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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 2: "V'yikchu li trumoh" - And they shall take for Me an elevated donation - Rabbi S.R. Hirsch explains that a donation that is given for a holy purpose has the appellation "trumoh," meaning elevation. The person who offers it becomes elevated by involving himself in the elevated purpose.

This might give us a new insight into why the Torah expresses the "giving" as "taking." The person gives the donation, but more importantly, he "takes" back the great benefit that he becomes elevated. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 25, v. 2: "Mei'eis kol ish asher yidvenu libo" - From each man whose heart will be charitable - Note that the verse does not say "yidvenu l'VoVo." This would mean that both components of his heart would be charitable, similar to the insight into "V'ohavto eis Hashem Elokecho b'chol l'VoVcho," from which we derive that one should serve Hashem with both his positive and negative inclinations. Here there will be no negative inclination driving one to donate, as there are no plaques hanging from different Mishkon components or priestly apparel. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 25, v. 5: "Vaatzei shitim" - And acacia wood - According to the Medrash Tanchuma that Yaakov brought these trees to Egypt when he descended there to live, the bnei Yisroel brought them out at the exodus. The trees traversed the Yam Suf with them. The word "shitim" can be read as, "shot yam," it swam through the sea. (Rabbeinu Yoel)

R'i ibn Sho'ib writes that Odom took them out of "Gan Eden" and passed them on to Avrohom. (Obviously there were more people in between, as Odom died in 930 and Avrohom was not born until 1948.) Avrohom passed them on to Yitzchok, to Yaakov, and Yaakov took them down to Egypt.

Ch. 25, v. 5,6: "Vaatzei shitim, Shemen la'mo'ore b'somim" - And acacia wood, Oil for illuminating spices - Where did the bnei Yisroel get all of the materials required for the Mishkon building, the Kohanim's clothes, and the oil and spices? Although the Medrash Tanchuma #9 says that the beams were brought down to Egypt by Yaakov, nevertheless, it is quite unlikely that the bnei Yisroel marched right past the Egyptians with colossal beams and all the other materials in such great amounts under the guise of going for a three day jaunt into the desert to serve Hashem with sacrifices. We must therefore say that there was a forest in the desert from which they procured the wood. (Ibn Ezra, who only asks about the wood and answers accordingly.)

We might say that the Egyptians were so involved in the mass death of their firstborn and family heads that they had no mind left to check the travel documents and baggage of the bnei Yisroel.

Baalei Tosfos suggest that the "shitim" trees were found in the desert in the place called "Shitim," which received its name from the abundance of this type of tree that was indigenous there.

The Abarbanel assumes that there were many merchants who traversed the desert, and the bnei Yisroel purchased the required items from them. This seems to be a bit problematic as once the bnei Yisroel were apprised of the requisite materials they brought them most promptly, making it quite unlikely that there were merchants who had exactly these items at hand and just at that time.

Ch. 25, v. 6: "B'somim l'shemen hamish'choh v'liktorres hasamim" - Spices for oil of anointing and for burning the incense - One could misunderstand this phrase and believe that spices were to be used for both the anointing oil and for the burning of incense. However, this is incorrect. Only incense materials were used in the "k'torres," not spices. Read these words as: "Spices for oil of anointing, and "samim" for the "k'torres," with the words "samim" and "v'liktorres" switched around. (Chizkuni)

Ch. 25, v. 24: "V'tzipiso oso zohov tohor mibayis umichutz" - And you shall clad it with pure gold on its inside and outside - Other vessels of the Mishkon also required cladding of gold, but the Torah does not say anywhere else, "mibayis umichutz." We can derive from this that the other vessels were only coated with gold on their visible side. For example the showbread table was not covered with gold on the underside of the table- top. However, all round spindles and dowels were coated all around. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)

Ch. 25, v. 34: "Uvam'noroh arbo'oh g'viim m'shukodim kafto'rehoh ufrochehoh" - And in the menoroh four goblets ornamented its buttons and its flowers - Rashi comments (gemara Yoma 52b) that we do not have a clarity if the word "ornamented" refers back to the goblets, or forward to the buttons and flowers. He also says that this is one of five phrases in the Torah which have this lack of clarity. Since it is Rashi's intention to clarify the verse for us, why doesn't he comment by the other four places as well? Tosfos on the gemara d.h. "S'eis" says that if there were a clear indication of where a phrase ends and another begins by virtue of the cantillation, "trop," we would have no doubt. (It seems that his intention is that although we have"trop" to clarify these doubts, the author of this statement, Isi ben Yehudoh, was in doubt as to the "trop.") Rashi explains the Torah as we have it, with our "trop." In all four of the other instances the "trop" clarifies the doubt, so, even though Isi ben Yehudoh was in doubt, the reader of the text with our "trop" will have no doubt, hence no need to raise a doubt in understanding those verse, as they are clarified. Here, however, we have a "comma equivalent," a "trop" that indicates a stop, both on the word "g'viim," and "m'shukodim," so "m'shukodim" can go either way. (Elaboration on Nefesh Yehudoh)

