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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 4: "Us'chei'les" - Rashi says that this is wool that is coloured with the extract of the "chilozon" and its colour is "yorok." We have mentioned in an earlier issue that "yorok" can be one of numerous colours. Ibn Ezra cites the opinion of Yefes that "t'chei'les" is a blackish colour. This seems to be the opinion of Rashi at the end of parshas Shlach, where he says that "tzitzis" strands are similar in colour to the sky at night. Perhaps the added chemicals used in the colouring process of "t'chei'les" for "tzitzis" gives the finished product a different hue than the items used in the Mikdosh.

Ch. 25, v. 4: "V'argomon" - Rashi seems to say that this is a unique colour, called "argomon." However, the Ralba"g says that it is a reddish colour, more intensely red than "tolaas shoni."

Ch. 25, v. 4: "V'solaas shoni" - And scarlet wool - The word "tolaas" is used because the seeds from which the red pigment is extracted is infested by worms. Some say that the worms were discarded and only the seeds were ground up, as we do not use non-kosher products in creating the Mikdosh. Others say that the worms were also used. Perhaps they posit that colour, which is not tangible may be taken from a non-kosher source. (This may not be done for ink used in writing sta"m or for paint for tefillin straps or batim.)

Some translate "tolaas shoni" as scarlet silk. Here again we have the issue of threads from a non-kosher source, something more substantial than colour. Perhaps they posit that the silk thread is not considered part of the silkworm, similar to the ruling of honey from a bee.

Ch. 25, v. 4: "V'sheish" - And flax - We find the word "bad" used for flax as well. Minchoh V'luloh says that when the thread is a single strand of flax then the word "bad" is used. This is appropriate because "bad" likewise means "single." When multiple thread are spun together or folded to create a six-fold strand the word "sheish" is used.

Ch. 25, v. 4: "V'izim" - And goats - The hair of goats was used for panels that served as roofing. This was not the very stiff hair, but rather, a layer of fine hair found at the base of the stiffer hair. Alternatively, this was not hair at all, but the eider plumage of the bird "oznioh." Similarly, in Bmidbar 31:20, "kol maa'sei izim" refers to items created from the plumage of an "oznioh."

Although this is the opinion of some Rishonim, a number of issues deserve clarification.

1) How can panels made of feathers be suitable for roof covers?

2) Why don't we have the restriction against using materials whose source is a non-kosher creature?

3) If the intention of our verse is material taken from an "oznioh" why does the verse leave out the letter Nun from its name and say "izim," which surely is the word for goats?

Ch. 25, v. 10: "V'ossu aron" - And they shall make an ark - This is the only vessel for which the Torah gives us no function or benefit. For example, the Torah tells us that the menorah will illuminate the show-bread table, the altar will give a pleasing aroma to Hashem through the sacrifices, the golden altar etc. Since the ark with the holy tablets it contains represents the Torah itself, this is well understood. One is not to pursue Torah study, nor perform mitzvos with the intention of receiving reward. Every letter of the Alef-Beis is present in this chapter except the letter Gimel, which represents "gmul," reward. The mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 4:2 says that the reward of a mitzvoh is a mitzvoh. Thus by doing the mitzvoh of creating a proper aron we have a mitzvoh as its reward. This completes the Alef-Beis. The mitzvoh is the "gmul." (Kli Yokor)

Ch. 25, v. 11: "V'tzipiso oso zohov tohor mibayis umichutz" - And you shall clad it with pure gold on the inside and on the outside - The aron represents the Torah scholar. He is to be given sufficient funds by the community to honourably support himself at home, "mibayis," as well as proper clothing etc., so that he is honourably dressed when in the public eye, "umichutz." (Beis haLevi)

Ch. 25, v. 15: "Lo yosuru mi'menu" - they should not be removed from them - The Holy Ari z"l writes that homiletically, this refers to a student being continuously connected to his teacher. For a student to be successful in his studies he should picture the image of his teacher in his mind.

We find in Yehoshua 1:7 "Rak chazak ve'emotz m'ode lishmor laasos k'chol haTorah asher tzivcho Moshe avdi al tosur mi'menU." Since the end of the verse is stating that Yehoshua not turn away from the Torah mentioned earlier in the verse, the gender suffix Vov is not gender consistent. According to the words of the Holy Ari z"l we can say that "al tosur mi'menU" means do not turn away from HIM, from Moshe, as one is to constantly keep his teacher in his mind. (Chid"o in Pnei Dovid)

Ch. 25, v. 19: "Va'a'sei kruv" - And fashion a cherub -The verse begins in the singular, but ends in the plural form, "taasU es hakruvim." Why?

Ch. 25, v. 19: "Taasu es hakruvim" - Shall you make the cherubs - Children who study Torah have the advantage of being able to involve themselves in this pursuit without disruption of family and financial responsibilities. As well, their Torah study is pure and untainted, as per the gemara Shabbos 119b. This is why Hashem only gave us the Torah after the children were given as surety, as per the verse "Mipi ol'lim v'yonkim yisadto oze" (T'hilim 8:3). It is this pure Torah of children that serves as a protection against evil edicts, as the verse concludes, "miyad oyeiv umisna'keim."

Mishlei 25:15 says, "V'loshon rakoh t'sha'ber go'rem," the voice that is soft breaks a bone." This alludes to the soft sweet voice of youngsters who study Torah. "T'sha'ber" is an acronym for "Tinokos Shel Beis Rabon." They "GoReM," Gzeiros Ro'os M'vatlim."

This is why forms of children are placed directly above the "luchos," representative of the Torah. They are "porsei chnofayim l'maloh." They spread out their wings of protection. This is why in verse 21 we find the statement to place the kaporres onto the ark and then place the Holy Tablets inside (which requires an explanation since it seems impossible to do it in this order). It is symbolic of placing the education of our children above all other Torah study considerations. Their pure Torah is our greatest protection. (Tzror Hamor)

Ch. 25, v. 20: "Ufnei'heM iSH eL ochiV" - And their faces are one to another - The final letters of this word form "MiSHeLO," from his. A person has to look at his friend and be aware of his needs. Then he should give "mishelo," of himself, be it financial help, advice, a caring ear, etc. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 25, v. 23: "V'osiso shulchon" - And you shall make a table - The next item is the creation of a menorah (verse 31). The gemara M'nochos 86 says that the table is to be placed in the north side of the Mikdosh, while the menorah is to be placed in the south side. The gemara B.B. 25b similarly says that one who wishes to become wise should position himself facing slightly southward, i.e. he connects himself mentally with the wisdom of Torah, which emanates from the menorah. If one wishes to become wealthy he should face slightly northward, towards the position of the show-bread table in the Mikdosh, from which emanates parnosoh.

The verse in Koheles 1:6 says, "Holeich el dorome v'soveiv el tzofone soveiv soveiv holeich horuach v'al svivosov shov horuach." Literally, this means that a wind blows to the south but turns bit by bit northwards and through this path the wind completes its cycle. However, the Holy Chofetz Chaim says that it alludes to the above. A person's soul is called "ruach." It is sent to this world to pursue spirituality, wisdom of the Torah. This is "holeich el dorome." However, once here and taking notice of the perceived material advantages it slowly turns to the north, to "shulchon" pursuits. It turns and turns to the point that it has forsaken spiritual activities. Because of this it has not fulfilled its task and must sometimes return to this world, "v'shov horuach."



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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