Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim" - Six days - Rashi says that Moshe gave the mitzvoh of Shabbos before the mitzvoh of erecting the Mishkon, to teach that the building of the Mishkon does not push aside Shabbos. Rashi on Shmos 31:13 d.h. "ach" says that from that verse we derive this ruling, and there Shabbos is mentioned AFTER the building of the Mishkon. We see that we derive this point from Shabbos being mentioned AFTER the Mishkon. Likewise, we find the verse "Ish imo v'oviv tiro'u v'es Shabsosai tishmoru" (Vayikra 19:3), from which we similarly derive that although there is a mitzvoh to fear one's parents, nevertheless, if a parent commands his child to do an act that involves desecration of Shabbos, the child may not comply, and there too, Shabbos is mentioned after fearing one's parents. We seem to have conflicting indications of how it is derived that Shabbos is not pushed aside. (Placing Shabbos afterwards to bring out this point of information seems to be the logical order. Do this or that mitzvoh, BUT keep the laws of Shabbos while doing so.)

2) Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim TEI'O'SEH m'lochoh" - Six days work should be done - Why is this a lead-in to Shabbos? Also, why does the Torah express the work on weekdays as "being done," TEI'O'SEH, and not in the simple form of "doing work," as we find in the Ten Commandments, "v'osiso kol m'lachtecho," (Shmos 20:9)?

3) Ch. 35, v. 2: "Kodesh Shabbas Shabbosone" - We find the term "kodesh" used in conjunction with Shabbos earlier in parshas B'shalach (16:23), but with the word "kodesh" after the words "Shabbas Shabbosone."

4) 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.

5) Ch. 35, v. 22: "V'chol ish asher HEINIF T'NUFAS zohov laShem" - Why is the word HEINIF used specifically by the donation of gold and by no other material?



This question is raised by Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel. A careful reading of our Rashi yields a most interesting answer offered by the B'eir Yitzchok. Rashi does not say that Moshe taught the parsha of Shabbos ahead of building the Mishkon. Rather he says "hikdim LO'HEM," he taught it earlier to THEM. Note the name of our parsha, "Va'yakheil." This is one of the very special occasions where Moshe deviated from the norm, of teaching a law first to Aharon and his sons, then to the tribal heads, and finally, to all the bnei Yisroel (gemara Eiruvin 55). Here he taught it immediately to all in a public assemblage. The reason for this is simple. The building of the Mishkon was not a mitzvoh that each person could do on his own, such as tefillin. Rather, it was a communal mitzvoh, and as such, it was taught to all, even the women, and in one go. However, there was no need to relate the mitzvoh of Shabbos in the same assemblage. Why did Moshe first give THEM, "hikdim lo'hem," IN ASSEMBLAGE, the mitzvoh of Shabbos? It must be to teach them to not build the Mishkon at the expense of Shabbos. This is derived not from the positioning of these two mitzvos one to another, but from the fact that Shabbos was taught in "hakheil." This teaches that Shabbos plays a role in the building of the Mishkon.

However, we are left with a problem. According to this explanation the ruling is not derived from HIKDIM, but only from the fact that Shabbos was also taught in this assemblage. Why does Rashi mention which mitzvoh came first?

Lekach Tov, an Acharone, answers this. Had Moshe taught them the mitzvoh of building the Mishkon first, some of the people would have been so enthused that they would have immediately run out and begun the task. They would not have realized that Moshe was about to continue with the laws of Shabbos. This is why "HIKDIM lo'hem."

Why this ruling is taught twice remains to be explained. Although the building of the Mishkon being mentioned both in parshas Trumoh and here is explained by Rishonim (Some commentators say that it is a continuation of the parsha in Ki Siso, and other matters mentioned in between were a tangent), the need to repeat that Shabbos is not to be desecrated for the building of the Mishkon, remains to be clarified.

According to the opinion that the command to build the Mishkon took place chronologically ahead of the sin of the golden calf, we might have an answer. In the interim some of the bnei Yisroel had sinned with the golden calf. M.R. says that the building of the Mishkon brings exoneration for this sin. The need for this "kaporoh" was so terribly important that I might mistakenly believe that it must be done post haste, now even at the expense of Shabbos Kodesh. This requires a repetition of this ruling. (Nirreh li)


The level of difficulty of refraining from work on Shabbos is very much dependent upon one's attitude towards his work/income relationship. One who has the mistaken attitude that the "bottom line" of income depends solely upon the sweat of his brow will find it difficult to refrain from working on Shabbos, reasoning that it will cut deeply into his earnings. This is even more realistic if he feels that his income has a "weekend" high-traffic factor. For a person with this type of outlook, keeping the Shabbos is indeed a true challenge.

