by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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OROH V'SIMCHOH - MESHECH CHOCHMOH ON PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL - BS"D
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? The Imrei Shefer answers that the M.R. chapter 51 and the Medrash Tanchumoh 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.
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.
Ch. 36, v. 13: "Va'yaas chamishim karsei zohov" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH points out a difference in the order of words in our verse, which discusses the making of the golden hooks, where the number appears before the items, and verse 18, which discusses the making of the copper hooks, where the item appears before the number, "va'yaas karsei n'choshes chamishim." He adds that we find this same difference in parshas Trumoh by the command to create these items (26:6 and 26:11).
He explains that when the number is mentioned earlier, the amount is not fixed, as even more may be created. When the number is mentioned afterwards, the Torah is telling us to make exactly that amount and no more. He does not explain why the order indicates this. Perhaps, although unlikely, this goes under the ruling of "klal ufrat ein bichlal ela mah shebifrat." More likely, this can be understood with the words of the Chizkuni. He says that when an earlier part of a verse contains a thought that is not self understood, then the continuation stands by itself. Thus our verse by saying "va'yaas chamishim" is still not understood. When it continues with "karsei zohov" it stands alone, meaning that there may be as many as you wish to create. In verse 18 where it says "va'yaas karsei n'choshes," a self contained idea, the word "chamishim" that follows limits it to only 50. Thus more than 50 golden hooks may be made, while only 50 copper hooks should be made.
Why this should be so can be understood with the words of the MESHECH CHOCHMOH on verse 18.
<< Ch. 36, v. 18: "Va'yaas karsei n'choshes chamishim L'CHA'BER ES HO'OHEL" - In verse 13 where it discusses the golden connecting hooks for the Mishkon coverings, the words "l'cha'ber es ho'ohel" are not mentioned. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that halacha required that all items used for the Mishkon and its vessels be created specifically for the sanctity of the Mishkon, etc. The dwellings people lived in also had sheets of material used as roof coverings. It is very likely that to connect the sheets of material, inexpensive copper hooks were also used, similar to those required for the upper Mishkon covering. Therefore the Torah stresses, "l'chaber es ho'ohel," to emphasize that the hooks used to join the sections of the Sanctuary covering had to be created specifically for that purpose. For the bottom level, the Mishkon covering, which would be visible, the Torah required that the hooks be made of gold (verse 13). Since people would not use gold to make hooks for the roof coverings of their own homes, it was therefore not necessary to mention "l'cha'ber es ho'ohel" in verse 13.>>
It is now well understood that if extra golden hooks were to be made, there would be no fear that they would accidentally be used for one's personal needs, as gold would never be used for hooks that attach sections of roof coverings. However, the Torah was concerned that if extra copper hooks that were sanctified were left in storage, there might be the possibility that they might accidentally be confused with other copper unsanctified hooks, and be used in one's personal tent, hence the restriction to only create 50 of them.
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