The Keruvim: Instruments of Emuna and Bitachon

One of the more fascinating and enigmatic ornaments discussed in parshat Teruma is the keruvim (the winged angelic figures made of gold) that stood on top of covering for the aron (ark) containing the luchos (Shemos 25:18).

What is striking about the command to fashion the keruvim, as Abarbanel points out, is that the Torah forbids the creation of carved idols (Shemos 20:4). So how could Hashem direct the creation of such figures? Was this not a contradiction of the prohibition against fashioning idols? Abarbanel and other commentators respond that the keruvim was not intended to serve as an intermediary (as, for example, the “egel” – the Golden Calf – was intended), but rather was intended to inspire a stronger connection and closeness to Hashem. How did the keruvim accomplish this?

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