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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 2: "V'yikchu li trumoh" - The Baal Haturim writes that the bnei Yisroel were commanded to take trumoh. Trumoh that is a tithe of produce is usually 1/50th (mishneh Trumos 4:3). The sanctified area of the Temple Mount was 50 cubits squared, or 25,000 cubits (mishneh Midos 2:1). The trumoh that was to be taken here was also 1/50th, as the Mishkon would be surrounded by a sanctified area of 100 by 50 cubits (Shmos 27:18), or 5,000 cubits, 1/50th the area of the Temple Mount. As well, the Baal Haturim on the words "v'rochav chamishim bachamishim" (27:18) says that the repetition of the word "chamishim" does not mean that the open space in front of the Mishkon was 50 by 50 cubits, as Rashi says, but rather, that the total area of 100 cubits length by 50 cubits width mentioned in this verse is 1/50th the sanctified area of the future Temple Mount.

Ch. 25, v. 2: "Li trumoh .. asher yidvenu libo tikchu es trumosi" - The three levels of givers are mentioned here, from the highest level down. "Li trumoh" refers to the person who simply gives for My sake, because Hashem said to do so. The next level is "asher yidvenu libo." This person gives because his heart pains him to see someone in dire straits. There is a component of alleviating one's own pain which motivates to donate. The lowest level is "tikchu es trumosi," when fund collectors take from the donour, and he gives against his will, motivated only by shame. (Nachalas Chamishoh)

Ch. 25, v. 8: "V'ossu li Mikdosh v'shochanti b'sochOM" - Commentators explain why the verse doesn't say "v'shochanti b'sochO," in it, in the Mikdosh. "B'sochOM" means in THEM. A well-known answer is that upon creating the Sanctuary, Hashem will rest in the hearts of all the bnei Yisroel, hence the plural form.

This answer is understood in depth with a mathematical insight given by Rabbi Yehoshua Heller in Ohel Yehoshua drush #1, section 12, preface #7. He finds 613 components that make up the Mishkon. He explains the word "b'sochom" by saying that just as there are 613 mitzvos that correspond to the 613 organs and sinews of a persons body, and with the fulfillment of all the 613 mitzvos sanctity is brought into all parts of one's body, as is written in Bmidbar 15:40, "vaasi'sem es kol mitzvosoy vi'h'yi'sem k'doshim lEilokeichem" (see Shaar Hakdushoh by Rabbi Chaim Vi'tal), so too, upon building the Mishkon, which is made up of 613 components, Hashem's Sanctity will enter the bnei Yisroel's 613 organs and sinews.

Rabbi Heller's list of Mishkon components:

- 48 wall beams, 20 for the south wall, 20 for the north wall, 8 for the west wall

- 100 foundation blocks, 2 each for the 48 wall beams, 4 for the poles that held up the curtain that stood before the Holy of Holies
- 10 sheets of linen, "t'chei'les" wool, "argomon," and scarlet, that made up the lowest roof covering
- 100 "t'chei'les" loops, 50 on the lip of each of the two sections of roof covering
- 50 gold hooks for attaching the two sections of roof covering
- 11 sheets of goat hide that made up the roof covering above the cloth covering
- 100 loops, as above
- 50 copper hooks, as above
- 15 cross beam supports, 5 for each side
- 96 rings attached to the 48 wall beams, 2 per beam, through which the cross beam supports run
- 1 curtain that divides between the Holy and the holy of Holies
- 4 gold clad wooden poles from which the curtain hangs
- 4 gold curtain hangers, hooks which hold the curtain in place
- 1 covering for the entry to the Mishkon
- 5 poles from which this covering hangs
- 5 copper foundation blocks for the 5 poles
- 5 gold curtain hangers, hooks which hold the covering in place
- 1 Holy Ark
- 1 Holy Ark lid. This is considered a separate item as there is an extra command "v'osiso" (25:17) for its creation.
- 1 pair of cherubim. This is again considered "one" separate item as there is yet another command "v'osiso" (25:18) for its creation.
- 1 show-bread table
- 1 candelabrum
- 1 incense altar, "mizbach hazohov"
- 1 sacrificial altar, "mizbach hanchoshes"
- 1 laver and its base

Please note that not everyone agrees with this calculation. For example, The gemara Shabbos 98b says that the central cross beam support was one continuous pole, and not three poles, one for each wall. Rashi says that there was a horizontal curtain rod, "klonos," attached to the top of the 4 poles to which the "poroches" was attached (26:32). Perhaps this is not to be counted because this horizontal pole is not mentioned in the Torah. Rashbam says that there were 5 cross beam supports on the outside of each of the three walls, besides the middle support beam, and that in turn there were 5 rings for these beams attached to each of the 48 wall beams (26:26). It also seems that Rabbi Heller left out 47 square or rectangular support rings that attached the wall beams one to the next on top (26:24). As well, it seems that coverings of rams' hide and "tachash" hide (26:14) are left out. Any help with these last omissions would be greatly appreciated.

