw the calf and the dances, that Moses' anger was kindled, and he flung the tablets from his hands, shattering them at the foot of the mountain. [Ki Tisa 32:19]

According to the Talmud, the Tablets were each 6 x 6 tefachim in size, and together they filled the Ark, leaving no space [Bava Basra 14a].  From this we see that the Tablets were square in shape.

Furthermore, there is a halachic principle that the vessels of the Temple are only valid if they are "intact and full". Thus, it was a legal imperative that the Tablets filled the Ark completely leaving no space.  Obviously, ths would preclude them from being rounded in shape.

The concept of tablets with rounded tops is actually non-Jewish in origin, being derived from Roman tradition (the nation that destroyed our holy Temple).  Nevertheless, the image found its way into our books due to the non-Jewish censorship of printing spanning many centuries.  As a result, today there are even religious Jews who depict the tablets as being round on the top, contrary to the Talmud.

It is a mitzvah to publicize at every opportunity that, according to Jewish sources, the Tablets are square in shape.

[Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Ki Tisa 5741 - Lubavitcher Rebbe]


Anonymous said...

Yes, this is true too with the Menorah which the Rambam says is angular and not rounded and the Rebbe of Lubavitch says the same. The arch of Titus in Rome has a depiction of it being rounded; thus people think that it is rounded. The original angular Menora is hidden away.

bracha said...

rE: Re: the Angular Menorah.
According to the Ramba"m, "anonymous" is absolutely right!
However,as per our Chaza"l, there were other Menorahs,too, some being rounded.
The Menorah that was kindled daily by the Cohen Gadol-High Priest was the Angular
Menorah, and indeed, it is hidden away, 'some-where'.

I often wonder that Arc of the wicked Titus, yemach shemo, in Rome as well as the
Arc D'Tiumph in Paris, depict a rounded menorah, whether it was made that way on PURPOSE
to confuse the remaining Jewish Exiles and to purposefully make them forget their true, genuine heritage. It seems to me that those wicked ones 'davka' wanted to adulterate their memories, It was a ruze:(

But MOSHIACH will SURELY come and we shall once again rejoice with our GENUINE Torah
being vindicated by all the Nations and the wicked ones will be shamed and confounded.

Much better they desist from heir crooked ways and do TESHUVA before the final Day
of Judgement... Wouldn't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Devorah, for bringing this interesting piece of informatin to light.

But as a 'golus yid' I still like the rounded shape of the Menorah. Is that b/c

of my first impressions as a small child?

Anonymous said...

When held together they were actually 2'x2'x1'
And one could even view all 613 Mitzvos from either side or some say the entire Torah from each either side, as it was written by just the "finger" of HASHEM!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Daniel, do you have a source
where I could actually look it up?