CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS KI SISO 5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 30, v. 18: "V'ossiso kior n'choshes" - Why is the command to create
this vessel for the Mishkon placed here and not in parshas Trumoh along with the
2) Ch. 31, v. 13: "V'ATOH t'da'beir el bnei Yisroel leimore ACH es ShabbsoSAI
tishmoru" - Why do we have the seemingly superfluous word V'ATOH, as we know
that Hashem is commanding Moshe? What is the intention of predicating the
command to safeguard the Shabbos with the word ACH, a word that connotes
limitation (gemara Yerushalmi Brochos 9:7). What is meant by the suffix at the end of
the word "ShabbsoSAI," MY Shabbosos?
3) Ch. 31, v. 16: "LA'ASOSE es haShabbos" - How does one MAKE the Shabbos?
4) Ch. 32, 12: "Shuv meicharone a'pecho v'hino'cheim al horo'oh l'a'mecho" -
Why do we add "Hashem Elokei Yisroel" to the beginning of these words in our
Monday and Thursday "tachanun" prayers?
5) Ch. 33, v. 12: SHLISHI - "Va'yomer Moshe" - Our parshas contains 139
verses. The first two "aliyos" contain 92 verses, two-thirds of the parsha's total
number of verses. Why is this so disproportionate?
Answer to questions on parshas T'tza'veh:
1) Starting from parshas Shmos onwards, Moshe's name is mentioned in every
parsha (consider Nitzovim and Va'yeilech as one) except in our parsha. Why?
1) The Tosfos Hasholeim says that since Moshe said (32:32), "m'cheini noh
misif'r'cho asher kosavto," his words had the effect of having his name erased
from a parsha in which it would have otherwise appeared. The reason that
parshas T'tza'veh was chosen is that Moshe says, "asher kosavto," which You have
WRITTEN," so it must be before parshas Ki Siso. T'tza'veh is the last parsha
which had already been written.
2) Because of "m'cheini" as above. T'tza'veh was chosen so as to delay
erasing Moshe's name as long as possible, a full circle around the calendar until
3) The GR"A says that Hashem foresaw that Moshe would die on the seventh of
Ador. This date almost always falls out during the week of Parshas T'tza'veh.
Since Moshe left this world during parshas T'tza'veh, his name is left out.
4) The GR"A also says that although Moshe's name doesn't appear overtly in
our parsha, it is present covertly. The total number of verses in our parsha
is 101. The hidden portion of the letters of Moshe's name (milluy), indicating
his hidden presence, adds up to 101. Mem is spelled Mem-Mem. The hidden
letter equals 40. Shin is spelled Shin-Yud-Nun. The hidden letters equal 60. Hei
is spelled Hei-Alef. The hidden letter equals 1. The hidden part equals 101.
5) The Rebbe R' Heshel points out that the "mesorres siman" of 101 verses in
our parsha is "Michoel." Moshe prayed that Hashem personally should lead the
bnei Yisroel (33:15,16). The medrash on Yehoshua 5:14 says that Moshe's
prayer helped to push off Hashem's statement that an angel would lead them (23:20)
until the Angel Michoel appeared to Yehoshua (5:14) saying, "Now I have come."
We see that Moshe kept the Angel Michoel from directly guiding the bnei
Yisroel. Since Moshe's name is not mentioned in our parsha, Michoel found an
opportunity to have his presence in this parsha in a shadow form, by being the
"mesorres siman" of the total number of its verses. The above medrash on sefer
Yehoshua disagrees with the Tikunei Zohar brought in Rashi 23:21 that the angel
was M-T-T-R-N. However, the Baal Haturim also says that the angel was Michoel,
pointing out that when Hashem said that He would send an intermediary
(32:34), "hinei MALOCHI yeileich l'fo'necho," the letters of the word "MALOCHI" spell
2) 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. Which
is the correct reason?
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.
3) Ch. 28, v. 5: "V'heim yikchu" - And they shall take - Since these words
obviously refer back 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
4) Ch. 28, v. 20: "B'milu'osom" - The gemara Sotoh 48b derives from this word
that the stones must be complete. This was done by having a worm called
"shamir" pass over writing on the stones. As the worm moved along it caused the
stones to split open, creating letters to be formed while not removing any of the
actual stones. We do not find the word "b'milu'osom" by the 2 stones on the
"eifode" straps. Upon them we also have the names of the twelve tribes. Was the
"shamir" used as well, or was it permitted to etch into them, leaving them
The Ramban posits that there is no requirement to have the names of the
twelve tribes etched into the stones in a manner that does not remove any material
from the stones, i.e. by using the "shamir." However, Rashi on the gemara
Sotoh 48b d.h. "avonim halolu" says that this ruling applies to the stones of the
"eifode" as well. These words of Rashi require clarification since we only
find "b'milu'osom" by the "choshen" stones.
5) Ch. 28, v. 28: "V'lo yizach hachoshen mei'al ho'eifode" - This is one of
the 613 mitzvos of the Torah, to not have the choshen breastplate separate from
the eifode garment (gemara Yoma 72a). What lessons can be learned from this
Four symbolic interpretations are offered:
1) The gemara Arochin 16a says that the Kohein's wearing of the choshen
atones for improper judgements of money matters, and the wearing of the eifode
atones for the sin of idol worship. These two sins are associated with each
other as stated in the gemara Sanhedrin 7b, "Whoever appoints an inappropriate
judge is considered to have planted a tree of idol worship near the altar.
Therefore the Torah says that these two items which the Kohein Godol wears should
not be separated one from the other, to give us a constant reminder that these
two sins are of equal paramount importance. (Chasam Sofer)
2) The choshen is to be placed on the HEART of the Kohein Godol. The word
eifode in our verse is spelled lacking the letter Vov, leaving us with
Alef-Fei-Dalet which equals 85, also the numeric value of "Peh," a MOUTH, spelled
Pei-Hei. The prohibition to separate the two teaches us that one should not speak
words from his mouth which are not the true feelings of his heart, "ein piv
v'libo shovim," but rather have the two always joined, "piv v'libo shovim" (See
Rashi on Breishis 37:4 d.h. v'lo yochlu dabro l'sholom). (Degel Macha'neh
3) Worshipping false gods comes from distortion of straight thinking as
explained by Rabbeinu Nisim Gaon in his preface to his commentary on Shas, that
the main aspect of the sin of idol worship is mental. Similarly, improper ruling
of money matters is a form of mental distortion. They are the same types of
sin, only that one is a sin against Hashem and the other against one's fellow
man. The Torah wants to stress the similarity of these two sins, thus requiring
that they not be separated. (MVRHRH"G Rabbi Yaakov Kamenecki in Emes L'Yaakov)
4) When one distorts the halochos of money matters in his favour, it is a
lack of full faith in Hashem. Full trust in Hashem's deciding the set income for
each person would not allow a person to act in such a manner. This sin is
rooted in denial of Hashem's powers, feeling that one has the ability to gain
through his own cunning, in essence a form of avodoh zoroh. The coupling of the
sin of distortion of judgement of money matters with the sin of idol worship
teaches us that when one seeks atonement for the former, he also needs atonement
for the latter. (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in Dorash Moshe)
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