Another explanation of "b'sochOM": The Breisa of maseches Midos #3 says that Hashem told Moshe that his tribe of Levi would have an honour parallel to that of Hashem. Just as Hashem has four groups of constellations on each side of His Holy Throne, so too, the bnei Levi will have four groups surrounding the Sanctuary, Aharon and his sons to the east, the descendants of K'hos to the south, the descendants of M'rori to the north, and the descendants of Gershon to the west. Thus, upon having the sanctuary built, Hashem will rest within THEM, within the four Levite groups.

Ch. 26, v. 6: "V'hoyoh haMishkon echod" - The lowest layer of roofing was called Mishkon. It was made of ten sections of material, five sewn together, and another five sewn together. On the lips of the five-section sheets 50 loops were sewn, and interlocking hooks were used to join them. At this point the Mishkon, the lowest layer of roofing material, became one. The Meshech Chochmoh suggests that "v'hoyoh echod" is to be understood as a command that it remain one, that the hooks should never be removed, even upon disassembly of the Mishkon and transport.

Ch. 26, v. 19: "Adnei chesef taa'seh" - The silver used for the foundation socket blocks was from donations of of a shekel given by each person, no more and no less. The word "adonim," - foundation socket blocks, literally means MASTERS. Perhaps because the donation for this Mishkon component was equal for each person there was no room for one-upmanship. As well, the "adonim" were used at the base of the Mishkon, a physically low position. Both of these points are indicators of being humble. This trait truly elevates a person, making him a true ODONE, a master over his character development.

Ch. 26, v. 24: "V'yi'h'yu so'amim .. yi'h'yu samim" - Rashi explains that "so'amim" and "samim" mean the same, that each beam be a duplicate of the other from bottom to top. Rabbeinu Gershom Mo'or Hagoloh on the gemara Chulin 17b says that from TAMIM we derive that the wall beams should be complete; that the wood should not be scratched or chipped. Perhaps this is why it was required that the wall beams be covered with gold even on the outside (verse 29), even though on the outside it would not be appreciated since the goat skin covers totally covered them when erected. However there would be the fear of the beams getting chipped upon assembly, disassembly, and loading and unloading them for transport.

Ch. 26, v. 24: "V'yachdov" - The Rokei'ach points out that the word "yachdov" is spelled without a Yud after the Dalet. He differentiates between this word appearing with a Yud and without. With a Yud it means that two or more things are "united," the same, in some aspect. In our case it would have meant that the wall beams are replicas of each other. However, since the word "yachdov" lacks a Yud after the Dalet, "yachdov" means that it is the same as itself, singular. He explains that this is an indication for the opinion in the gemara Shabbos 98b that the beams had the same width dimensions from bottom to top, and did not narrow down to a finger breadth's thickness at the top, the opposing opinion in the gemara.

The Baal Haturim says the exact opposite. He finds the word "yachdov" here and in Yeshayohu 31:3, "V'yachdov kulom yichloyun." He says that this teaches us that just as there the verse says that they will come to an end, so too, the beams narrow from a one cubit thickness to a one finger breadth's thickness.

Ch. 26, v. 24: "El hatabaas ho'echos" - Rashi says that this refers to the square/rectangular rings that were pressed down into grooves cut into the tops of the wall beams. This added sturdiness to the structure and assured that the tops of the beams would be perfectly aligned, not leaning in and out. Although the Rokei'ach agrees with Rashi that there were such rings, he says that "el hatabaas ho'echos" refers to the depth of the rings. They went down to the level of the top ring, "el hatabaas ho'echos," that held the cross beam.

Ch. 26, v. 29: "V'es hakroshim t'tza'peh zohov" - The Rokei'ach writes that he heard from his teacher that the gold cladding was not form fitting over the wall beams. Although the cladding hugged the beam on almost all sides, on the side that the cross beam poles' rings went, the gold cladding was distanced from the wooden beams, allowing for space for the rings that held the cross beams in place. This would make the cross beams and rings hidden from view, allowing for a clean smooth look for the wall beams even on the outside. It would seem that there were 2 holes in each gold covering for each cross beam pole, a total of ten holes per beam if we combine this Rokei'ach with the Rashbam who posits that there were 5 parallel rows of exterior crossbeams.

Rashi on our verse d.h. "v'tzipiso" clearly states that the cross beam rings were attached to the outside and both the cross beams and the rings were visible. There seems to be no real esthetic problem with the beams and rings showing, as when assembly was complete the goatskin covers of the Mishkon covered them.

Ch. 27, v. 10: "Vachashukei'hem" - Rashi explains that these were silver threads that were attached to the pillars that held the cloth walls of the courtyard in place. Rashi adds that he does not know if the threads wound around the pillars from top to bottom, or only on top, or only in the middle. The N'tzi"v asks that this is most puzzling, as the verse clearly states "vachashukei'hem kesef v'tzipuy roshei'hem kosef v'heim m'chushokim kesef," (Shmos 38:17). He offers no answer. An answer will be offered next week.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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