Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 25, v. 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. 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. How will Rashi answer this?

2) Ch. 25, v. 10: "V'OSSU oron" - Why by the command to create all other vessels does it say "v'ossoh" and here "v'ossu?"

3) Ch. 25, v. 20: "Ish el ochiv el hakaporres" - Are they to face each other or the lid of the Holy Ark?

4) Ch. 25, v. 29: "M'nakiosov" - Rashi, in his first translation of this word, says that these are two pairs of vertical panels which are attached to the shulchon. They have thin pipes attached to them which support the "lechem haponim." This serves a double purpose, to support each bread so that an upper one does not crush the one below it, and to allow for air to circulate around each bread, so that they do not get mouldy. The way the pipes stay in place is by their lying in notches cut into the panels.

The text of Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrochi of our Rashi says that there were FIVE sets of notches, "pitzulim," in each pair of panels. This seems very logical. The two bottom "lechem haponim" sit on the table itself and need no support. To allow for air to circulate it is sufficient to place thin pipes below them, but there is no need for supporting notches, as the pipes sit on the shulchon. However, the original text in Rashi is SIX sets of notches. How is this to be understood?

5) Ch. 27, v. 10: "Vachashukei'hem" - Rashi explains that these were silver threads that were attached to the pillars that held the cloth walls of the courtyard in place. Rashi adds that he does not know if the threads wound around the pillars from top to bottom, or only on top, or only in the middle. This is most puzzling, as the verse clearly states "vachashukei'hem kesef v'tzipuy roshei'hem kosef v'heim m'chushokim kesef," (Shmos 38:17).

Answer to questions on parshas Mishpotim:

1) Ch. 21, v. 13: "V'ho'Elokim inoh l'yodo" - Rashi brings the gemara Makos 10b which tells us that although one can escape the judgement of the courts, no one escapes the judgement of Hashem. If one were guilty of intentional murder and deserved the death penalty, and another killed someone by accident and deserved to go into exile into a city of refuge, but there were no witnesses for either act, then Hashem will bring about circumstances so that these two people will come together. The one deserving exile to the city of refuge will be climbing a ladder (either downwards or upwards but the rungs of the ladder sag as he steps upon them), and the one deserving death for intentional murder will be below. The man on the ladder will fall upon the murderer in front of witnesses. The murderer will be killed, thus getting his just punishment, and the one who fell upon him will now be forced to flee to a city of refuge. Since the death penalty due a murderer is beheading and someone falling onto him is a form of stoning, then he received a punishment which was stricter than he deserved, since the mishnoh Sanhedrin 7:1 (49b) says that stoning is stricter than beheading. Why is this fair?

1) The Chizkuni answers that the gemara means that the person on the ladder had a sharp blade in his hand and upon falling, accidentally delivered a fatal laceration to the neck of the murderer. He adds that there is no reason to say that he now deserves to go to the city of refuge twice, i.e. waiting until the death of two Kohanim G'dolim until he is free, because the accidental killing of the second person deserves no banishment, as the one who was killed was a murderer and is considered a dead man, "gavra k'tila kotal."

2) The Maskil l'Dovid answers that a stricter form of punishment is appropriate. He says that although we derive from the words "Mose yumas hama'keh rotzei'ach hu" (Bmidbar 35:21) that if the court is unable to put the murderer to death with the prescribed form of execution they must kill him by any manner available to them (gemara K'suvos 30b, Sotoh 8b, Sanhedrin 37b, Shvuos 34a), nevertheless, if the execution is a more lenient form of death, the guilty person does not have full atonement. It is obvious that when a person is being judged in a case of a capital punishment offence and is found guilty, that he goes through much mental anguish until he is executed. Not so the person who is suddenly killed. Hashem, in His infinite kindness, wants the murderer to have his sin cleansed fully and therefore visits upon him a more severe form of death to compensate for the lack of anticipatory anguish.

2) Ch.21, v. 30: "IM kofer yushas olov" - Rashi near the end of parshas Yisro (20:22) brings a Mechilta in the name of Rabbi Yishmoel, that "IM" always means "IF, R'SHUS," except for the following three places, which are all requirements: 1) IM mizbach avonim ta'a'seh li (20:22) 2) IM kesef talveh es ami (22:24) 3) IM takriv minchas bikurim (Vayikra 2:14). In these three places, IM means "when you will do," a requirement. Rashi on our verse says that this "IM" is not "IF, TOLUY," dependent upon one's choice, but rather a must, as "Im kesef talveh." This Rashi seems to contradict the Mechilta he himself quoted in 20:22 and 22:24, that there are only three places that "IM" means "as you will do."

