Project Genesis

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Jewish Texts

The Ark that Didn’t Take Up Space

Question: Why did the Aron Hakodesh (The holy ark) in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) have no measurment or no space what so ever? What was the reason for that?

Answer: Hi! The Aron haKodesh had no measurement because it was not a physical object.

I want to illustrate by talking about miracles a little. You know, there are two kinds of miracles. Modern technology would look like a miracle to someone from the past! We know things about the laws of nature which people in the past didn’t understand. Since they couldn’t understand the principles behind airplanes or electric lights, these would seem like magic or miracles to them. Such miracles are based on ignorance.

However, there’s another type of miracle. That’s the kind where the laws of nature are actually broken. This is possible only for someone who is working from the outside of the system. For someone playing a computer game, there are rules, and different types of characters in the game, and limitation on what each one can do. But to the computer programmer, those limitations don’t exist. If someone playing the game saw what the programmer can do to change the situation of the game, he might be tempted to ask, What kind of character has the power to do that? However, the question would be a mistake. The programmer can do what he does precisely because he’s not part of the game. He’s working from the outside, and is outside of its rules. Since Hashem is outside of the world, he can do real miracles. The rules by which the world runs are his and he made them. He likes them and almost always works within them, but he’s not bound by them.

The Aron haKodesh was the place where Hashem spoke to Moshe and taught him the Torah. As the point of connection between Hashem and his world, it is the closest thing in this world to something outside of the world and its limitations.

Thanks for the interesting question.

Michoel Reach

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