Trumah: Chapter 36

"Gold, and silver, and brass"


The serpent is spoken of in this passage as both the instigator of evil and also the judgment of evil. Like good, evil is thus also its own reward. The brass from which Moses fashioned the serpent is indicative of a mixed nature, since it is not pure as are silver and gold. The word 'serpent' is from the same root as the word brass, and it explains why Moses made the serpent of brass when commanded by God only to make a fiery serpent. We are told that the cherubs are made of gold, and the tabernacle of gold and silver and bronze. All these symbolic metals have their meanings in the left and right and central columns. The serpent is always ready to do evil, Adam sinned and was driven from the Garden of Eden because of its influence.


As brass is a mixture of metals, not as pure as are gold and silver, man is a mixture of good and evil. The spiritual force emitted here generates thrust, unalterably tilting the scales of human nature toward the side of good, subjugating our evil tendencies and unleashing the power of our soul. The serpent (The Satan) is both a global phenomenon and a distinct part of our being. They are connected. Hence, as we lay waste to the influence of our inner Evil Inclination, we annihilate the universal serpent concurrently, thereby abolishing darkness from the world.