by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS B'HAALOS'CHO 5768 BS"D
Ch. 8, v. 2: "El mul pnei ha'menoroh yo'iru shivas ha'neiros" - To across from the face of the candelabrum shall the seven lights illuminate - If the "pnei ha'menoroh" means the middle stem, then only six lights shine towards it. Indeed, Rabbeinu Bachyei says that the intention is that six shine towards the central stem, and "shivas ha'neiros" means that there will be a total of seven that will illuminate when we include the middle one.
However, the Rashbam says that "mul pnei ha'menorah" refers to the item across from the menorah, the curtain dividing between the Holy and the Holy of Holies. It is then simply understood why there are seven lights illuminating. The Riv"o adds that this is a proper explanation based on the opinion in the gemara that the spread of the lamps ran from north to south. According to the opinion that it ran from east to west, "mul pnei ha'menorah" refers to the "shulchon."
Ch. 8, v. 4: "V'zeh maa'sei ha'manorah" - And this is the making of the menorah - Rashi says that Moshe had difficulty in creating the menorah. Since Hashem had already shown him a vision of a fiery menorah, why couldn't he replicate it? Rabbi Shmuel Almosnino says that the difficulty was not in its basic creation, but rather, in the intentions, "kavonos," of each section. "V'zeh" refers to Hashem's teaching him all the "kavonos." Moshav Z'keinim answers that Moshe forgot the fiery vision. A medrash says that Hashem told him to toss the block of gold into fire and a completed menorah emerged, and this is "tei'oseh" of parshas Trumoh, it was made. Another medrash says that Moshe went to Betzaleil for help, and he made it correctly. Moshe wondered how Betzaleil, without a sketch or vision of the menorah was able to do this, and he concluded that Betzaleil was in the "shadow of Keil" when it was shown to Moshe (see gemara Brochos 55).
Ch. 8, v. 4: "V'zeh maa'sei ha'menorah miksheh" - And this is the making of the menorah one piece - The Holy Ark and the tablets that reside there represent the written Torah. The menorah represents the oral Torah. This is the activity of the menorah, to ask kashyos. The Talmud, which is the "Torah sheb'al peh" elucidation of the written Torah, is a series of questions raised by one and answered by another. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 8, v. 19: "V'lo yi'h'yeh bivnei Yisroel negef b'geshes bnei Yisroel el hakodesh" - And there should not be in the bnei Yisroel a plague with the bnei Yisroel's approaching to the holy - There are those who do not involve themselves with holiness, prayer, discussing their lives with a holy person, etc. It is only when they run into trouble, illness, destitution, emotional issues, etc., that they offer a prayer to Hashem and come to a holy person for advice and a blessing. However, the verse (Yeshayohu 56:7) says, "V'havi'osim el har kodshi v'SIMACHTIM b'veis tefilosi," that they should be brought to Hashem's house in JOY. Our verse thus exhorts the bnei Yisroel to not come "el hakodesh" when they experience "negef," but rather, at all times, including when all is well and they are "b'simchoh." (Menachem Tzion)
(An exact translation of "v'simachtim" seems to yield a different point. Even if one comes to "beis tefilosi" when he is upset, Hashem says that He will bring them joy.)
Ch. 10, v. 7: "Uvhakhil es ho'om tis'k'u v'lo sori'u" - And for assembling the nation you shall draw the sound and not sound a staccato - And when the nation is assembled and unified, it will be firmly based (toku'a) and not splintered. (Rabbi Moshe Elyokum Brioh of Kozhnitz)
Ch. 10, v. 29: "Ki Hashem di'beir tov al Yisroel" - Because Hashem has foretold good for the bnei Yisroel - We find the phrase "di'beir tov" in only one other place in Tanach, in Megilas Esther 7:9, "di'beir tov al ha'melech." "Ha'melech" in Megilas Esther refers to Hashem, Who covertly orchestrated the events.
This teaches us that he who speaks positively of the bnei Yisroel is equated to one who speaks positively about Hashem. (Agra D'kala)
Ch. 11, v. 4: "V'ho'asafsuf asher b'kirbo hisavu taavoh" - And the assemblage that was within them lusted a lusting - "Asher b'kirbo" seems to be superfluous. The story is told of a Persian king who prayed to his god that his throat be extended to double its size so that he have the more enduring pleasure of tasting his food for a longer period of time before it would descend to his royal belly. Similarly, the Romans would eat glutinously and when no more could be shoveled into their craw, they would expectorate (vomit) in their regurgetoriums, and would then begin again with a first course, etc.
"Asher b'kirbo hisavu taavoh," they had a great lust for their "kerev," innards. They lusted that it have a greater capacity for more food. (Ben Ish Chai)
Ch. 11, v. 5: "Zocharnu es hadogoh asher NOCHAL b'Mitzrayim chinom" - We remember the fish that we ATE in Egypt unrestricted - Shouldn't the verse have said "asher ochalnu?" The complainers hid in their words a veiled threat. That they were so displeased with the daily fare that they would return to Egypt and would in the future eat fish there again. During another bout of complaining they were so brazen as to even state this overtly, "Nitnoh rosh v'noshuvoh Mitzraymoh."
Moshe took this in his stride and responded that he fully understood their intention. This is why he said, "Ki v'chi'sem b'oznei Hashem LEIMORE," meaning to say, "mi yaachi'leinu bossor ki tov lonu b'eretz Mitzrayim." Your intention is to go back to Egypt. (Ben Ish Chai)
Ch. 11, v. 6: "Bilti el hamon eineinu" - Our eyes only see manna - The Medrash Plioh comments on the words of the previous verse, "Zocharnu es hadogoh," we can derive from this that one should kindle lights for Shabbos. The Chid"o in Chomas Anoch cites the gemara Yoma 74b, that a person does not have satisfaction from food unless he sees it. We all know how different the same food seems when it is presented in an eye-pleasing manner.
The medrash is now well understood. Notwithstanding that the manna could have any taste that a person wanted, visually it still retained the same "pile of coriander seeds" look. Since we are to have "oneg" from our Shabbos food, it is required to have illumination at the meals. (Ben Poras Yoseif)
Ch. 11, v. 21: "Asher onochi b'kirbo" - That I am in their midst - Moshe wondered not about Hashem's ability to deliver the goods, ch"v. Rather, he did as a leader should, he brought their complaint to Hashem, but he was sure their request would be denied. This is because ONOCHI is within the nation. Each and every one of them heard ONOCHI at Har Sinai. He wondered how Hashem would agree to give people who were so elevated, to the level of prophecy, meat, when they had the most spiritual manna at their disposal. (Nirreh li)
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