Page 9 - Hamizrachi #30 USA 2021 Yom Yerushalayim - Shavuot
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                 Rabbanit Shani Taragin

       Yerushalayim of Gold:

       The Crown of Torah Continuity and Commitment

               abbi Akiva consistently saw   and between the lines. These crowns rep-  is it to go out with a City of Gold orna-
               the beauty of Yerushalayim,   resent Divine depth and beauty beneath   ment? Only  an important  woman, and
               even in the direst of circum-  the surface, yet were evident to Rabbi   in that case there is no concern, as an
               stances. While his peers     Akiva as clear as day. For Rabbi Akiva,   important woman does not remove orna-
     Rresponded to the site of the          the crowns of the Torah linked him to the   ments and show them to others.
       destroyed Temple and jackals emerging   Torah of Moshe Rabbenu and inspired   I learned from my esteemed and
       from the  Kodesh Kodashim with cries,   his commitment for the future of Torah   beloved mentor, Rabbanit Malka Bina
       Rabbi Akiva laughed; he saw a different   continuity in every aspect of his life.  (Yikirat Yerushalayim  5781), that each
       Yerushalayim – one that would be rebuilt   That’s why when Rabbi Akiva and his   Tanna is expressing  a different view
       (Makkot 24b).                        beloved wife Rachel were married and   regarding one’s commitment to Yerusha-
        Rabbi Akiva’s unshakable faith and   were so poor that they would sleep in a   layim/Torah. Some see the crown of
       vision were rooted, as Rav Kook explains   storehouse of straw, Rabbi Akiva would   Yerushalayim/Torah as a burden to
       (Alumah 1936), “in a profound love of   gather strands of straw from her hair and   remove when convenient. Others see
       G-d. This love so filled his pure heart that   say, “If I had the means I would place on   affiliation with Yerushalayim/Torah as
       the future was a certain reality, leaving no   your head a Jerusalem of Gold (a golden   an  ornament  to  display  and  “show  off”
       room to mourn over the disasters of the   crown with an engraving of the city of   one to the other. Rabbi Eliezer’s explana-
       present.” This love enabled him to look   Yerushalayim).” 1                tion, as taught to Rabbi Akiva, is that an
       and learn beyond the present, beyond the   Where others saw yellow straws of   “important woman” recognizes that the
       letters before his eyes, and instead, see   poverty, Rabbi Akiva saw the golden   crown of  Yerushalayim/Torah shall never
       crowns of glory waiting to be interpreted.  crown of Jerusalem, the commitment to   be removed from one’s head, from one’s
        The Gemara (Menachot 29b) records   Torah his wife had displayed by marrying   consciousness; it is not a burden, but a
       that when Moshe Rabbenu ascended     him, leaving a life of opulence and send-  badge of honor!
       to receive the Torah, he found G-d sit-  ing him off to study Torah. Rabbi Akiva   For Rabbi Akiva, the crown of Yerusha-
       ting and attaching crowns to the letters.   already saw her in the full glory of the   layim is a crown of commitment to
       When Moshe inquired as to the purpose   future,  with  her golden  crown yet  to be   Torah. When he sees Yerushalayim in
       of  these  crowns, G-d  replied,  “There  is   adorned.                    bleak desolation, and his wife’s hair with
       one man, Akiva the son of Yosef, who will   Chazal refer to this “Jerusalem of   golden straw, he sees the black letters
       in the future expound many laws from   Gold”  adornment  as  a  diadem  that  may   of the Torah with crowns of light. He
       every crown.” These crowns are not just   or  may  not  be  worn  as  one  goes  out  to   reminds us that we shall never remove
       the  literal  crowns  found  on  seven  let-  the public domain on Shabbat (Shabbat   these crowns from our heads and hearts
       ters in the Torah, but rather the golden   59a-b):                         for they will bring us from the past to the
       crown on the “curly locks, black as a   Rabbi Meir holds that it is considered   future, from jackals to Jerusalem of gold,
       raven” described in Shir haShirim, refer-  a burden and not an ornament, and one   from cries of pain to glory and laughter.
       ring to every stroke of the black letters   who carries a burden into the public
       of the Torah (Eruvin 21b). Rabbi Akiva   domain is liable to bring a sin-offering.  1  Nedarim 50a.
       examined every crown, every nuance and   The Rabbis hold that it is an ornament.
       inflection of every letter and verse of the   Why, then, did they prohibit going out   Rabbanit Shani Taragin is Educational
       Torah and extrapolated numerous  mid-  into the public domain wearing it? They   Director of Mizrachi and the Director of the
       rashei halacha.                      are  concerned  lest  she  remove  it,  and   Mizrachi Matan Lapidot Educators’ Program.
        Rabbi Akiva saw beyond the simple   show it to another, and come to carry it
       reality of “locks of the hair” and appre-  in the public domain.               A member of the Mizrachi Speakers Bureau
       ciated the golden crowns of letters above   Rabbi Eliezer holds: Whose manner

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