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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 4, v. 22: "Nosso es rosh bnei Gershon gam heim" - Count the population of the sons of Gershon as well - The three sons of Levi, Gershon, K'hos, and M'rori allude to three situations in our history. "K'hos" refers to the times when we reside in our land in peace, when all are assembled, and not flung to the corners of the earth, as in "v'lo yik'has." This is an obvious time for being elevated and connecting to "beis avosom l'mish'p'chosom." Gershon, when there is exile, when the bnei Yisroel are "grushim," chased away from their land, "gam heim," also in this situation they can connect to their roots, as even while in the Diaspora Hashem is still connected to them. "M'rori," the time of bitterness, is when the bnei Yisroel are not only in exile, but when there is much forsaking of the Torah and its values, a time of ch"v shmad, and of the cruelest edicts against our people. This requires no "l'veis avosom." The people who adhere to the Torah during this most challenging time need not be elevated, "nosso," as their not succumbing to the challenges of the times is sufficient to put them on the highest spiritual rung. (Chasam Sofer)

Ch. 4, v. 24: "Laavode ulmasso" - To serve and to bear a load - "L'masso" is not mentioned earlier by the bnei K'hos, only "laavode." This is because the bnei K'hos had the responsibility of carrying the Holy Ark, which not only brought no weight to bear on its porters, but even carried them. The bnei Gershon and bnei M'rori carried items that were weighty, hence "ulmasso." (Shaar Bas Rabim)

Ch. 4, v. 26: "V'eis kol asher yei'o'seh lo'hem" - And all that will be done to them - Rashi explains that the antecedent of "lo'hem" is the bnei Gershon. This means that any other items of the Mishkon given to them are also their responsibility. The Malbim, based on the future tense, "yei'o'seh," interprets this to mean that the responsibility to create new vessels, items that WILL be made, is upon them.

Sforno says that KOL includes their responsibility of caring for items that make the Mishkon function, "v'ovodu." This includes hammers to pound the stakes for the fencing into the ground, and pliers to remove the stakes before traveling.

Ch. 5, v. 4: "Va'yaasu chein bnei Yisroel" - Had these four words been a complete verse and the rest of this verse been left out, it seems that the same information is conveyed. In total it seems that the same point is mentioned four times.

Rabbi Volf Heidenheim says that the first words "Va'yaasu chein" teach that people sent out even their relatives. The Chizkuni explains "kein ossu" as including the cooperation of the defiled people to leave. Binoh L'itim says that the final "kein ossu" teaches that the people readily understood that being defiled is negative since there is a requirement to have them removed. They therefore took steps to avoid becoming defiled in the first place. Ksav sofer says that "kaasher di'ber Hashem" teaches that they did not send out the people who were afflicted with "tzoraas" for fear that they would spread their disorder. Rather, they did it totally out of devotion to Hashem's command.

Ch. 5, v. 6: "Mikol chatos ho'odom" - Of any of the sins of man - This alludes to the sin of primary man, Odom. He ate fruit of the "eitz hadaas" without first reciting a blessing, which is theft. The world was created through the power of the letter Beis, the first letter of the Torah. It stands for "brochoh," blessing. By not reciting a blessing, Odom drew the world downward spiritually. Anyone who is guilty of theft taps into the sin of primary man. (Holy Shal"oh)

Ch. 5, v. 6: "Limol maal baShem" - To transgress against Hashem - We are discussing theft from a convert, and one might readily believe that he has only sinned against a person, as indicated by the earlier words "mikol chatos ho'odom." The verse therefore tells us that it doesn't stop there. This is likewise a sin against Hashem. (M'leches Mach'she'ves)

Ch. 5, v. 6: "V'oshmoh" - And it has sinned - "The term "oshom" indicates an intentional sin. However, the beginning of the verse says "mikol chatos," indicative of an unintentional sin. Since we are discussing the sin of theft this is well understood. The gemara says that most people are guilty of "avak gezel." This means that although most are not outright thieves, they fall short in the gray area. Thus if one is guilty of unintentional theft, it is but a stone-throw away from intentional theft. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 5, v. 8: "Hamushov laShem" - That which is returned to Hashem - Our verse discusses the manner of setting right the sin of stealing from a convert who has afterwards died and left no heirs. Every time a person returns an item to the theft victim or to his heirs after the victim's death, it is far from conclusive that he has done so out of simply complying with Hashem's command that he set things right. There is always the element of fear of the victim or his heirs, who rightfully should have the object or its value. However, when one stole from a convert and the convert is now no longer living, and also has left no heir, when the thief gives the item to a Kohein, it is obviously only because of his complying with Hashem's command, hence "ho'oshom hamushov" is "laShem." (Hadrash V'ho'iyun's interpretation of the words of the Ibn Ezra, "Baavur yiras Hashem heshivo")

Ch. 5, v. 8: "Hamushov laShem laKohein" - That which is returned to Hashem goes to the Kohein - How is Hashem thrown into this equation? The gemara Sanhedrin 8 says that when a person steals from another, Hashem is so concerned to see the item or its value returned to the rightful owner that He orchestrates that this come about. The gemara says that this is a "burdensome task" for Hashem. Thus every thief has brought Hashem into the picture. Hashem directly confronts the thief and commands that he give the stolen item to a Kohein. (Rabbi Leibel Chorif)

Ch. 5, v. 14: "V'hee nitmo'oh .. v'hee lo nitmo'oh" - And she was defiled .. and she was not defiled" - This seeming contradiction is interpreted in the gemara Sotoh to mean that we are in doubt if adultery actually took place. Why does the Torah express this in a definite terminology, rather than "v'lo noda .."? This teaches us that all the same rules apply whether she sequestered herself with a "porutz," a licentious sinner, when the probability of sinning is close to a sure thing, or with a most unlikely candidate, such as her father. In either case the Torah tells us that the same procedure must take place. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)

Ch. 5, v. 28: "V'niksoh v'nizroh zora" - And she will be absolved and will bear children - The seemingly superfluous word "zora" teaches that not only will the blessing of her bearing children apply to her, but also to the man who was suspected of sinning with her. (Sifsei Kohein)

Ch. 7, v. 3: "Ushnei ossor bokor" - And twelve cattle - The medrash relates that the oxen used to transport the Mishkon components never died.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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