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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL-P'KUDEI 5767 BS"D

PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL

Ch. 35, v. 1: "Va'yakheil Moshe" - And Moshe assembled - Rashi says that this assemblage took place on the day after Yom Kipur. He reiterated the mitzvoh of Shabbos and in verse 8 the mitzvoh of donating for the Mishkon is stated. Perhaps, right after experiencing a spiritually uplifting Yom Kipur people might mistakenly feel that it is on an equal footing with the sanctity of Shabbos. Therefore the Torah states that Shabbos is above Yom Kipur in that Yom Kipur is holy through the mitzvoh of fasting, but Shabbos even sanctifies the physical, "Uva'yom hashvi'i yi'h'yeh LOCHEM kodesh" (verse 2), even that which is for YOU, the physical, becomes holy, and Shabbos is therefore "Shabbas Shabboson," a doubled sanctity. As well, even if one transgresses Yom Kipur by doing work, the punishment is less severe than working on Shabbos, the next words of the verse, "Kol ho'oseh vo m'lochoh yumos."

Mentioning donations for the Mishkon at this time is also very appropriate because the Holy Zohar on the words of verse 8, "K'chu mei'ITCHEM," comments that these words disqualify giving donations of stolen items, "L'arma mimah dilchon v'lo mi'gezel." What better time is there to request donations than after the nation just fervently said "L'maan nechdal mei'oshek yo'deinu" in the N'iloh prayers? (Nirreh li)

Ch. 35, v. 4: "Va'yomer Moshe el kol adas bnei Yisroel leimore zeh hadovor asher tzivoh Hashem leimore" - And Moshe said to the complete congregation of the bnei Yisroel thus saying: This is the matter that Hashem has commanded to say - The double "leimore" requires clarification. Rashi explains that second "leimore" as, "This is what Hashem commanded me to tell you." This is the case with every mitzvoh related prophecy, and we don't usually find a double "leimore." Rashi's words obviously require further clarification.

Shaa'rei Simchoh explains the double "leimore" as follows: There is a responsibility on each person to tell others to donate. The second "leimore" flows right into the words of the next verse, "K'chu mei'it'chem." Although he says this as an independent thought, perhaps this is Rashi's intention.

The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh explains the words "zeh hadovor" of our verse. He says that this teaches us that a person should only donate in the manner specified in the next verse, "kol n'div libo," that a person should only donate in the "n'dovoh" manner, and not in the "neder" manner. A "n'dovoh" is a donation of a specific object, i.e. this ingot of silver. If it were to go missing or be destroyed, there is no requirement to replace it, as only that specific object was pledged. A "neder" is a vow to donate a non-specified object, i.e. a cow, an amount of money. Even if a person were to lose all his cows or money he is not absolved from fulfilling his commitment, as it was general, and not connected to a specific item. "Zeh hadovor" teaches us to only donate in the "n'dovoh" manner.

Perhaps this insight also explains the double "leimore." "Zev hadovor asher tzivoh Hashem leimore" - This is the matter that Hashem commanded to SAY - "kol N'DIV libo," only pledge as a "n'dovoh."

Ch. 35, v. 4: "Adas bnei Yisroel" - Congregation of bnei Yisroel - Perhaps "adas" is stressed here because the Holy Zohar on the word "mei'it'chem" in the following verse says that the "erev rav" are excluded from donating for the Mishkon. The "erev rav" are usually referred to as "ho'om." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 35, v. 22: "Va'yovo'u ho'anoshim al hanoshim" - And the men came upon the women - Targum Onkelos says, "U'maisan guvria al n'shia," the men brought that which was upon the women. The Meshech Chochmoh explains that the gemara A.Z. 44b says that if one pledges a goblet to avodoh zoroh, it is not yet considered an object of avodoh zoroh, and one may derive benefit from it. It is only when it is used for avodoh zoroh that it becomes prohibited. Nevertheless, because the object was pledged, it may not be used for the Mishkon/Mikdosh, called "muktzoh" (see Ohr So'mei'ach on hilchos isurei mizbei'ach 4:4). The gemara A.Z. 54b says that besides giving gold for the golden heifer people wanted to offer more jewellery for other idols to be molten. Thus their jewellery became "muktzoh," and could not be offered for the Mishkon. However, the jewellery worn by women, who had no part in this fiasco, was permitted. This is the intention of Targum Onkelos.

PARSHAS P'KUDEI

Ch. 39, v. 33: "Vayovi'u es haMishkon el Moshe" - And they brought the Mishkon to Moshe - The medrash on this verse cites the verse, "Vatis'chak l'yom acharon" (Mishlei 31:26), and then relates a story. Rabbi Avohu was about to die and he saw a vision of a tremendous storehouse of reward awaiting him. He said, "And here I thought that my work was to naught."

Obviously, this requires clarification. Since Rabbi Avohu spent his life doing mitzvos why would he think that he would not reap the full reward? The answer, as was told by the Cho'sen Y'shuos to his son Rabbi Dov Meisels in relation to a seemingly fruitless result on the latters part is that Rabbi Avohu was close to government officials and would often attempt to have decrees annulled and people wrongfully held in prison released. No doubt, numerous times his efforts did not bring about the desired results. He thought that for the effort that brought no results he would receive no reward. Seeing the colossal reward awaiting him, he realized that a reward was being given even for the efforts expended.

This is the connection to our verse. The bnei Yisroel put in much effort to create the Mishkon components, but were unable to assemble it. They brought it to Moshe, who miraculously did the assembly. The medrash tells us that since they did all that was in their power they would be rewarded for completing and assembling the Mishkon, just as Rabbi Avohu rejoiced in his reward for effort expended. (Dvash V'cholov as expanded by Rabbi Shmuel Alter)

Ch. 39, v. 36: "V'es lechem haponim" - And the show bread - The mishnoh in Shabbos lists the 39 types of creative work that were done in the Mishkon, which are prohibited on Shabbos. One of them is "ho'ofeh," one who bakes. The gemara 74b asks why the mishnoh expressed this act as "baking," which did not take place in the Mikdosh, rather than saying "hamvasheil," one who cooks. This seems to be a most puzzling question, as there is the baking of the show breads. As mentioned in the Tur, the completion of the Mishkon components took place on the 25th of Kislev. The assembly took place on the following Rosh Chodesh Nison. Had they baked the show breads in Kislev it would have become moldy by Nison. Hence there was no baking done at the time of the "creation" of the Mishkon. This seems to be Rashi's intention in his commentary on the gemara by his writing, "v'nokat ofeh d'lo shayich biMLECHES haMishkon," in the CREATION of the Mishkon. (Divrei Yirmiyohu)

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


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