Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 27, v. 20: "V'yikchu EILECHO shemen zayis zoch" - The word EILECHO deserves elucidation.

2) Ch. 28, v. 1: "L'chahano li" - To make him a Kohein for Me - Two verses later we find "L'KADSHO l'chahano li." Why is "to sanctify him" mentioned there and not here?

3) Ch. 28, v. 9: "U'fitachto a'leihem shmos bnei Yisroel" - These words indicate that the names of the bnei Yisroel were ON the stones. In verse 11 the words "T'fatach es shtei ho'avonim al shmos bnei Yisroel" seem to indicate that the stones were on the names of the bnei Yisroel, the opposite of our verse.

4) 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. What does this repetition teach us?

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 are some moral lessons that we can learn from this prohibition?



1)See the words of the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh. (Sorry, I was very busy with Megilas Esther Selections.)

2) The medrash says that the specifications for the oil used for the menorah were very stringent, so it was brought to Moshe or Aharon for examination. (This would explain why there was the seal of the Kohein Godol on a cruse of oil in the Chanukah story.)

3) The Meshech Chochmoh explains that EILECHO, similar to the word L'CHO, often means "for your benefit." See the words of Rashi on Breishis 12:1, Lech L'CHO. Here too, having the oil for the kindling of the menorah is for the benefit of Moshe. The Mechilta section Pis'cha chapter #1 says that Hashem spoke to Moshe only by day. However the Ibn Ezra on Bmidbar 8:2 explains that this limitation to day only is only when there were no lights illuminating the night. The logic behind this might be similar to the rule of judgments of monetary matters beginning to be deliberated only by day, as per Choshen Mishpot 5:2, derived from the words, "V'ho'yoh b'YOM hanchilo es bonov" (Dvorim 21:16). Yet if the courtroom is illuminated it is permitted to begin the court proceedings at night (Sefer M'iros Einayim ad loc s.k. 37).

Hence Moshe benefited from the illumination of the menorah by receiving prophecy even at night. This obviously benefited all the bnei Yisroel as well. However, after Moshe's death there was no such benefit and the only reason for lighting the menorah was that it was a statute from Hashem to do so, hence "chukas olom l'DOROSEICHEM" (verse 21). (Meshech Chochmoh)


We derive from the words "asher yutzak al rosho shemen hamish'choh u'mi'lei es yodo lilbosh es habgodim" (Vayikra 21:10), that we both anoint and dress the Kohein in the Kohein Godol's garments to initiate him into K'hunoh G'doloh. We also derive from these words that if we have no anointing oil, just the donning of the special Kohein Godol vestments is sufficient. The change in the wording mentioned above likewise alludes to this. When we have already sanctified him with the anointing oil, then when dressing him we only enact "l'chahano li," while when there is no such oil available we do both "l'kadsho," and "l'chahano" through dressing him in the priestly garments. (Rabbi Chaim Abulefia)


The Daas Z'keinim answers that since the names were etched into the stones both points are true. The names are ON the stones in that they were etched in from the top. On the other hand, since they were etched into the surface of the stones, a section of the stones was ABOVE the surface of the letters.


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 into the specific stone of his tribe, and should also not switch his "kavonos" from one stone to another.


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 Efrayim)

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)



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

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