subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@AOL.COM


Ch. 25, v. 2: "Mei'eis kol ish" - From every man - The M.R. (Vayikroh 1:1, piska 6) says that Moshe was anguished by his not having brought a donation for the Mishkon. Hashem responded by telling him that his words were dearer to Him than the whole Mishkon. Perhaps this can be understood with the dictum "godol ham'a'seh yoseir min ho'o'seh" (gemara B.B. 9a), the one who causes another to act is greater than the one who does the act. Why indeed did Moshe not donate? Since he obviously had a good reason for not donating why was he unhappy afterwards? He knew that there was an exact amount of building materials required. With his donation he might cause another person's donation to not be used. In the end when he saw that there were leftover materials and Hashem wreaked a miracle and all that was donated was incorporated in the Mishkon, he then was pained by not having made a donation. (Rabbi Chanoch Zvi of Bendin in Y'cha'hein P'eir)

Ch. 25, v. 4: "Us'chei'les" - And blue dye - The Tosefta M'nochos 9:6 says that only pigment taken from the "chilozone" is acceptable for dying the Kohein's garments which the Torah says should be "t'chei'les." However, the Rambam in hilchos klei Mikdosh 8:13 does not mention the "chilozone" requirement, only that the colour be that of "t'chei'les." It is only in hilchos tzitzis that he mentions the "chilozone" requirement. The Avnei Neizer O.Ch. #15 writes that the Rambam posits that dye extracted from the "chilozone" should specifically not be used for the priestly garments because the "chilozone" is a non-kosher creature, and the Mishkon/Mikdosh building and the priestly garments have the status of "m'leches shomayim," for which only kosher items may be used. Tzitzis, however, only have the status of "tashmi'shei mitzvoh," a lower level, and therefore a non-kosher item may be used. No doubt, according to the Avnei Neizer the Rambam must have had an earlier source for his position, as the words of the Tosefta contradict him.

There is a gemara that seems to be contrary to both the Rambam and the Avnei Neizer. The gemara Shabbos 74b says that we find the activity of knotting in the preparation of the Mishkon by the trapping of the "chilozone." Nets were created by knotting threads together. (Rashi explains that the "chilozone" was used to dye items that had to have the "t'chei'les" colour.)

The Chasam Sofer in his responsa O.Ch. #39 writes that the non-kosher "chilozone" supplying the pigment for "t'chei'les" does not run afoul of the "m'leches Mishkon" requirement of "ore b'heimoh t'horoh bilvad" ruling (gemara Shabbos 28b). This is because the pigment, once extracted from the "chilozone" is not considered "yotzei min hato'mei." It is considered "ponim chadoshos," a new creation, not retaining any of the previous properties.

However, Rabbeinu Bachyei writes, "We do not find silk used as a Mishkon material because it is an extract of a non-kosher creature, a worm. The gemara (Shabbos 28a) says that the "tachash" must have been a kosher animal, since its hides were used as roof-coverings in the Mishkon. The pigment "tolaas shoni" is not an extract from a worm, but rather from seeds that have these worms in them."

We see from his words that not only the actual material of the Mishkon components, but even the pigments, which end up being only colouring, also require a kosher source. Tosfos on the gemara Kidushin 56b d.h. "mina'yon" deals with this issue. Rabbeinu Bachyei might posit like the Avnei Neizer's understanding of the Rambam, that "t'chei'les" for "m'leches shomayim" is not from a "chilozone."

Another possibility is that the "chilozone" itself is kosher. Even though sea creatures are clearly not kosher, as per the verse in Vayikroh 11:10, the Rava"d in his preface to Sefer Ha'y'tziroh, nsivos 32 nsiv 8 writes that he does not know if the "chilozone" is a sea creature or a sea plant, since it is alive and moves, but always remains in the same place, implanted in the base of the sea. It seems that he posits that the "chilozone" is a sea anemone. This is clearly not the position of those who prohibit the use of the "chilozone" for the priestly garments, but is a possible explanation for Rabbeinu Bachyei's excluding pigment from a non-kosher source, and not mentioning that the "chilozone" is a problem.

