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Two Brothers

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Topic: Brothers, 2, on Mt. Moriah, Source

Eliezer Shemtov

I am curious about the story about two brothers, one was married and the other, single. At harvest time, each one took some bags of grain secretly to the other's field. The married one felt sorry for the single one and the single one felt that the married one, who had many children, needed more. One night, as they were sneaking over to each other's field, they bumped into each other, realized what the other one was doing, and embraced. Hashem said that He wants that place where such love was expressed to be the site of the Holy Temple. I've heard and read the story many times in contemporary Jewish books. The other day somebody asked me what the source was and I was stumped.

Shmeina-K wrote:

We have been trying for years to find a Jewish source for the story of the two brothers who bump into each other on Mount Moriah during the night when they are trying to bring grain to each other.

Dear Eliezer Shemtov and Shmeina-K,

The story isn't found in the Talmud, and apparently not in any of the well-know Midrashic sources either.

That doesn't necessarily mean it's false, however. In fact, I think I found a hint for this story in the Torah itself!

The most sacred place in the Holy Temple contained the Ark of the Covenant. On top of the Ark stood two golden figurines. These figurines, called Cherubim, were winged, human-like figures that faced each other.

The hint to the story about the two brothers is simply this: To describe their facing position, the Torah says the Cherubim should face as "a man to his brother!"


  • Shemot 25:20

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