Toras Avigdor Junior
The Guards at Shul
“You’ll never catch me!” cried Moishy as he zipped past his friends.
“Oh yes we will!” shouted Eli and Avi.
“No, I’m gonna get you!” squealed Dovy as he ran after them through the Shul lobby.
“Ha ha, I got you!” exclaimed Avi.
“No you didn’t!” answered Moishy. “You just touched my shirt. That doesn’t count!”
Moishy ran even faster. But Eli was right behind him and Dovy in front. Without thinking, Moishy darted sideways into the Shul door. His friends chased after him, squealing and giggling, not even noticing that the Ba’al Korei was in the middle of reading the Torah.
“Haha!” Moishy screeched, running through the Shul. As they charged through the Beis Midrash towards the side exit, the boys didn’t seem to realize that they were bumping into people and knocking over shtenders and seforim.
Moishy disappeared through the side door, followed by his friends. The Ba’al Korei kept reading, raising his voice above the commotion.
Exhausted, the boys collapsed, catching their breath just outside the door.
A few minutes later, Moishy’s Totty walked outside. “Boys, come inside. The Rov is about to give the drasha.”
“But why, Totty?” asked Moishy. “You never make me come in for the drasha.”
“Yeah,” chimed in Eli. “My father doesn’t make me come to the drasha either. He lets me play outside until Mussaf.”
“Actually,” replied Totty. “The Rov is giving a special drasha for the children in the simcha hall downstairs.” Turning to Moishy’s friends, he added “and your fathers asked me to tell all of you to please come as well.”
Confused, the boys followed Moishy’s Totty inside and headed downstairs. The Rov was sitting at a table waiting for them, along with the other children from the Shul.
“Good Shabbos, kinderlach,” the Rov began with a wide smile. “Does everyone know what this week’s Parsha is?”
Eli raised his hand. “Parshas Terumah!” he said happily. “It’s all about the Mushka!”
“That’s Mishkan, Eli,” smiled the Rov, handing him a candy. “And you are correct. Do you know what the Mishkan was?”
This time Avi raised his hand. “It was Hashem’s House, just like the Beis Hamikdash! And there was a mizbeiach and a menorah and the aron, which had two keruvim on it!”
“Beautifully said, Avi!” the Rov responded, handing him a candy as well. “Do you know what Keruvim are?”
“Didn’t they look like children made out of gold?” asked Dovy uncertainly.
“Well yes, the keruvim that were on the aron were made of gold, and they had faces of children,” said the Rov, sliding a candy in Dovy’s direction. “But Keruvim are actually a type of malach in Shomayim. And Hashem sent real Malach-Keruvim down to guard the Mishkan.
“I don’t know if you heard, but just as you boys were running through the Shul earlier, the Baal Korei was reading how there were also pictures of keruvim woven into the paroches, as well as on the yerios which covered the Mishkan.”
Moishy raised his hand. “Why did we need pictures of keruvim if Hashem sent real keruvim to guard the Mishkan?”
“A gevaldige question, Moishy!” beamed the Rov. “Here, take a candy,” he said, holding out his bag of taffies.
“You see, people can’t see real keruvim,” the Rov continued. “So Hashem had us make pictures of keruvim to remind us that the Mishkan was the holy House of Hashem that was guarded by real Malochim. It was a reminder of “Mora Mikdash” – that when we came to the Mishkan we couldn’t just act like we normally do. It’s Hashem’s House and we need to act with respect when we visit.”
“Wow,” said a boy named Elchonon. “Imagine visiting Hashem’s House!”
“But Elchonon,” said the Rov. “You were in Hashem’s House today!”
“I was?” Elchonon said, perplexed.
“Yes!” the Rov answered. “A Shul is a Mikdash Me’at – it’s like a miniature Mishkan or Beis Hamikdash. It also has kedusha, and it is also the House of Hashem!
“So when you approach a Shul, you need to remember that you are right outside of Hashem’s House. And when walking inside, one must remember that he is walking into a place of kedusha. You may not see the Keruvim outside but I’m pretty sure that there are malachim in our shul too. And that means walking calmly, keeping our voices down, and acting with respect – not shouting or even stam schmoozing.”
The boys looked at each other a bit uncomfortably. They felt bad about how they had behaved in the Shul earlier and decided to make sure to act properly when they went back upstairs for Mussaf.
And with that, the Rov handed candies to the rest of the children and wished everyone a Wonderful Shabbos.
Have a Wonderful Shabbos!