Melach

June 20, 2006

[m.]; Salt; Sodium Chloride (NaCl); a basic substance of Nature, but one which plays a crucial role in the spiritual life of the Jew. Because it was used until modern times as an effective preservative, it carries the connotation of “eternity;” as in Bamidbar 18:19 where the gifts of the sacrifices are described as “Brit Melach Olam Hi,” “An Eternal Salt-Covenant.” Its association with the idea of a “covenant,” designed as a long-lasting agreement, makes it a perfect metaphor for the agreement between G-d and the Jewish People concerning their observance of the Torah, which is to last forever.