The Baalei Tosfos answer that the basic meaning of "IM" is "IF, voluntary." Rabbi Yishmoel lists the only three places where it is a requirement by virtue of a mitzvoh to do, to build an altar, to lend money, to bring a korban Minchas ho'Omer. Rashi is saying in 21:30 that the atonement payment of our verse is required and not optional. In that way, it is similar to 22:24. However, it is not a mitzvoh requirement. On the contrary, one is required to guard his animals from damaging or inflicting injury on another person or his property. We now have three types of "IM," IF, a MUST which is not a mitzvoh, and a MUST which is a mitzvoh. This also answers the question of Bmidbar 36:4, "IM y'h'yeh ha'yovel." This is not optional, "IF Yovel will come," but rather a definite happening. Once again, this "IM" is not in Rabbi Yishmoel's list, as Yovel's coming is not a mitzvoh to be done, but it is also not optional. It would seem that Rashi carefully forewarns the point made by the Baalei Tosfos. When he quotes Rabbi Yishmoel, he says that the three exceptions are not "RSHUS." Similarly in Vayikro 2:14, he says that bringing the Omer offering is not a "RSHUS." The opposite of "RSHUS" is a mitzvoh. However, in our verse where "kofer" is a must but not a mitzvoh, Rashi says this "IM" is not "TOLUY," not hanging on one's decision, as it is a required payment. The opposite of "TOLUY" is "va'dei," definite. One MUST pay, but it is not a mitzvoh to bring oneself to this situation.

3) Ch. 22, v. 13: "V'nishbar o meis" - Why was the "nishboh," seized, possibility not mentioned, as it is mentioned in verse 9, when discussing the laws of the paid guard?

Our verse is discussing a borrower. The gemara B.M. 96b says that we derive from our verse that although the borrower is responsible for all losses, this does not apply in situations where the borrowed animal was damaged or died in the normal course of its intended use. Since being "seized" is not a result of the normal usage of the animal by the borrower, it is not mentioned here. (Trumas Ha'deshen)

4) Ch. 22, v. 30: "U'vosor BASO'DEH treifoh" - The law of "treifoh" is not limited to the field. Rashi says that it is a common occurrence for an animal to be torn asunder in a field. This is one of four places in our parsha where Rashi says that the specifics of a verse are not limited to that case only, but a common occurrence is used as an example, "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh." Rashi brings two proofs for this concept, from Dvorim 22:27 and 23:11. The other three places are:

1) 21:28, "V'chi yigach SHOR," not only an ox, but any animal, etc.

2) 22:17, "M'cha'sheifoh lo s'cha'yeh," not only a female witch, but a male as well.

3) "Kol almonoh v'yosom lo s'anun," not only a widow and an orphan, but anyone.

Why doesn't Rashi bring a proof for "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh" at the earliest opportunity? Why does he wait until the fourth time this appears in our parsha? Why aren't the first three cases proof for "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh" for our verse?

In the other three cases the commonplace example is the SUBJECT or OBJECT of the action, the OX, the WITCH, the WIDOW or ORPHAN. To consider the subject or object of the verse a commonplace example needs no proof. By the treifoh meat, the example is not the meat, but the CIRCUMSTANCE surrounding the subject, that it took place "in the field." To say that this is only a commonplace example requires proof. The two proofs from Dvorim are also about the circumstances surrounding the subject, that the impurity took place AT NIGHT and that the man accosted the betrothed maiden IN THE FIELD. (Bni Yechezkeil Shraga nR"u)

5) Ch. 24, v. 6: "Chatzi hadam" - Rashi says that an angel split the amount of blood EXACTLY in half. The gemara Eruvin 15b and Chulin 28b states that it is possible for a person to divide something exactly in half. If so, why was an angel needed?

The Daas Z'keinim and the Rosh answer that this is only possible when the whole object is in front of a person. Here, some of the blood had left the slaughtered animal and some was still inside. One is not able to collect exactly half the blood of the animal when the remainder of the blood is within the animal.



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

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