Contrast this with the person who has the mind-set of having his income come by decree of Hashem, and the pursuit of livelihood is the tax we must pay for Odom's sin, "b'zei'as a'pecho tochal lechem" (Breishis 3:19), or some other legitimate Torah-based reasoning, such as a test to see if one will comply with the laws of Choshen Mishpot at work, etc. For him refraining from work becomes much, much easier. It all depends upon the attitude.

This is why the Torah prefaces keeping Shabbos with "Sheishes yomim TEI'O'SEH m'lochoh." Realize that during the six weekdays your work is "done for you," TEI'O'SEH, that your income is decreed by Hashem. Then you will easily be able to keep Shabbos properly. (Apirion)

Alternatively, Shabbos is mentioned here in juxtaposition to the creation of the Mishkon to teach us that one should not do any creative work for the Mishkon at the expense of pushing away Shabbos (Rashi). The M.R. says that the creation of the components of the Mikdosh was done in a supernatural way. People put in their effort, but Hashem's angels helped in their creation, making sure that every item was accurately created, as per Hashem's specifications.

A person might thus mistakenly think that he is allowed to do this work even on Shabbos, as per the dictum, "shnayim she'ossu f'turim" (gemara Shabbos 3a), that when two people involve themselves in one act, they are each not held responsible for the desecration of Shabbos. However, this is not so. The verse later says that it is a "Shabbas Shabbosone laShem," that even Hashem and his celestial creatures also refrain from work on Shabbos. Thus if one were to create items for the Mishkon on Shabbos, he would be doing it on his own, without the involvement of an angel.

Our verse thus relates that even though the work of creating the Mishkon on the 6 weekdays is TEI'O'SEH, "it will be done," i.e. with the help of an angel, nevertheless, do not do it on Shabbos, as on that day you alone would be doing the work. (Mahari"l Diskin)


Rabbeinu Bachyei points out this inconsistency. He explains that the placement of "kodesh" both before and after "Shabbos Shabbosone" alludes to adding sanctity to the Shabbos, "tosfos Shabbos," both before and after Shabbos. What remains to be explained is why the indication to add to the Shabbos is placed at the END of Shabbos in Shmos 16:23 and 31:15, which appear first, and is placed at the BEGINNING of Shabbos in our verse, which appears later. Perhaps this can be answered by raising a question on a phrase in our well-known "Shabbos z'miros." In "Kol m'ka'deish shvii" we sing "hamachrim lotzeis min haShabbos um'maharim lovo," - those who delay to leave the Shabbos and hurry to enter it. Here too, things seem to be reversed, as one enters Shabbos first as it commences, and only afterwards exits from the sanctity of Shabbos at its conclusion. Many of the answers for this question will answer ours as well. For example, if we assume add to Shabbos because we do not have clear knowledge of exactly when the weekday ends and Shabbos begins, then there was no need for adding to the Shabbos all the years the bnei Yisroel were in the desert, as there was a "changing of the guard" between day and night when the pillars of clouds that surrounded the encampment changed for the pillars of fire at night. However, upon the death of Moshe both these types of pillars ceased. Moshe died on Shabbos in the afternoon according to the opinion of many, hence the first time the bnei Yisroel were in doubt as to when the day ended was as Shabbos ended. Therefore there was an addition to the Shabbos at its end before there was an addition at its beginning the following Friday. Since this is what the future held, the Torah when alluding to the sanctity of Shabbos extending beyond the basic 24 hour period, did so in the order it would take place in practice.


1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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."


1) The Imrei Shefer answers that the M.R. chapter 51 and the Medrash Tanchuma chapter 9 say that the donations of gold for the Mishkon are an atonement for the gold given for the making of the golden calf. The word form HANOFOH is used by sacrifices which are an atonement. Therefore, specifically by the gold donations this word is used to indicate that the donations of gold afford atonement similar to a sacrifice.

There is a difficulty with this explanation. We find the expression "U'n'choshes haT'NUFOH" in Shmos 38:29.

2) The Meshech Chochmoh explains the reason for the word form HANOFOH used by gold and copper specifically because there is a law that items created for mundane purposes may not be used for building the Mishkon or for its vessels. We only find two materials that were personal items of the donours. They are jewellery and the copper mirrors used for the laver (kior). If an item that was created for a mundane use was changed in form it is considered a new item and may be used for the Mishkon. The golden jewellery was melted and recast. The copper mirrors were soldered together to form the laver. Each of these acts was an ELEVATION from its previous use, hence the use of the word form HANOFOH specifically by gold and copper.



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

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