Question: WHY ARE MOST JEWISH OBJECTS COVERED?
Answer: The Gemara (Ta’anit 8b) says, “blessing only rests on that which is hidden from the eye. Once it has been counted, its potential for blessing is lost.” And so, many of our ritual objects are covered: The Torah has a mantle over it & is kept in an Aron; the Aron itself has a Parochet/curtain; a Mezuza has a housing/bayit, as do Tefilin; a Megila is kept in a case; Matza on Pesach & Challa on Shabbat are covered, etc. What is the deeper dynamic at work here?
Rav Yochanan Zweig explains: “Inherent in man’s nature is an insecurity regarding his possessions, which manifests itself in the need to feel ownership over them. He may constantly touch his wallet or count his stocks, bonds or cash. The word ‘bracha” connects to ‘breycha-pool;’ Man’s blessings flow to us from G-d. As long as something is connected to its source (like a tree, for example) it grows & flourishes, but if it is cut off, it withers and dies. When Man asserts total ownership over an item, he risks separating it from its source, which is G-d, & thus losing it. But by keeping it hidden or covered, he reminds himself that it is not completely his; it comes from G-d & not from us.”
Comment by Simon: The holiest parts of the Mishkan (Holy/Holy of Holies) are also hidden from view. Also worth remembering is the fact that the walls of the Mishkan are taller than the height of the Cohen Gadol, so that the latter will not be seen from outside. All this attests to the unique quality of the Mishkan – tzniut (modesty). In fact, there is one Halachic opinion which holds that in the time of the Third Beit HaMikdash, the Mishkan too will return! This is in keeping with its special and ever-relevant message – walking humbly before God…