G‑d said to Moses: "Carve for yourself two tablets of stone like the first; and I will write upon these tablets the words..."
"Carve for yourself" - G‑d revealed to Moses a quarry of sapphire beneath his tent and said to him: the waste from the carving shall belong to you. From this Moses became exceedingly rich. (34:1)
- Rashi's commentary
The sapphire blocks upon which the Ten Commandments were inscribed were also a source of material wealth for Moses; but the Torah emphasizes that this was but a side benefit derived from their 'waste' - something utterly peripheral to the true function of the tablets.
The function of Torah is to inspire and teach. The material benefits which result are a consequence of its all-pervading truth and perfection, but their relative significance is equivalent to the cast-off trimmings of the carver's work.
- Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch
A deserted wife once came to Lubavitch seeking the help of Rabbi Menachem Mendel. With her was her child, who was a mute. The unfortunate woman asked to be received by the Rebbe, but was refused. She even had the Rebbe's wife petition him on her behalf (as did many of the women who wished to see him) but to no avail.
Finally, the chassidim advised her to smuggle the child into Rabbi Menachem Mendel's study and have him hand the Rebbe a note asking for his help. She wrote a note describing her situation as a deserted wife, hid the child under the table, and told him to give it to the Rebbe when he entered the room.
When the child handed the note to Rabbi Menachem Mendel, he said: "Go tell your mother that your father is to be found in this and this place."
The child left the room, returned to his mother, and clearly articulated the message. The woman gained a divorce and financial compensation from her husband, and a healthy, speaking child.
When the miraculous results were excitedly reported to the Rebbe, he simply said: "How was I to know that the child was a mute?" The Rebbetzin, too, was unimpressed by the double miracle. She reminded the chassidim of what her grandfather, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, told about the days when he was a disciple of the Maggid of Mezeritch, Rabbi DovBer. "In Mezeritch" Rabbi Schneur Zalman used to say, "miracles were rolling about under the table and no one even bothered to bend down and lift one up…"