In this week’s parshah,1 Ki Tisa, we read about the kiyor, which was a large copper receptacle that held water. It had a stand, also made of copper. It had several spigots, from which the Kohanim, the priests, would wash their hands and feet before doing the Temple service.

The copper from which the kiyor was made had a unique origin.

Rashi explains: The women gathered at Moses’ tent with the copper mirrors they used to beautify themselves, intending to donate them. Moses was uncomfortable accepting these mirrors, because they were seemingly used for the bidding of the evil inclination. G‑d told Moses to accept them, “for they are most precious to Me of all.”

Because of these mirrors, the Children of Israel proliferated in Egypt. When their husbands would be exhausted from laboring under Egyptian bondage, the righteous women would go out and greet them with food and drink. They would feed them and entice them with words; they would hold the mirror in a way that both she and her husband could be seen together, and she would say, “I am more attractive than you.” In this manner, she would awaken his desire to be with her . . . 2

It is with these mirrors that the kiyor was formed for an important function of it was to bring peace between husband and wife.3

How important is the relationship of a couple to G‑d? And how is it that the instrument of vanity is most precious to G‑d?

In “Shir Hashirim” (“Song of Songs”), King Solomon compares our relationship with G‑d to that of a husband and wife. This relationship with G‑d is the foundation on which our purpose and mission as the Jewish people was established. Every mitzvah, every prayer and every bit of Torah we learn comes down to this: becoming one with G‑d.

The microcosm of this relationship is that of a husband and wife. This relationship is so central to Judaism that the mirrors that brought the couple together as one are not only special, but most precious of all. It is so important that no service could be done in the Temple before washing from the kiyor, which was made from these mirrors. The kiyor was placed between the altar and the Holies—the center of all of the action in the Temple. It was constantly seen, and served as a reminder of the importance of the husband-and-wife relationship.

This shows us how important it is to work on our personal relationships. It is not OK to take it for granted and keep up the status quo. If you are not growing closer together, it’s a problem. If you feel that your relationship is on the rocks, you are not alone; don’t be ashamed to get help. Many good marriages remain that way because people were willing to talk to a professional and sort out their issues. If you think your relationship is just fine, then you must take it to the next level, for there is always room to grow.

The kiyor—made of mirrors and placed centrally in the Temple—is a reminder that your relationship is central to Judaism. It is the foundation of Jewish life and not just special to G‑d; it is most precious of all.