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    Mirrors in the Bible – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Did they have mirrors in Biblical times?

    A. Building the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) required an array of materials, including brass for the making of the laver.

    Moses “made the laver of brass and its base of brass, from the mirrors of the serving women” (Ex. 38:8).

    The mirrors, fashioned as a mark of vanity, were now utilised for the service of God in which personal vanity has no place.

    It is said that Moses was at first inclined to reject the mirrors as a contribution to the Mishkan because he felt they were not worthy of inclusion in the project. In the end, God persuaded him otherwise.

    However, looked at from a different perspective, the mirrors should never have occasioned any doubts.

    True, a mirror is used to look at oneself. But in a mirror you can see other people.

    If you can see the good points in another and the failings in yourself you are on the way to appreciating that the world includes many good, valuable, decent human beings.

    Instead of condemning mirrors for promoting personal glory, they now become a tribute to the glory of God who made all human beings in His image.

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