What is the purpose of a crown? The ארון קודש, the מזבח הזהב, and the שלחן all have one aspect in common - each vessel is adorned with a gold crown - כתר זהב. The command to make this “crown” for the שלחן, the table that holds the לחם הפנים, uses a term that describes the function of the crown "ומתגרתו סביב.” The crown is more than an ornament for the שלחן; it is a border that is referred to as a “guard.”
R’ Mordechai Kamentzky explains the reason why the שלחן needs a crown to serve as a guard, a misgeres, more than the other כלים. The Aron should have a crown since when one learns Torah he creates a crown that surrounds the Aron. The מזבח has a crown because those who serve Hashem properly merit the crown of avodah.
The crown for the table, though, serves a different purpose. The majestic crown turns the table into a שלחן - an item of קדושה. It guards it and surrounds it with רוחניות that converts a simple meal into a סעודה. That crown is more than just a crown. The Torah calls it a misgeres, a guard, which turns our food from the ordinary into objects which elevate us and bring us closer to Hashem.
This lesson from the משכן is apropos to our upcoming Brochos Awareness campaign. We should always check that we are instilling this approach in our children. Proper recitation of brochos, focusing on the good that Hashem gives us, and taking the time to acknowledge it, is the correct method for making this part of their outlook. And, this lesson is apropos weekly to our Shabbos table and for our upcoming holidays of Purim. Indeed, we should utilize every opportunity to reinforce this message of infusing קדושה into our everyday relationships to גשמיות.
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School