CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL-P'KUDEI 5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 35, v. 3: "Lo s'vaaru aish b'chol moshvoseichem b'yom haShabbos" - Why
was the m'lochoh of kindling a fire singled out as a Shabbos restriction
since there are 39 different headings of m'lochose which are forbidden?
2) Ch. 35, v. 13: "V'eis lechem haponim" - Our verses discuss the components
of the Mishkon and not the offerings, as at this point the Mishkon was not
functioning. If so, what does the verse mean with "v'eis lechem haponim"?
3) Ch. 38, v. 8: "B'maros ha'tzovos" - The laver was made of such highly
polished copper, that it had the properties of a mirror. The laver was placed in
the area between the outer altar and the Sanctuary doorway, but off to the
south, beyond the entrance. This positioning allowed women to notice this highly
reflective vessel. It served as a reminder that a wayward wife who was
suspected of infidelity would be brought to the Mikdosh to be tested by drinking of
the water of the laver. (Moshav Z'keinim)
Rashi says that Moshe was reluctant to accept the copper mirrors for such a
lofty purpose, since the mirrors had been used by the women to adorn themselves
in order to arouse their husbands. Hashem responded that the copper mirrors
were very dear to Him, as the women had used the mirrors to beautify
themselves in order to revive their husbands' broken spirits in Egypt, and for the
spiritual aspect of having children and keeping the Jewish people alive. This is
referred to in Shir Hashirim 8:5, "Tachas hatapuach orartich."
Why did Moshe not mind using the women's "kumoz" (35:22), an abdominal plate?
4) Ch. 38, v. 22: "U'V'tzal'eil ...... ossoh KOL asher tzivoh Hashem es
Moshe" - Rashi points out that the word KOL indicates that B'tzal'eil did ALL that
Hashem commanded Moshe, even that which Moshe did not command him. The gemara
Brochos 55a explains that we find that Moshe advised B'tza'leil to craft the
vessels of the Mishkon before he told him to build the Mishkon itself.
B'tza'leil questioned this order. He asked Moshe if the order should not be switched,
to create the vessels before creating the building, so that there would be a
building into which the vessels could be placed. Moshe replied in the
affirmative, that the Mishkon should indeed be built first.
The Tur Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. #684 brings in the name of the P'sikto that the
reason we read the chapters of the N'siim (Bmidbar 7:1-8:4) during Chanukah is
because the creation of all items needed for the Mishkon was completed on the
25th day of Kisleiv, the first day of Chanukah.
The Ta"Z ad loc s.k. 1 adds that although the completion of the creation of
the Mishkon, its vessels, and the priestly garments took place on the 25th of
Kisleiv, the actual assembly of the Mishkon took place on the first day of
Nison, as mentioned in numerous medroshim.
According to the above, even if the vessels were crafted after the creation
of the Mishkon components, since the vessels were completed by the 25th of
Kisleiv and the Mishkon was not assembled until the next Rosh Chodesh Nison, the
vessels were completed and the Mishkon was not assembled, so there still wasn't
a building into which the vessels could be placed. What was accomplished by
making the vessels first?
5) Ch. 39, v. 5: "Kaas'sher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe" - This expression appears
no less than 18 times in our parsha as pointed out by the Baal Haturim.
However, it appears only by the creation of the Kohanim's apparel. Why was this
expression not used by the building of the Mishkon and the crafting of its
vessels in parshas Va'yakheil?
Answer to questions on parshas Ki Siso:
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
The Ramban says that there is no specific need to have a "kior," a laver, for
the hand and feet sanctification of the Kohanim. We see from gemara Yoma 43b
that any sanctified vessel that can hold water may be used. On Yom Kippur,
for the honour of the Kohein Godol, a golden vessel called "kiton" was used.
Since the kior is not intrinsic to creating the sanctity of the Mishkon, it is
therefore not mentioned together with the other vessels, which were required to
create the sanctity of the Mishkan campus. The Rambam in hilchos Bi'as
Mikdosh 5:10 makes the same point.
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?
On the words in parshas Shmos "Va'yar b'sivlosom" (2:11) the M.R. 1:28 says
that Moshe said that the bnei Yisroel could no longer endure such harsh
slavery. He went to Paroh and stated that he who drives his slave so harshly and does
not give him a day of rest will grind him to death. Paroh agreed and said,
"Tell the bnei Yisroel that they are granted a weekly day of rest." Moshe
designated the day of Shabbos for this rest.
We now have an answer for all three questions. V'ATOH, specifically YOU, who
once told the bnei Yisroel to not work on Shabbos so that they may rest their
weary bodies, now tell them ACH, exclude the previous reason that Shabbos is
for resting the body, but rather tell them a new reason for safeguarding; it is
ONLY because the Shabbosos are MINE, a sign between Me and you, "ki ose hee
beini u'veineichem." (Ari z"l brought in the Nachal K'dumim)
3) Ch. 31, v. 16: "LA'ASOSE es haShabbos" - How does one MAKE the Shabbos?
The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh answers that this is done through adding onto the
Shabbos, creating Tosfos Shabbos.
By the way, the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh also derives from the words "LA'ASOSE es
haShabbos" that the rule of desecrating the Shabbos to save one's life only
applies to someone who could possibly live to keep a future Shabbos. If it is
exceedingly obvious that the person to be saved will not survive until the
following Shabbos, Shabbos may not be desecrated. This has raised the concern of
many a commentator, because on a simple level this is contrary to the clearly
stated halacha that one desecrates the Shabbos to even extend one's life for a
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?
The Paa'nei'ach Rozo answers that "Hashem Elokei Yisroel" has the numeric
value of 613, the total of the Torah's mitzvos. When asking Hashem to invoke His
characteristic of forgiveness, we mention that we have accepted upon ourselves
the yoke of fulfilling His 613 mitzvos.
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?
The GR"A answers that until this point we have the story of the sin of the
golden calf. The only tribe that was totally untainted by this sin was Levi.
We don't want to embarrass the "oleh laTorah" by reading the golden calf
episode during his "aliyoh." We therefore lengthen the first two "aliyos" which are
given to a Kohein and a Levi, whose ancestors did not serve the golden calf.
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