Ch. 25, v. 11: "V'osiso OLOV zeir zohov" - And you shall make UPON it a tiara of gold - There is an ornamental crown of gold on the showbread table (verse 24) and the inner golden altar (30:3) as well. However, by these two the Torah says, "v'osiso LO." Rashi in each of these verses says that the crown represents the symbolic concept of that object, the Holy Ark's crown - the crown of Torah, the showbread table's - the crown of kingship, and the inner altar's, - the crown of priesthood. Since the crown of Torah ascends higher than the other two (Pirkei Ovos 6:6) the Torah uses the word OLOV. (Rabbi Yitzchok Uziel)

Ch. 25, v. 11: "Zeir zohov" - A tiara of gold - The gemara Yoma 72b says that the word "zeir" is spelled without the letter Yud in the middle, allowing for the reading "zor," a stranger. Rabbi Yochonon derives from this that if a person merits to learn the Torah properly, then it becomes a crown for him. If he learns it without the proper intentions then it is "zor," a stranger, i.e. he forgets it easily.

Sefer Chasidim #958 writes that there was a man who had two sons who both wanted to learn Torah and asked their father for financial support. One son had a very sharp mind but was lacking in "yiras shomayim." It was likely that the Torah knowledge he would amass would just make him haughty. The second son was not as scholastically gifted, but was a "yo'rei shomayim." He had enough income to support only one son. Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid advised him to support the learning of the son who had "yiras shomayim."

Ch. 26, v. 28: "V'habriach hatichone b'soch hakroshim" - And the middle rod inside the beams - This is the common translation, meaning that the pole which was placed in the center position, "hatichon," was also placed into the middle, "b'soch," of all the beams. A hole was drilled into all the beams and the "briach hatichon" ran through the middle of all the poles.

However, the Ralba"g and Yo'ir, a commentator on Targum Onkelos, say that "b'soch" simply means that it was the middle pole in that there was a pole running above it and a pole running below it. The "briach hatichon" was kept in place by running through half rings attached to the outside of the beams, just like the upper and lower rods. They add that "b'soch" here means the same as "b'sochom" by the "paamonim" and "rimonim" (Shmos 28:32), which they say means alternating "paamonim" and "rimonim," and not that "paamonim" were placed inside the "rimonim." I do not know why there is a double expression of "tichon" and "b'soch" in our verse according to them. Any help would be appreciated.

Ch. 26, v. 32: "Al arbo'oh amu'dei shitim" - On four pillars of acacia wood - The cloth partition that divided between the Holy and the Holy of Holies hung from four pillars, while the cloth partition that served as a privacy screen for the entry to the Mishkon hung from five pillars (verse 37). The Chizkuni offers that the inner partition hung from a horizontal pole that was not only supported by the freestanding four pillars, but also by the walls of the Mishkon, hence there was ample support. The outer partition hung from the five poles but had no additional support at the ends because it was located outside the building. Therefore there was a need for additional support in the form of a fifth pillar. He opposes this opinion since Rashi says that the horizontal pole hung from hooks that were attached to the pillars.

Since the horizontal pole did not sit on top of the pillars and the walls, the walls played no role in support. (As well, we would still have to explain why the inner curtain was supported by six uprights, and the outer curtain by only five.)

He therefore explains the difference in the number of pillars by saying that the five outer pillars were placed into such a position that the two end ones were placed in line with the northern and southern walls, and only three pillars stood across from the Mishkon's opening. A large space between pillars was necessary because there were numerous entries by the Kohanim daily, so a minimum of obstruction is preferable. (It seems that the Chizkuni posits that besides entry through the space between the curtain and the wall of the Mishkon, the Kohanim would also enter by lifting up the curtain itself.) The Holy of Holies was only entered on Yom Kippur, and only by Aharon. Because there was such infrequent traffic there was no problem with having narrower spaces between the inner pillars.

(The Chizkuni obviously feels that the end pillars inside the Mishkon did not stand against the walls.)



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

Back to This Week's Parsha | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to
Jerusalem, Israel