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Why Jews Like Gold

Thursday, 19 February, 2015 - 10:41 pm

Granted gold has some practical applications: photography, conducting electricity and other things we remember as vaguely vital.  But that is not gold.   That is not gold's worth, that is not why people have been gaga over it for as long as we can remember.

 

 

 

It's not even that it looks nice; bronze has its own look that in some settings surpasses gold -- but it has never caught attention like gold. Gold is simply a way of marking stature, status if you 're more familiar with that word.   A phenomenon that has no intrinsic, concrete worth. The story is told that in Stalin's Siberian gold mines the guards didn't check the forced laborers after a day in the mines; even if the prisoners stole, what could they do with gold in Siberia?  Against the moldiest bread it held no value.

 

 

 

So if gold does nothing but separate the haves and the have nots, if it does nothing other than feed the ego of the status-climbing, uh, gold digger, than why would a just and caring and perfect Creator create a virtually worthless empty non-commodity?

 

 

 

But there is an important function that gold – together with other of the fine things in life do; they say I care Ask a new husband; he's probably already learned you can't give appliances for anniversaries.   They're too functional, they carry too many messages.  "Gee, I hope you're baking is easier now."  "You love waffles, don't you?" "Happy Vacuuming!"  

 

 

 

The useless however carries only one message: you are precious. Precious as . .  yeh, you guessed it.  And this message is the raison d'etre for all of creation.   To tell friends, certainly. Spouses, definitely. And in this parsha, Hashem- like good communicative husbands everywhere - says what He wants: "Build me a mikdash that I may dwell within you."   It is the act of building that allows for G-d to be there, it's building it out of gold that says you want Him.

 

 

For reasons the Rebbe told us he could not fathom, Hashem is not allowing us the Mikdash yet.  For now, we must build it out of the intangible (but very real) elements of our relationships with each other and with Him.   But it must be done in the best way possible.  Go for the Gold.  He deserves it.

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