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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 4, v. 32: "Uvsheimos tif'k'du es klei mishme'res maso'om" - And with names shall you appoint the safeguarding of the vessels of their load - Ramban explains this to mean that the family of M'rori should not be given the responsibility to transport the beams, connecting rods, and foundation sockets in a general manner.

Rather, each person in that family by name should be given both specific items and specific amounts that he should carry.

The Sforno (verse 49) says that these words mean that each person who carries an item should know its name.

The Holy Shalo"h offers a most novel explanation of these words. He asks, "How was it possible to carry items that were made of heavy metals, copper, silver, and gold?" He answers that the vessels were and Mishkon components were invested with Holy Names, "uvsheimos tif'k'du." This served like a soul to a body, and just as "chai no'sei es atzmo," a live being carries itself, and his weight is lightened, so too, these holy items had an inner spirit, which made them lighter.

Ch. 4, v. 49: "V'al maso'o" - And on his load - The Sforno says that these words mean that each person who carries an item should know the weight of the item.

Ch. 5, v. 4: "Va'yaasu chein bnei Yisroel va'y'shalchu osom el michutz lamacha'neh .. kein ossu bnei Yisroel" - And the bnei Yisroel did so and they sent them away from the encampment .. thus did the bnei Yisroel do - Why is the statement that the bnei Yisroel complied with the command to send defiled people out of the encampment repeated? This teaches us that although those who were afflicted with "tzoraas," which according to some opinions is an infectious disorder, nevertheless, they were only sent out because of Hashem's command. The second statement teaches us that those who were afflicted with a lesser defilement, "zivoh," who were only sent out of the two innermost camps, and were allowed into the outermost camp, were only sent out as far as required and were happily accepted in "macha'neh Yisroel." (Sha"ch)

Alternatively, the repetition teaches us that not only were the ritually clean people on guard to send out those who were not, but even those who were defiled totally cooperated, leaving of their own accord, as they too wanted the camps to be pure, as required. (Chizkuni)

Ch. 5, v. 14: "V'ki'nei es ishto" - And he warns his wife - Not only must a husband warn his wife against improprietous behaviour, but also his children and his household, to the point that he feels assured that they do not do any sin. If he just sits back he is a sinner himself. (Rambam hilchos Sotoh 4:19)

Ch. 5, v. 28: "V'niksoh v'niz'r'oh zora" - And when she will be vindicated of wrongdoing she will have children - Rashi (gemara Sotoh 26a) says that if this woman had no children in the past, she would now have children. If she gave birth with difficulty, now it would come with relative ease. If her past children were ugly, now she would give birth to attractive children. Does this apply to the suspected man who went into seclusion with her as well? Sifsei Kohein says that it applies to him also.

Ch. 5, v. 31: "V'nikoh ho'ish mei'ovone v'ho'ishoh ha'hee tiso es avonoh" - And the man is cleansed of sin and that woman will bear her sin - Even though the outcome of the "sotoh" water test shows her innocence, do not think that the husband has a taint of the sin of being suspect of wrongdoing in another person, "cho'sheid bich'sheirim." He is totally innocent because his wife committed some very suspect actions, and especially even after he warned her not to do so. The woman, although innocent, still bears wrongdoing, namely her impropriety of going into seclusion with another man. (Abarbanel, Sforno) B'chor Shor writes that the husband is not guilty of suspecting an upright person because the Torah prohibits their having relations until the matter is clarified. Since there is this compelling need, there is nothing wrong with suspecting her of wrongdoing and clarifying it. The Rambam in his commentary on the first chapter of Yoma writes likewise regarding the Kohein Godol who is asked if he will properly light the incense only upon entering the Holy of Holies and not earlier. However, his position here might be that of the Abarbanel and Sforno, since the Kohein Godol had not shown any indication of wanting to ignite the incense in the improper location, while the wife has been wayward by going into seclusion with another man, and has lost her upright status.

Ch. 7, v. 3: "Sheish eglos tzov ushnei ossor bokor" - Six calves for covered wagons and twelve oxen -The medrash says that these animals never died. (Yalkut Dovid)

Ch. 7, v. 17: "Zeh korban Nach'shone ben Aminodov" - This is the offering of Nach'shone the son of Aminodov - The Sifri says that these words teach us that Nach'shone brought his offering from his own possessions, and not through collecting from his tribe. Why does the Sifri add on "and not through collecting from his tribe"? If it was from his own possessions, then it is obvious that it cannot be from others.

However, these words carry great importance. They are anything but superfluous. In Russia certain taxes that were levied by the government were "franchised" to a collector. Included, or more accurately, added to the tax, was an expense account for the collecting and delivery of the funds. Many collectors wasted vast amounts of money to facilitate their work. They rode in the fanciest coaches, stayed at the "five-star" hotels, and wined and dined all on the expense account of the beleaguered public.

A Rav in one community was told that a tax collector in his area had "repented," and now kept his overhead to a minimum, staying in simple hotels, bringing along his own food, etc. The Rav's response was that this collector had not improved. Quite to the contrary, he had reached a new low. Until now his attitude was that the monies he collected were the government's, and as such, he allowed himself to spend it lavishly. Now that he became so used to squandering it at his own discretion, it became "his" money. Once it was his, he suddenly became very thrifty.

By just saying that Nach'shone brought offerings from his own property we arte far from assured that it wasn't collected from his tribe and was his by virtue of "collector's attitude." Only by adding that he did not collect it from his tribe, do we have a clear understanding that it was truly from his own funds. (Oznayim laTorah)

Ch. 7, v. 48,54: "Ba'yom hashvii nosi livnei Efroyim, Ba'yom hashmini nosi livnei Menasheh" - On the seventh day the tribal head for Efrayim, On the eighth day the tribal head for Menasheh -The medrash relates that Hashem told Yoseif, "You did not commit adultery. I swear that in this merit your sons Efrayim and Menasheh will bring offerings one after the other."

This medrash can be understood as follows: In Sh.O. O.Ch. 141:6 it says that two brothers should not be given "aliyos" to the Torah consecutively because of the fear of an "ayin hora." The gemara Brochos 20a says that Yoseif brought merit to his descendants that an "ayin hora" would have no negative affect upon them because he did not satiate his eyes through sinning with the wife of Poti Fera. The gemara gives an illustration of this from Rabbi Yochonon, who did something that would normally evoke an "ayin hora," but he said that not concerned because he was a descendant of Yoseif.

We can now understand the medrash quite clearly. Because Yoseif did not commit adultery with Poti Fera's wife, his descendants would not be affected by an "ayin hora." Therefore they could bring offerings on consecutive days and not fear an "ayin hora," as one normally would if two brothers would have consecutive "aliose." (Rbbi Chaim Palag'i in T'nufoh Chaim)

Ch. 7, v. 78: "B'yom shneim ossor yom" - On the day that was the twelfth day - A Yeshivah bochur came to the Hornesteipler Gaon, Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Kanievsky, for "chizuk," because he had grave doubts as to the authenticity of Torah being Divine. Among the points raised by the Hornesteipler Gaon was that the repetition of the offerings of the tribal heads for the dedication of the Mishkon, totaling the same information twelve times is ample proof that the Holy Torah is not man-authored. Who in his right mind would repeat in lengthy detail, the same information, twelve times? It is only because Torah is "min hashomayim" that it is repeated. (Halichos V'hanhogos mei'haGaon haK'hilos Yaakov) It is most interesting to note that the numerical value of "yom shneim ossor yom" and the count of its letters (i"h) equal that of "Torah min hashomayim."



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

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