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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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As a preface to this parsha it is in place to ask why from this parsha onwards until the end of the book of Shmos includes Trumoh, T'za'veh, Vayakheil, and P'kudei, since the story of the exile in Egypt and the exodus are completed in the earlier parshios. The receiving of the Torah, parshas Yisro, is part and parcel of the exodus, as Hashem told Moshe that the purpose of the exodus is so that the bnei Yisroel will receive the Torah (Shmos 3:12). The parsha of Mishpotim which deals in the main with money matters deserves to be in Shmos to teach us the lesson of "Mah eilu miSinai af eilu miSinai," as mentioned in Rashi (21:1), or that it is needed as a component of the conversion process required for receiving the Torah, as explained by Rabbi Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik. However, it would seem that the above-mentioned parshios of Trumoh, T'za'veh, Va'yakheil, and P'kudei belong to the book of Vayikroh, which deals with the Temple sanctuary and the Kohanim who serve there. This question is raised by the Ramban in his final offering on the book Breishis. Some prints have this as the preface to his commentary on Shmos.

He answers that the content of Shmos is the story of the bnei Yisroel leaving the sanctuary of the Patriarchs and losing their elevated spiritual level in Egypt, and is not complete until they exit Egypt and also create a functioning sanctuary that has the Holy Spirit of Hashem present, a return to the level of the Patriarchs whose homes had the "Shechinoh" present. Thus this book is not completed after the exodus and the receiving of the Torah, as there is no constant resting of the "Shechinoh," the Holy Spirit of Hashem, amongst the bnei Yisroel until after the building of the Mishkon, the mobile tabernacle of the desert.

Perhaps this question can be answered with the words of the Ibn Ezra in parshas Yisro on the words "Bimshoch ha'yoveil heimoh yaalu vohor" (Shmos 19:13). He says that the "honour" (Shechinoh) stayed continuously on Mount Sinai until the Mishkon was built, as is written in parshas P'kudei, "U'chvode Hashem mollei es haMishkon" (Shmos 40:34). At that time Hashem spoke to Moshe in the O'hel Mo'eid. Perhaps at that time Moshe sounded the shofar and permission was given to ascend, as at that point in time the "honour" (Shechinoh) left Mount Sinai. It seems from these words of the Ibn Ezra that the building of the Mishkon was the creation of a location that would be an extension and a continuum of the Sinaic experience. Since as mentioned above the exodus was predicated upon the acceptance of the Torah, we can say that the receiving of the Torah embodied not only the acceptance of its laws, but also having the presence of Hashem's Holy Spirit dwelling among the bnei Yisroel. This was short lived at Mount Sinai, but found permanence in the Mishkon/Mikdosh, hence it had to be included in the book of Shmos, the book of redemption, as it is called by the Ramban.

Alternatively, we can say that the gemara Avodoh Zoroh 3b says that we derive from the words "yom HAshishi" (Breishis 1:31) that although Hashem completed creating the world at the end of the sixth day of creation, it was still in a state of flux, with the possibility of it being returned to nothingness, unless the bnei Yisroel would in the future on THE SIXTH day of Sivon, 2448 accept the Torah. The acceptance of the Torah, included the Shechinoh having a permanent abode among the bnei Yisroel, an extension of the Sinaic experience. Hence until the building of the Mishkon was complete the permanence of this world was not guaranteed. Upon being completed, the creation of the world was complete, hence its inclusion in the book Shmos, called the SECOND book by the SM"A, i.e. stage two of the creation of the world.

Another possible approach might be based upon the words of the Baal Haturim in parshas P'kudei 39:32 d.h. "Va'tei'chel." He says that with the completion of the Mishkon the creation of the world was complete, as is mentioned in the M.R. Breishis 3:12. This can be better understood with the words of the Yalkut Shimoni remez #419, and is elaborated upon by the Daas Z'keinim and the Rosh in their final offering on parshas P'kudei, where they find parallels between the items created on each day of creation and the components of the Mishkon, a microcosm of the world. Hence it is truly with the building of the Mishkon that the creation of the world was complete, again echoing the sentiments of the SM"A in giving the book of Shmos the appellation "Sefer ha'sheini," the second book of creation.

Ch. 25, v. 2: "V'YIKCHU Li trumoh mei'eis kol ish asher yidvenu libo TIKCHU" - Why is taking mentioned twice? The Nachal K'dumim in the name of the MHR"I Z'eivi answers that the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel in parshas Va'yakheil 35:27,28 writes that the stones were brought to the desert by clouds, and the spices for incense and the oil for the menorah came from Gan Eden. They came into the possession of the tribal heads who donated them to the Mishkon. This is the meaning of "V'yikchu LI," MI'SHELI, as these items are MINE, Hashem's, as they came into the hands of the tribal heads in a miraculous manner. Besides taking these donations there was a command to take a second type of donation, "mei'eis kol ish asher yidvenu libo," as these items did not come into their hands miraculously, and required a magnanimous and charitable heart.

