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@AOL.COM


Ch. 30, v. 12: "Siso Es Rosh Bnei Yisroel" - You will total the number (raise the head) of bnei Yisroel - The first letters of these words have the numerical value of 613. Keeping the 613 mitzvos is the foolproof medium to elevate the bnei Yisroel. (Rabbi Noach Mindes)

Ch. 30, v. 12: "Rosh" - The number - The Yalkut Shimoni says that if we take the numerical value of the first letters of the names of all the tribes, save Levi who was counted separately, we will have 600. This alludes to the rounded off total of 600,000 people. This is hinted to in the word "rosh," whose numerical value equals that of "chutz mi'sheivet Levi." (Rabbi Noach Mindes)

Ch. 30, v. 16: "V'hoyoH livneI YisroeL l'zikoroN" - And it shall be for the bnei Yisroel as a remembrance - The gemara Megiloh 13b says that Hashem was well aware of Homon's plans to buy the bnei Yisroel from Achashveirosh for 10,000 "kikar kesef" and to then ch"v annihilate them. Therefore Hashem preceded Homon and commanded the bnei Yisroel to offer "shkolim" so that their merit of giving "shkolim" should neutralize Homon's "shkolim." This is alluded to in these words of our verse. The final letters of these words, which relate that the act of giving "shkolim" will be remembered at a later date, "l'zikoron," have the same numerical value as Homon. (Niflo'os Chadoshos)

Ch. 30, v. 23: "Mor drore" - Choice myrrh - The gemara Chulin 139b says that Mordechai is alluded to in the Torah in these words of our verse. Targum translates these 2 words as "meira dachyo," phonetically very close to the name Mordechai. The Maharsh"o on the gemara explains that just as myrrh was a spice that was chosen for the incense, described as "b'somim ROSH," so too, Mordechai was a leader for the bnei Yisroel, giving them guidance by abstaining from the royal feast, etc. As well, he led them in their fight for freedom against the evil plans of Homon, hence the connection to "drore." Rabbi Yoseif Chaim Sonnenfeld says that although the gemara brings an allusion for Homon from a verse in parshas Breishis, there is likewise an allusion to him in our parsha of incense spices. One of the 11 spices is "chel'b'noh," the only foul-smelling spice among them. Homon has the same numerical value as "chel'b'noh."

Ch. 32, v. 2: "Porku nizmei hazohov asher b'oznei n'sheichem B'NEICHEM uvnoseichem" - From the word "b'neichem" we see that wearing earrings was in vogue for males in the desert. Did they also wear nose rings, as we find by Rivkoh, "nezem zohov" (Breishis 24:22)? This is obviously a nose ring and not an earring, as he only gave her one. (I take the liberty to assume that girls didn't wear only one earring.) It seems that men don't wear nose rings, as per Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer chapter #14. It says that the reason women wear nose rings is that nose rings are a sign of permanent slavery to men as a result of Chavoh's bringing Odom to sin. Just as an indentured slave has his ear lobe bored through as a sign that he is indentured (Shmos 21:6), so too, women wear nose rings, which go through a hole in the nostrils, to show that they serve men.

Ch. 32, v. 4: "Va'yikaCH miyodoM va'yotzaR osO" - And he took from their hand and he formed it - These words indicate that Aharon not only accepted the gold to form the golden calf, but that he actually formed its shape. On the other hand in verse 24 we find him telling Moshe that they gave him the gold and he simply took it, threw it into fire, and a golden calf emerged, not that he formed it. Later in verse we find that the golden calf was "ma'seichoh," molten. We can thus say that a form was created into which the molten gold was poured, and the golden calf took shape by itself. An allusion to Aharon's not directly forming the actual calf can be found in the final letters of "Va'yikaCH miyodoM va'yotzaR osO," which spell "chomer," material. Even though our verse says "va'yotzar oso bacheret," Rashi in his first explanation says that this was a tourniquet used to fuse the jewellery that was brought. Even according to Rashi's second explanation that this was a tool used for etching and shaping, we can say that these words refer to the form into which the gold was poured. "Va'yaa'seihu eigel" refers back to the material that was brought. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 32, v. 6: "L'tza'cheik" - To make jest - Rashi (Medrash Tanchuma #20) says that this word encompasses both immorality and murder. It surely also means to convey that they worshipped the golden calf. "L'tza'cheik" has the same numerical value as "eigel ma'seichoh" (verse 8). (Rabbi Noach Mindes)

