Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
on the Weekly Parsha

subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

For sponsorships and advertising opportunities, send e-mail to:SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM


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?

1) Even though a prophet is believed that he received a prophecy to transgress a negative command of the Torah, this is only true if it is a short term exception, such as with Eliyohu on Mount Carmel. If the prophet says that he received a prophecy from Hashem that a mitzvoh should be transgressed on a regular basis, this may not be believed. Since the materials for the priestly garments contained both linen and wool threads which constitute shaatnez, the Torah points out that the garments were made "kaa'sher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe," specifically because Hashem gave this command through Moshe who was trusted to transmit mitzvos even when they contradict one another, did the bnei Yisroel follow through and create the garments as commanded, even though they contained shaatnez. (MESHECH CHOCHMOH)

2) All components of the Mishkon, its vessels, and the priestly garments had to be created for the intention of being used for the Mishkon and its services. For example, one could not donate an already made sheet of material that happened to fit the requirements for a section of the roof covering. If one created a Shulchon or altar without any specific intention, we assume that it was made for the Mishkon, since there is a prohibition to make a duplicate for mundane use as per the gemara M'nochos 28b. Therefore, one need not state that he is crafting it for the Mishkon, as this is self-understood, as otherwise he would transgress. However, there is no prohibition to duplicate the priestly garments. One must therefore have specific intention to make the garments for the use of the Kohanim.

We now understand why the Torah mentioned "Kaas'sher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe" specifically by the creation of the priestly garments, to show that they were specifically created as a fulfillment of Hashem's command to Moshe. (MESHECH CHOCHMOH) 3) The GRI"Z, Rabbi Yitzchok Zeiv haLevi Soloveitchik zt"l raises a question on the term "V'atoh T'ZA'VEH" (27:20). Why is the term "tzivuy" not used in parshas Trumoh regarding the building of the Mishkon and its vessels? Actually this is already raised by the Rashbam who answers that the term "tzivuy" means to command regarding a matter that will apply for further generations, as Rashi points out in the first verse of parshas Tzav. It is mentioned in the gemara Kidushin 29a. He says that the command to build a Mishkon and its vessels only applies as long as there was a Mishkon, but the command to prepare oil for lighting the menorah is permanent. However, the GRI"Z says that this concept should be applied to a different aspect of the Mishkon. This is the fact that the details of the Mishkon and its vessels are not for all further generations, as the dimensions of the Beis Hamikdosh and its vessels and their numbers changed later. This is in keeping with the interpretation of the Ramban on the words "v'chein taasu" (25:9) meaning to be done with alacrity, and not with Rashi who explains that it means that the Mishkon and its vessels should be copied (to an extent) for all generations.

This is not the case with the priestly garments. All the details given by the Torah in their construction are to be adhered to for all generations. Therefore the Torah uses the term "tzivuy" for the creation of the garments in parshas T'za'veh and uses no such term in parshas Trumoh since all matters discussed are not for all further generations.

This explains why the words "Kaas'sher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe" is used throughout our parsha since it deals with the priestly garments, and is not used in parshas Va'yakheil which deals with the Mishkon and its vessels.

The GRI"Z answers a difficulty in 39:1 with this concept. The verse says "...... ossu vigdei srod ...... va'yaasu es bigdei hakodesh asher l'Aharon kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe." He asks why the term "asioh" is used twice. Would it not have sufficed to say "ossu vigdei srod ...... v'es bigdei ......"? He answers that the "bigdei srod" were the cloth covers for the Mishkon components, used to house them when travelling. These were only needed in the desert when the bnei Yisroel traveled. In later generations the Mishkon did not travel from place to place, so there was no need for bigdei hasrod. The priestly garments mentioned in the second half of the verse were to be made in all future generations as well. The Torah therefore has to mention an "asioh" of the bigdei hasrod without the term "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe," to indicate that it is not for all future generations, and a separate "asioh" for the garments of the Kohanim with the addendum "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe," for the making of the priestly apparel.