(It should be noted that an "esnachta" is a greater comma than a "zokeif koton," but there still is room for doubt.) We might offer another explanation for Rashi's only dealing with this issue here, again based on the words of the previously mentioned Tosfos. He raises the question of why we don't say that the word in doubt flows with before and forward, as the gemara interprets other verses that way. He answers that by every instance save "m'shukodim," both are untenable, as there would be a contradiction. We might then say that Rashi expected us to deduce the contradiction in the four other cases, and we would be left with a doubt as to whether the word is the end of the previous phrase of the beginning of the next. This didn't bother Rashi, as even Isi ben Yehudoh was also in doubt. Here by "m'shukodim," where both interpretations can live in harmony, as the cups, buttons, and flowers of the menorah could theoretically all be ornamented, Rashi bothers to tell us that it is not so, but rather, either "m'shukodim" describes only the "g'viim," or only the "kaftorim" and "prochim." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 26, v. 31: "V'ossiso foroches" - And you shall make a curtain - This was the curtain that was hung at the entrance to the Mishkon. No mention is made in our parsha of the curtain to be used as a divider between the Holy and the Holy of Holies. However, in parshas Va'yakheil we find Moshe commanding the people to create this curtain (35:12). When the Torah recounts the items Betzal'eil created, again this curtain is omitted, as well as the list of items brought by the public, where it is also omitted. By Hashem's command to erect the Mishkon this curtain is mentioned (40:3), although there is no mention of what materials it is to be made, nor the thread thickness. This is most puzzling. We can assume that there was a "kal vochomer" to create it. If the outer entrance to the Mishkon deserved a curtain, which would provide privacy, surely the Holy of Holies deserved a curtain. This curtain was created by women, as we find in the "krovetz" for Purim in the stanza that begins with the word "chein." "T'cheiles yodoh asos lig'u'lei Keil." (Meishiv Nefesh - Rabbi Yochonon Luria)

Ch. 26, v. 35: "V'samto es hashulchon michutz laporoches v'es ham'noroh nochach hashulchon al tzela hamishkon teimonoh v'hashulchon ti'tein al tzela tzofone" - And you shall place the table outside the curtain and the menorah across from the table on the south flank of the Mishkon and the table you shall place on the north flank - The placement of the table is interrupted by the placing of the menorah. The verse begins by telling us that the table be placed outside the curtain. Then the placement of the menorah across from the table, whose exact location is not yet stated, on the south side, and then a continuation of the details of the table, that it be put on the north side. Why this intervention? This is to teach us that one should not first pursue his livelihood (symbolized by the table), and then see what spiritual resources are available there. Rather the exact placement of the menorah (symbolizing the Torah) comes first, and then the livelihood. (Sheiris Yaakov)

(see Sefer Chinuch mitzvoh #360)

Ch. 27, v. 1: "Amos Rochav ROVU'A Yi'h'yeh Hamizbei'ach" - Cubits wide square shall the altar be - The gemara Yoma 21 says that the altar in the first Beis Hamikdosh had a heavenly fire descend upon it in the shape of a crouching lion. These two points are alluded to in these words of our verse. The first letters of these words, save "rovua," spell "ARYeH," and ROVU'A in Aramaic means crouching, "roveitz" in Loshon Hakodesh. (Sifsei Chein)

Ch. 27, v. 1: "V'sholosh amos komoSO" - And three cubits its height - Note that by the depth and width measurements, 5 by 5, the verse just states the number of cubits, and does not add ITS by either depth or width. The reason is that in the future, in the two Botei Mikdosh, the depth and width will be increased, 32 by 32, but the height will remain the same, hence ITS. (Rabbi S.R. Hirsch)

It seems that this explanation is only consistent with the second opinion cited by Rashi, as the opinion that 3 cubits are to be taken literally as the total height, the altars of the Botei Mikdosh were 10 cubits high according to everyone.



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

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