Ch. 32, v. 22: "V'ro hu" - It is in a bad state - The Baal Haturim says that the letters of "v'ro," Beis- Reish-Ayin spell EiReV. This allude to the fact that the "EiReV rav," the mixed multitudes who came along with them from Egypt persuaded them to sin, as per the Medrash Tanchuma #21. As just mentioned above, Rashi explains that "l'tzacheik" not only means that they worshipped the golden calf, but also encompasses the sins of immorality and murder. We can thus say that that these three acts are alluded to in RA, spelled Reish-Ayin, Aroyos, Avodoh (zoroh), R'tzichoh.

Ch. 33, v. 5: "V'atoh horeiD ed'y'CHo mei'o'leCHo" - And now remove your jewellery from upon you - Rabbeinu Bachyei writes that the jewellery was actually the garments of those who brought "shlomim" sacrifices at the time of receiving the Torah (Shmos 24:5). Droplets of blood from the sacrifices spotted their garments, and this was their "badge of honour." This is alluded to in the final letters of these words of our verse, Dalet, Kof-Kof, whose numerical value is 44, the same as "dam," blood. (Niflo'os Chadoshos)

Ch. 34, v. 21: "TishboS bechoriSH uvakotziR tishboS" - You shall rest from plowing and harvesting you shall rest - The gemara Shabbos 35brelates that on the eve of Shabbos the shofar was sounded a number of times to inform working people to wrap up their work and prepare for Shabbos. This is alluded to in the final letters of these words, which are "TaSHRaT," T'kioh, Shvorim, tRuoh, T'kioh." (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 34, v. 21: "Bechorish uvakotzir tishbos" - You shall rest from plowing and harvesting - Numerous books that discuss the sanctity of Shabbos say that one should refrain from unnecessary talk on Shabbos, and even that which is required, should be said in a concise manner. This is alluded to in these words. "Bechorish," by being "mute," "uvakotzir," and by being "concise," shall you rest. (Taam Vodaas)

Ch. 34, v. 29: "Ki koran or ponov" - That the skin of his face beamed - The M.R. 47:6 says that Moshe merited to have "beams of glory" emanate from himself by virtue of the extra ink left in his quill when he wrote the Torah. He wiped the ink off in the strands of hair of his head and this illuminated his face. What is the symbolism of wiping off the ink in his hair? As explained in Chanukas haTorah and others, although the illumination came when Moshe wiped off the ink, it happened in the merit of Moshe's "mesiras nefesh" when entreating Hashem to forgive the nation for the sin of the golden calf. As mentioned earlier in 32:22 in the name of the Medrash Tanchuma #21, the "eirev rav" was responsible for the sin. Moshe sought even their atonement. They were the fringe, connected to the bnei Yisroel, but not truly integrated as living pulsating bnei Yisroel. They are to be likened to hair, which although alive, is a fringe to the body. When cut it does not bleed. There is no pain when it is cut, etc. Moshe wiped the ink, which is used to write the Torah, in his hair, symbolic of the "eirev rav," so that even they not be destroyed. Such compassion merited his face being illuminated. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 34, v. 32: "V'acha'rei chein nigshu kol bnei Yisroel" - And afterwards all the bnei Yisroel drew close - Rashi brings the gemara Eiruvin 54b, which explains that Moshe taught the Torah 4 times. I heard that this is why our printed gemoros are formatted so that there are four lines of Rashi and Tosfos extending above the column of gemara.



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

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
Jerusalem, Israel