This also explains why when the donated items are listed in verses 3,4,5, and 6 all items after the first are prefixed by a Vov, meaning AND this, AND this, etc. However, when the list continues in verse 7 with the oil, it does not say "V'shemen," but rather "Shemen," without a Vov, indicating that this is not a continuation of the donated items. The previous materials were donations of the people who were magnanimous, while the oil was in reality given by Hashem, as He sent it in a miraculous manner to the tribal leaders, as were the precious stones, which are mentioned right after the oil, hence no Vov to connect the two types of donations. Please note that there is an opinion that the oil for the menorah was purchased from merchants who braved the desert. For example, see the words of the Ponim Yofos on "Shemen ZAYIS zoch" (Shmos 27:20).

Ch. 25, v. 3: "V'ZOSE hatrumoh" - The word V'ZOSE indicates that "exactly this" should be the donation. This is explained by the Sforno to mean that they were to accept donations only of items that were of the materials needed to build the sanctuary and create the priestly vestments, and not accept other items, even though they could have been bartered for needed materials.

Ch. 25, v. 6: "Shemen lamo'or" - The Baal Haturim points out that the word "lamo'or" is spelled defectively, missing the letter Vov between the Alef and Reish. He says that this indicates a diminishing of the light of the menorah, as the gemara M'nochos 86b says, that the light of the menorah is not there to illuminate the Mishkon, but rather to be a source of spiritual light of the Torah for the world. (This would also be indicated by the opinion of the Rambam that there is a mitzvoh to light the menorah in the morning as well as by night, hilchos t'midim u'musofim 3:10, even though there is not much illumination accomplished by having the menorah lit by day, as elucidated by the Meshech Chochmoh on 25:15.)

It would seem that the missing letter Vov is not just an indication of the diminishing of physical light indicated by a missing letter in the word, but rather, specifically indicated by a Vov, whose numerical value is 6. Of the 7 lights of the menorah, one flame is place squarely centred, the middle one, while the other 6 are placed towards the central flame. Thus SIX lights are diminished, hence a missing letter Vov. The Paa'nei'ach Rozo writes a quite similar thought on the words "l'haalos ner tomid" (27:20). The word "l'haalos," he points out, is spelled defectively, missing the letter Vov before the Sof. This indicates that 6 lights, the value of the letter Vov, do not light upwards, but rather, tilt towards the middle flame.

Ch. 25, v. 23: "V'osiso shulchon" - The command to create the showbread table is right after the command to create the Holy Ark, to indicate that "if there is no flour (bread) there is no Torah" (Pirkei Ovos 3:13). (Tzror Hamor)

Ch. 25, v. 24: "V'tzipiso oso ZoHoV" - Rabbeinu Bachyei points out that the coating of gold for the showbread table alludes to the blessing of Birkas Hamozone after a meal, which on a Torah level consists of three blessings (the Rabbis added a fourth blessing), Zon, Ho'oretz, Bonei, whose letters spell ZoHoV, gold.

Ch. 25, v. 25: "V'osiso zeir zohov l'misgarto" - Rashi says that this crown of gold placed around the frame border of the table is the same crown mentioned in the previous verse. There Rashi says that the crown alludes to the crown of kingship, of wealth, represented by food on the table. Why was this crown placed around the frame of the table rather than another location on the table? Rabbi Reuvane Grozovski answers that only one who is satisfied with his lot is wealthy (Pirkei Ovos 4:1), as our Rabbis say in M.R. Koheles 1:34, "He who has a hundred lusts for two-hundred." Therefore the crown was placed around the frame, as the frame symbolizes a border and limitation to one's wealth. Only one who has borders in this pursuit and does not yearn to have more and more merits the crown of kingship, satisfaction from his physical wealth.

Ch. 25, v. 36: "Mikshoh achas zohov tohor" - The Holy Admor Rabbi Mordechai of Nes'chiz interprets: "There is one thing that is very hard; to earn pure money," i.e. that is not tainted with any sin.

Ch. 26, v. 7: "V'osiso y'riose izim l'ohel al haMishkon" - After we have the beams of the Mishkon gilded with gold, its staves and rings also gilded with gold, precious materials of "t'cheiles, argomon," and "shoni" used in the lower layer(s) of covers which are connected with golden rings, why do we cover all of these precious materials with simple hides of goats that are connected to each other with copper rings? This teaches us a most powerful lesson. If we are blessed with wealth and allow ourselves to have precious materials for our household appointments, we should never allow them to be visible to the outside (V'ha'meivin yovin!). (Pardes Yoseif)

Ch. 26, v. 30: "Vaha'keimosoh es haMishkon k'MISHPOTO" - In the gemara Yerushalmi Shabbos 12:3 Rabbi Ami asks, "Is there a "fair law" (Mishpot) for the structural beams of the Mishkon?" He answers that this teaches us that the beam that merited to be placed in the north side of the building should be placed in its same position when the Mishkon is reassembled. Thus the beam has a claim, MISHPOT, to its position. Perhaps we can say that the intention of the word MISHPOT is POSITION, as we find in Breishis 40:13, "V'nosato chose Paroh b'yodo kaMISHPOT horishon," - And you shall place the goblet of Paroh into his hand as was your POSITION originally.



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