Mirror Mirror on The Wall Who’s The Fairest of Them All?

In Parshat Vayakhel, Shmot 38:8 we read about how the “Kiyor”, the Laver was made: “He made the Kiyor of copper and its base of copper, from the ‘marot hatzovot’, mirrors of the legions who massed at the entrance of ‘Ohel Moed’ the Tent of Meeting”.


The Kiyor was very important as it was where the Kohanim would wash their hands and feet before performing the service. The Kiyor was made exclusively from the polished sheets of copper that the women had used as mirrors.


Accrding to Rashi, the daughters of Israel possessed mirrors into which they would look when adorning themselves. Even those they did not withhold from bringing as a contribution to the Mishkan. However, Moshe found them to be repulsive since their purpose is to incite the evil inclination. God said to him: Accept them, for they are dearer to me than everything else because through them the women raised multitudes in Egypt. In Egypt after the men had come home from a long day of crushing labor, the women would bring them food and drink and feed them. The women then used their mirrors to entice their husbands to have relations with them, they would take out the mirrors and each one would look at herself and her husband in the mirror and entice him with the words saying: “See I am more beautiful than you.” Thanks to these mirrors many children were born.


God said that not only should these mirrors be accepted, they should be used in their entirety. Therefore, Eben Ezra points out, the Torah does not give a specific size for the Kiyor, since every single mirror had to go into it, no matter how big the Kiyor would become.


As we are about to usher in the month of Nisan, we should keep in mind that the women were “the fairest of them all” as they were the ones who were instrumental in the continuation of the Jewish people as well as in the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt and in the building of the Mishkan.