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Do windows have any significance or meaning in the bible?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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A window is a portal; the question is to what. A window can let what’s outside in, or what’s inside out.

Let’s take a look at windows in the Torah.

In ancient edifices of thick stone walls, windows were narrow on the outside and wide on the inside, allowing the exterior sunlight to spread inward.

The windows of the Holy Temple, however, were constructed in a unique manner: wide on the outside, narrow on the inside,1 clearly indicating that their purpose was for the interior light of the Holy Temple to shine outward.2

The Sanctuary did not need sunlight, for it was filled with its own Divine glow. Our Sages3 explain that the purpose of the Menorah in the Holy Temple was not to illuminate the Sanctuary, but rather to spread its radiance throughout the entire world.

The Prophet tells us that we are supposed to be a "light unto the nations".4

When a Jew interacts with the world around him the interaction creates a portal between his soul and his surroundings, between the holy and the mundane, between Torah values and secular priorities.

That portal must flow outward. We ought to be windows that emanate Torah light on the world around us.

Footnotes

  • 1. Kings I 6:4
  • 2. Talmud tractate Menachot 86b
  • 3. Ibid
  • 4. Isaiah 60:3

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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Menorah
Candelabra. Usually a reference to the nine-branched candelabra kindled on the holiday of Chanukah.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.