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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 2: "V'yikchu LI" - Rashi says that Li indicates "LISHMI," for the sake of My (Hashem's) name. The Rebbe Reb Heshel explains this Rashi as follows:

The gemara Brochos 63a asks, "Why does the Torah juxtapose the chapter of the Sotoh next to the chapter of tithing (Bmidbar 5:5-31)? This teaches us that one who is lax in meeting his obligations of giving the prescribed items to the Kohein, such as Trumoh etc., will be forced to come to the Kohein with his wife for the Sotoh infidelity clarification process."

We know that included in the procedure is the erasure of Hashem's Holy Name (Bmidbar 5:23). If people will not hold back their donations, then there will be no need to come to the Kohein with one's wife who is a Sotoh, and My Holy Name need not be erased, hence the donations are LISHMI, for the betterment of My Holy Name.

Ch. 25, v. 3: "Zohov voCHESEF u'n'choshes" - Rashi says that although all other materials mentioned came as a voluntary donation, the silver that was used to create the base sockets for the wall beams was obligatory and was a set amount for each person (35:25,26). He ends by saying that silver donations were used for making vessels of servitude. The Sifsei Chachomim says that Rashi added this comment so that we can say that there was silver given as a voluntary donation.

The Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos #20 and #33 says that there is a mitzvoh to donate materials for vessels of gold, silver, etc., not only for the items mentioned in this parsha but also for OTHER VESSELS, "v'zulosom." To what does this refer? Perhaps the Rambam felt that since silver was mentioned among the materials DONATED for the Mishkon, this should be taken literally. Others say that since this verse lists materials for the Mishkon, silver was included, although it was not a voluntary donation. The Rambam seems to posit that silver was truly a voluntary donation, used for vessels such as pans for receiving the blood of slaughtered sacrifices.

Rashi also mentions this in the end of our verse, but does not say that this is considered a donation to the buiding of the mishkon. Perhaps he considers these as necessary vessels, appurtenances, but not part and parcel of the mitzvoh of erecting the Mishkon, contrary to the above-mentioned explanation of the Sifsei Chachomim.

This could similarly explain why no one says that the silver which was voluntarily donated was used for the hooks, binders, and caps of the pillars which were part of the fencing around the Mishkon courtyard (27:10,11 and 38:17), as they are not considered part of building the Mishkon.

Ch. 25, v. 8: "V'shochanti" - And I will reside - This word is spelled Vov-Shin-Ches-Nun-Tof-Yud. The Baal Haturim says that this word can be broken into two parts, spelling "V'SHoCHaN Tof-Yud," and He will reside for 410 (years), the length of time of the existence of the first Beis Hamikdosh. As well these same letters can spell "V'SHeiNI Tof-Kof," and the second (Beis Hamikdosh) 420 (years), the length of time of the existence of the second Beis Hamikdosh.

25:9 "K'chole asher ani ma'reh os'cho ...... v'chein taasu" - Rashi says that "v'chein taasu" tells us that for all generations the form of the Sanctuary and the form of its vessels should remain the same. The Ramban asks that we find that King Shlomo made an altar of different dimensions and that there were numerous other changes such as the altar of King Shlomo was not covered with copper plating. He disagrees with Rashi and says that "v'chein taasu" is an exhortation to build the Sanctuary with alacrity.

1) Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrachi answers Rashi by saying that "doing the same" means to keep similar proportions and similar forms, which indeed was the case in the permanent Sanctuary, the Beis Hamikdosh.

2) The Gur Aryeh answers Rashi by saying that "v'chein taasu" refers only to movable items. The altar was affixed to the ground.

3) The Chasam Sofer in his responsa Y.D. #236 interprets the verse differently. Although "v'chein taasu" means "and so shall you do in all future generations," but this refers to the words at the beginning of this verse, "K'chole asher ani ma'reh os'cho." Just as you, Moshe, will have all items of the Mishkon created to the specifications that I show you while you are on the mountain, so also in future generations shall all Sanctuaries and their appurtenances be created as per the prophetic vision that I will communicate to them.

Ch. 25, v. 15: "B'tabose ho'orone y'h'yu habadim lo yosuru mi'menu" - The gemara Yoma 72a says that we derive from our verse that if one removes the poles from the Holy Ark he has transgressed a negative precept and is lashed. This is mentioned in the Rambam hilchos klei hamikdosh 2:13.

It would seem logical to assume that this transgression is similar to most other transgressions in that once it has been done the sin is completed and is not being continuously transgressed until the poles are replaced. However, the Ritv"o in his commentary on the gemara Makos 21b says otherwise.

The gemara says that one can plow a furrow and in this one act transgress eight sins, each of which is punishable by lashes. The gemara asks that there is the possibility of another sin taking place at the same time if while plowing he transgresses "lo yosuru mi'menu." The Ritv"o writes that the person had already removed the poles from the Holy Ark and had now placed them into the plow as handles and is actively plowing. Every moment that he has not returned the poles to their proper place is a separate sin. He probably explains the case in this manner to give the logistics of how the poles were removed and reached a field where one could plow, obviously a distance from the Mikdosh.

