Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 30, v. 13: "Esrim geiroh hashekel" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH points out that every place the Torah tells us how many geiroh make a shekel, there is a need to know this because of a situation that requires splitting the shekel into smaller coinage. In our case it is very obvious, since the mitzvoh is to give a half-shekel. More on this bez"H in parshas Bmidbar. Perhaps there is a second reason it is mentioned here as pointed out by the gemara Yerushalmi Shkolim -- Ch. 30, v. 13: "Machatzis hashekel" - The gemara Yerushalmi Shkolim 2:3 explains why exactly this amount was required. Since the bnei Yisroel brought this for the Mishkon, and one reason for building the Mishkon was to atone for the sin of the golden calf, which was considered idol worship. Idol worship is equated to forsaking all the Ten Commandments. Therefore, a half-shekel was required to be given, equal to ten "geiroh."

Ch. 30, v. 18: "V'nosato SHOMOH moyim" - Should the verse not have said "v'nosato BO moyim?" The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that the gemara Z'vochim 22a says that the washing ritual of the Kohanim's hands and feet does not require the "kior." It is sufficient to pour the water from any sanctified vessel that meets certain volume requirements. However, it is required to do the washing in the area of the location of the "kior," in the southern area between the "ulom," the front chamber of the Beis Hamikdosh, and the altar, as mentioned in the gemara Yerushalmi Yoma 4:5. Therefore the Torah stresses SHOMOH, as the location is critical, and not BO, as the "kior" is not critical. As well, when the Mishkon was erected and its vessels were put into place for their service the verse also says "Va'yi'tein SHOMOH mayim" (Shmos 40:30).


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