4) Possibly, another approach can answer this question. In parshas T'za'veh the explanation of the Paa'nei'ach Rozo was given for the omission of Moshe's name from the parsha. He says that Moshe lost the opportunity to become a Kohein when he declined to do Hashem's bidding of being the agent to bring the bnei Yisroel out of Egypt. Since he lost the K'hunoh, Hashem left his name out of the parshas which deals in the main with the garments of the Kohanim.

We know that when a person is slighted by a concept he often does not deal with it in its proper capacity. An example is that a mamzeir should not write the verse "Lo yovo mamzeir bikhal Hashem" (Dvorim 23:3). We fear that a mamzeir would not write these words which are so detrimental to him with the fully required intention, "lishmoh."

In spite of Moshe's lofty character development there is a possibility that the bnei Yisroel would fear that when it came to the priestly garments, Moshe might not give over all details and minutiae properly, since he had lost the opportunity to wear them and that his name was omitted from the parsha detailing them. In this particular circumstance the bnei Yisroel had a way of checking on Moshe's accuracy. This was through B'tzal'eil. He was picked to build the Mishkon, its vessels, and craft the priestly garments because he was knowledgeable enough of the powers of the letters of the Alef Beis to be able to recreate the world. The Mishkon was a microcosm of the world, as mentioned in M.R. Breishis 3:9 and in Yalkut Shimoni Shmos remez 419. He was able to use the world as a blueprint from which to craft all that was required for the Mishkon. The bnei Yisroel had open to themselves the option of checking on Moshe by asking B'tzal'eil the details of making the bigdei K'hunoh.

This is what the verse tells us 18 times with the words "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe" regarding the making of the priestly garments. The bnei Yisroel implicitly trusted Moshe and did not check up on him. Instead they crafted the priestly garments "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe."

The point raised by the GRI"Z in 39:1 is actually answered by the three other offerings as well. According to the first insight of the MESHECH CHOCHMOH that the Torah stressed that a command from Hashem to Moshe was needed to override the prohibition of shaatnez, this was not necessary for the bigdei hasrod, which contained no linen. Therefore the Torah mentions an "asioh" without "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe, and for the crafting of the bigdei K'hunoh which contained shaatnez an "asioh" with "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe."

The second explanation of the MESHECH CHOCHMOH was that the crafting of the bigdei K'hunoh needed a specific intention, "lishmoh." Again, the bigdei hasrod did not need this, hence no "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe," and the bigdei K'hunoh did need this intention, hence a separate "asioh" with "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe."

The final offering answers this as well. The bigdei hasrod did not encompass a failing of Moshe, hence there was no need to check up on him for accuracy and no need to mention "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe." Regarding the crafting of the bigdei K'hunoh where there was a fear that the bnei Yisroel would not fully trust Moshe the Torah mentions a separate "asioh" that was "kaasher tzivoh Hashem es Moshe."

Ch. 40, v. 30: "Va'yi'tein SHOMOH mayim" - We find in parshas Ki Siso 30:18 "V'nosato SHOMOH moyim." Why does our verse not say "Va'yi'tein BO mayim," and in Ki Siso why does the verse not say "v'nosato BO moyim?" The Meshech Chochmoh answers that the gemara Z'vochim 22a says that one is not required to sanctify his hands and feet specifically from the laver. One may use any sanctified vessel. The Yerushalmi Yoma 4:5 says that although any sanctified vessel may be used, the location of the washing of the Kohein's hands and feet must take place in the LOCATION of the laver given by the Torah, between the Ohel Mo'eid and the outer altar, off to the south side slightly, so that it is not in front of the eastern opening of the Mikdosh. This explains why the term SHOMOH is used. The water need not come from within the laver, as another vessel may be used, but SHOMOH, washing must take place at the location of the laver.


See also Sedrah Selections, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.

For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to parsha@shemayisrael.co.il

Jerusalem, Israel