The Oruch L'neir strongly disagrees, saying that the moment the poles were removed the sin was done and completed, thus having nothing to do with the plowing which took place later. Instead he offers that the Holy Ark was carried past the field where the plowing was taking place (perhaps on the way to a war site) and the person who was plowing knocked the poles out of their rings with his plow.

Perhaps an allusion to the opinion of the Ritv"o is found in our verse. It says both "B'tabose ho'orone y'h'yu habadim," and "lo yosuru mi'menu." Could not the second expression have sufficed, saying "lo yosuru min hatabo'ose?" Perhaps the first part of the verse teaches us the guidelines of the negative precept in the second half of the verse. "Do not remove the poles from it," and not only do you transgress when removing them but also every moment that they are still out of their proper place as well, since the verse says "B'tabose ho'orone y'h'yu habadim."

Does one transgress "lo yosuru" by removing only one pole? The Rambam in hilchos klei hamikdosh 2:13 says that one receives lashes for removing even one pole. Commentators ask how the Rambam derives this since the wording of the verse indicates removal of both by use of the plural form, "lo YOSURU." Again with the point just made this might be answered. The words "B'tabose ho'orone y'h'yu habadim," if used as a guideline for the sin of "lo yosuru" also teaches us that "Y'H'YU," - they should BOTH remain in their rings. Thus if even one is removed, the sin has been transgressed.

It would seem according to this that if one pole has already been removed, the removal of the second pole is not prohibited. There is a disagreement among halachic authorities on this point.

Ch. 25, v. 18: "V'osiso shnayim K'RUVIM" - Rashi says that the k'ruvim had the faces of children. In Breishis 3:24 on the words "es haK'RUVIM" Rashi says that they were angels of destruction. Why the change in meaning of the word K'RUVIM?

When they are connected to the Torah, the Ten Commandments etched into the tablets housed in the Holy Ark, they remain innocent young children. When not connected to the Torah, they turn into angels of destruction. (Rabbi M. M. Epstein Baal Oruch Hashulchon)

See Rashi's commentary on the word K'RUVIM in 26:1 where he says that they are the embroidered form of a lion and an eagle and in 26:31 where he says that they are the embroidered form of creatures.

Ch. 26, v. 28: "V'habriach hatichone" - The Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that the central connecting pole which ran through the inside of the wall beams was one continuous pole. It ran inside three walls and took two 90 degree turns as a snake would flex. This miracle is also mentioned in the gemara Shabbos 98b. The Breisoh M'leches Hamishkon disagrees and posits that the central pole was actually three separate poles, one for each wall, sans miracles.

The Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that the length of this single pole was 70 amos. This is most puzzling. The length of the north and south flanks of the Mishkon was 30 amos each. The length of the western wall was 10 amos. These lengths total 70 amos. However, since the thickness of all walls was one amoh, the following must be added to the length. There is an extention into the thickness of the western wall by amoh, assuming that the hole for the pole was centred. This takes place twice, once into the western wall and once back. As well the distance the pole traveled in the western wall was not 10 amos, but rather 11 amos since it had to extend sufficiently to enter the centre of the walls, amoh on the north and amoh on the south. This totals 72 amos. Indeed the Tosfos Hasholeim says that the central pole was 72 amos long.

To remedy this problem we are forced to say that Targum Yonoson ben Uziel assumed that the central pole did not enter the wall beams at their centre, but rather very close to their inner side, adding less than one amoh to the total length and he therefore dropped the fraction, leaving us with a length of 70 amos.

Another possibility is that he held that the central pole was inside the starting and ending beams for only an amoh. This would still allow for some structural support. We would explain the words "Mavri'ach min he'kotzeh el he'kotzeh" not as "running from end to end," but rather "running from the 'end beam' to the 'end beam.'" These two answers are not very convincing, and you are invited to offer better answers.

There is a similar problem regarding the insight of the Moshav Z'keinim on Bmidbar 11:16. "Shivim ish" - Moshe first had seventy-two candidates for the prophecy, six from each of the twelve tribes. Two were eliminated through a lottery. Why indeed did Hashem not allow for seventy-two prophets, thus simplifying the procedure by having six prophets from each tribe?

The Moshav Z'keinim answers that we find that Moshe placed the prophets around the "Ohel Mo'eid," (11:24) "Va'yaa'meid osom svivos ho'ohel." They were specifically placed there so that they would receive the overflow of the prophecy given to Moshe at the "O'hel Mo'eid." The Mishkon was 30 amos long and 10 amos wide. This gives a total outer perimeter of eighty amos. A person takes up an amoh by an amoh floor space (gemara Sukoh 7b). The front of the Ohel Mo'eid which was open, was designated only for Moshe. This leaves us with only seventy amos of wall space left, thus necessitating the limitation of having only seventy prophets.

Similarly this calculation is most difficult to comprehend. The dimensions given by the Moshav Z'keinim are those of the open area within the Mishkon. However, the wall beams were 1 amoh thick. This creates outer dimensions of 31 by 12 amos. Twice 31 plus 12 equals 74 amos, not 70. This difficulty is further aggravated by the fact that there was an even greater perimeter around the Mishkon by virtue of the thickness of the roof coverings which hung down the outer sides of the walls, adding more length, although perhaps not sufficient space to add a full amoh. Neither of the above answers given for the words of the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel applies here. Answers to either of the above difficulties would be greatly appreciated.


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