CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS T'TZA'VEH 5768 - BS"D
1) Ch. 28, v. 1: "V'atoh hakreiv ei'lecho es Aharon" - And you bring close to you Aharon - Hashem was addressing Moshe in the first verse of our parsha. What need is there to repeat "v'atoh" here?
2) Ch. 28, v. 1: "L'Chahano li" - To induct him into priesthood for Me - The suffix pronoun Vov in "l'ChahanO" seems superfluous. We likewise find this word in verses 3 and 4.
3) Ch. 28, v. 4: "Choshen v'eifode" - A breastplate and an apron - In 25:7, 35:9, and 35:27 the "eifode" is mentioned before the "choshen." Why the switch of order?
4) Ch. 28, v. 30: "Es ho'urim v'es hatumim" - What sort of questions may be asked of the "urim v'tumim?"
5) Ch. 28, v. 32: "V'hoyoh fi rosho b'socho" - And the lip of its top should be folded inwards - This simply means that the edge of the neck hole should be hemmed inwards. Obviously, this garment is connected front to back at the neck. Is it also connected on the sides, like a shirt, or is it totally open on the sides like our "arba kanfos?" Does it have sleeves?
The Rambam in hilchos klei Mikdosh 4:14 says that the Kohein Godol must be appointed by the court of 71 judges. The gemara Sanhedrin 13b says that Moshe is equal to a court of 71 judges. Therefore our verse says "V'atoh," and YOU, specifically YOU, should induct Aharon into the position of Kohein Godol. (Yoseif Lekach)
1) The 3 extra letters Vov have the numerical total value of 18, to allude to the 18 people who served as Kohein Godol in the first Beis Hamikdosh. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)
2) Alternatively, these 3 letters Vov allude to the 3 Kohanim G'dolim who each served in the Mishkon/Mikdosh for 40 years. They were Aharon, Eli, and Shimon haTzadik. "Li" has the numerical value of 40. (Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)
He does not explain the significance of the letter Vov.
This is because the "eifode" is donned before the "choshen," which goes on top. However, our verse is simply listing all the garments of the Kohein Godol. The "choshen" is mentioned before the "eifode" here because of its greater holiness. It houses the "urim v'tumim." (Tzror Hamor)
The Mechilta parshas Mishpotim #15 says that we do not ask the "urim v'tumim" to give us a halachic decision. Rashi on the gemara Eiruvin 45a d.h. "ha'rei" says the same. This is clearly indicated in the gemara T'muroh 16a, which says that 3,000 halochos were forgotten during the mourning period after the death of Moshe. The gemara says that to recover them through heavenly communication is not allowed, "lo bashomayim hee." It seems that this is not an impenetrable rule. The R'shash points out that Rashi himself on the gemara Eiruvin 63a d.h. "dich'siv" writes that Yehoshua asked Elozor a halachic question. This is understood by the Rshash as a question to be answered by the "urim v'tumim" as otherwise Yehoshua would not have gone specifically to Elozor. The Rosh on our verse writes that the "urim v'tumim" would not answer something that could be answered by a person. Tosfos on the gemara Gitin 68a d.h. "iko" says the same as the Rosh. Perhaps Yehoshua had no other option. (Medrash Halacha)
Rambam in hilchos klei Mikdosh 9:3 writes that this is the only area of the "m'il" garment that is connected. The front and the back are quite similar to our "arba kanfos," totally opened on the sides. He adds that it has no sleeves. However, Rashi on verse 4 says that the "m'il" is basically the same as the "kuto'nes," only that the "kuto'nes" is a lower garment, while the "m'il" goes on top of it. This seems to indicate that the sides are connected, very much like our modern-day shirts. As well, if it is like the "kuto'nes" then it also has sleeves. The Rava"d seems to agree with Rashi, questioning the Rambam on both points, the claim that it is open on the sides and that it has no sleeves.
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