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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 28, v. 2,: "V'ossiso vigdei kodesh l'Aharon ochicho l'chovode ul'sif'o'res" - And you shall make the garments for your brother Aharon for honour and grandeur - Compare this with the next verse, which gives a different reason for making the garments, "V'atoh t'da'beir el kol chachmei leiv .. V'ossu es bigdei Aharon l'kadsho l'chahano li." The earlier verse says that the garments are to be made for the honour and grandeur of Aharon, while the next verse says that it is for his sanctification and to allow him to serve as a priest. The Ksav Sofer answers that our verse is giving us the reason for the garments vis a vis the common man in the street. The primary importance for him is to lend an air of importance to the Kohein. Verse 3 refers to the "chachmei leiv," the wiser and more elevated among the nation. For them the primary purpose of making Aharon's garments is to sanctify him.

Ch. 28, v. 5: "V'heim yikchu" - And they shall take - Since these words obviously refer bak to their antecedent the chachmei leiv" of verse 3, why doesn't the verse simply say "v'yikchu"? This is because the gemara B.B. 9a says that we do not ask for an accounting of dispersing of funds from 2 officers. The gemara says that there is an allusion to this in M'lochim 2:12:16, "Ki ve'emunoh heim osim." Even though we see that there are at least 2 collectors from the word "yikchu," our verse stresses "V'HEIM yikchu," THEY in the plural form, indicative of TWO collectors, to show that because there are 2 people collecting they can be trusted. (The Holy Alshich)

Ch. 28, v. 6: "V'ossu es ho'eifode .. maa'sei chosheiv" - And they shall create the apron .. skilled work - "V'ossu," - and THEY shall make, is a departure from the normal expression, "v'ossisi," which we find in verses 2,13,15,22,23, and 27. (I have only listed the verse until "shlishi," but there are more. "V'ossu" that is found by creating the Holy Ark (25:10) has been explained to indicate that all should personally take part in the study of Torah, not only donating for its upkeep, as the Holy Ark is representative of the Torah.) Although Hashem asked Moshe to see to it that all the items be made, He did not want to connect Moshe, even by inference, to the creation of the "eifode." This is because the gemara Arochin 16a says that the "eifode" brings atonement for "avodoh zoroh." The communal act or being an accomplice to "avodoh zoroh" took place with the golden calf. Moshe took absolutely no part in this, so he is not mentioned in the verse to involve himself in its creation.

Our verse ends with "maa'sei chosheiv." This is to interpreted as "a creation connected with thought," i.e. worshipping false gods. "Avodoh zoroh" is a sin that is unique in that it is the only sin where thoughts of sinning are equated with an act, as per the gemara Chulin 142a, which derives this from the verse in Yechezkel 14:5, "l'maan t'fose es beis Yisroel b'libom." (Kli Yokor)

Ch. 28, v. 10: "Shishoh mishmosom al ho'evven ho'echos" - The gemara Yerushalmi Sotoh 7:4 says that Biyomin's name appeared on the "eifode" stones with the first two letters Beis-Nun on one stone and the last letters of his name on the other stone. This seems to be alluded in the word MIshmosom, a section of their names, indicating that a name is not complete on one stone. Indeed on the words "Shishoh mishmosom" the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel also says ""Shiso min k'tzas shmos'hone," six of part of their names.

The Meshech Chochmoh says that this is indicated in Dvorim 33:12, "U'vein kseifov shochein," regarding Binyomin the verse says, "and between the two shoulders (of the Kohein Godol) he rests."

Why was Binyomin's name chosen to be the one to be split between the two stones? Perhaps it is based on a medrash at the end of parshas Mikeitz. When the elusive goblet was found in Binyomin's sack, his brothers believed that he actually stole it. They called him "thief son of a thief." (His mother stole the idols of Lovon.) They then hit him numerous times between his shoulders. Binyomin stoically accepted the smiting, not a word of claim of innocence escaping his lips. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that in this merit he received the portion of land upon which the Beis Hamikdosh would later be built, as alluded to in the verse "U'vein k'seifov shochein." Perhaps we can also say, as per the Meshech Chochmoh, that his name being split between the two shoulder straps of the Kohein Godol's garment are also alluded to in these words.

Ch. 28, v. 15: "V'ossiso choshen mishpot .. k'maa'sei eifode" - And you shall create a breastplate of judgment .. like the making of the apron - The gemara Zvochim 88b says that the wearing of the breastplate brings atonement for corruption of monetary judgments. As well, the gemara Arochin 16a says that the "eifode" brings atonement for "avodoh zoroh." We now understand why these two garments are made of the same materials. The gemara Sanhedrin 7b says that whoever appoints a judge who is incompetent, it is as if he has planted a tree to be served as a god. An incompetent judge brings corruption, improper rulings, in his wake. The Torah says that this person will also need the power of the "eifode," since it is as if he has served idols. (Rabbi Avrohom Steiner in Beis Avrohom)

Ch. 28, v. 21: "V'ho'avonim ti'h'yenoh al SHMOS bnei Yisroel" - And the stones shall be on the names of the bnei Yisroel - The word form SHEIMOS appears in this verse 3 times. The Sforno explains that the first time the Torah tells us that the donours should donate with the intention that the stones will have the names etched into them. The next mention of the names tells us that only 12 stones should be used, n more and no less. (Don't we know this from verses 17-20?) The final mention of the names tells us that the craftsman should specifically etch each name on the specific stone of his tribe, and should also not switch his "kavonos" from one stone to another.

Ch. 28, v. 21: "V'ho'avonim ti'h'yenoh al shmos bnei Yisroel" - And the stones shall be on the names of the bnei Yisroel - The gemara Yoma 73b says that each of the 12 stones had 6 letters etched into it. Obviously, the names of the 12 tribes fall far short of containing 72 letters. The gemara says that besides the names of the tribes, the names of our Patriarchs and the words "shivtei Yeshurun" were also etched into the stones. The Baal Haturim on verse 17 explains that the names of the tribes were first etched into their respective stones and the amount of letters short of 6, anywhere from 1 to 4, were completed by adding letters from the Patriarchs and "shivtei Yeshurun." He says that the one exception was Binyomin, because his name contains six letters and needs no supplementing.

Perhaps this can be explained in a homiletic manner. The "choshen mishpot" contained the names of all 12 tribes on one breastplate. This represents unity of the tribes. Our Patriarchs empowered our nation with unity. The addition of the words "shivtei Yeshurun" further stresses the concept of their all being unified in their service of Hashem. This is stressed because the sons of Yaakov hated Yoseif in varying degrees and sold him as a slave. Binyomin had absolutely no part in throwing Yoseif into the pit, nor in selling him. He therefore needed no addition of the Patriarchs letters, nor letters from the words "shivtei Yeshurun" to his name. Possibly, a mathematical allusion can be added. The numerical value of "sinas Yoseif," hatred of Yoseif, equals that of "shivtei Yeshurun" plus the 13 letters of the names of our Patriarchs (i"h).

Ch. 28, v. 33: "Rimonei t'chei'les .. u'faamonei zohov b'sochom" - Pomegranates of t'chei'les .. and bells of gold between them - We find each golden bell, an object that emits a sound, surrounded by two woolen pomegranates, items that are mute. This alludes to the maxim, "Miloh v'sela mishtuki visrei," - A word is worth one coin, while silence is worth two. (The Holy Alshich)



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

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