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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 27, v. 20: "Shemen ZAYIS zoch" - The Ponim Yofos writes that "shemen ZAYIS" in our verse does not mean olive oil, but rather, oil of an olive tree, as we find in "a'lei ZAYIS torof b'fihoh" (Breishis 8:11), a leaf of an olive tree. The Torah is telling us that the bnei Yisroel must extract oil from olives found on trees in hospitable areas of the desert, truly a daunting task.

This seems to be contrary to the words of Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on Shmos 35:28, who says that the oil was miraculously brought by clouds from Gan Eden.

Ch. 28, v. 2: "V'osiso vigdei kodesh l'Aharon ochicho l'chovode ulsifo'res" - The Chizkuni says that the Kohein Godol wore unique garments so that when he served in the Mikdosh one could readily differentiate between him and an ordinary Kohein. On Yom Kippur, when he handled all the day's services (seems to be following in the opinion of Rabbi Z'rachioh haLevi on the gemara Yoma), there was no need to differentiate, and therefore he wore only 4 garments, the same as an ordinary Kohein's vestments.

Ch. 28, v. 10: "V'es shmos hashishoh hanosorim al ho'evven hasheinis" - Why doesn't the verse simply say "Shishoh mishmosom al ho'evven ho'echos v'es shmos shishoh al ho'evven hashei'nis k'soldosom"? The Mahari"l Diskin answers that the seemingly superfluous words teach us a ruling of "k'sidron," somewhat similar to the laws of writing tefillin or a mezuzoh. Our verse teaches us that it is required to chronologically have the names of the first group of six tribes etched into one stone before beginning the inscription of the second group of six names. (It would seem that there is no requirement to etch the names of one group of six in any particular chronological order as long as they appear in a "k'soldosom" order on their stone.)

Ch. 28, v. 11: "Mish'b'tzose" - Rashi says that the gold setting for the stones should be indentations into which the stones would fit snugly, thus securing them into position. The N'tzi"v writes that the source of the word "mish'b'tzose" is "shovotz," as we find in Shmuel 2:1:9, "ki achozani hashovotz." This is a disorder that so weakens a person, that he cannot move. So too, a secure setting for precious stones is called "mishbetzes," as it locks the stone into place and does not let it move.

Ch. 28, v. 20: "V'yoshfei" - The gemara Kidushin 31a and Yerushalmi Pei'oh chapter #1 relate that the "yoshfei" stone of the breastplate was once lost and the Rabbis pursued a replacement. They came upon a non-Jew named Domo the son of N'sino, whose father had such a stone. When they came, his father was asleep and the key to the safety box in which he kept his precious stones was on a cord that was wrapped around his neck. Retrieving the key would require waking his father in the middle of his siesta. Domo, out of respect for his father, refrained from waking him and lost the sale.

The Meshech Chochmoh writes that it is most befitting that the lesson of how far honouring one's parents goes is learned from a tale involving the "yoshfei" stone. All the brothers who were involved with the sale of Yoseif caused their father much pain. Yoseif, as well, by not communicating with his father, also fell short in properly honouring his father (see Ramban on 42:9 d.h. "Va'yizkor"). Only Binyomin was not deficient in honouring his father, thus his stone was involved in this story.

The Baal Haturim points out that the numerical value of "yoshfei" equals that of "Binyomin ben Yaakov." Possibly, according to the Meshech Chochmoh it is well understood why the mathematical value of "yoshfei" is that of "Binyomin ben Yaakov," of both the son and his father, to indicate that specifically Binyomin was the most devoted son of Yaakov.

Ch. 28, v. 20: "M'shubotzim yi'h'yu b'milu'osom" - Rabbeinu Bachyei says that an important lesson can be learned from the structure of the breastplate components. People greatly prize gold, and yet they value precious stones even more. This is symbolized by having the precious stones fixed into their gold settings, which serve as the stones' underpinning. However, the Torah is greater than even precious stones, "y'koroh hee mipninim" (Mishlei 3:15), as symbolized by the letters of the names of the tribes being placed upon the precious stones.

Ch. 28, v. 21: "V'ho'avonim ti'h'yenoh al shmos bnei Yisroel" - The gemara Yoma 72a says that the names of the 12 tribes and the 3 Patriarchs are etched into the breastplate stones. This is derived from the word "v'ho'avonim," as "avonim" can be considered a composite of "ov" and "bonim." The concept of combining father and son into one word is reminiscent of the maxim, "bro karo d'avuha," a son is the knee of his father, a continuum of his father. The words "bro karo d'avuha" are not found anywhere in the Talmud. The earliest location of this dictum I have come across is Tosfos on the gemara Y'vomos 3a d.h. "mika'mei."

Ch. 28, v. 35: "V'nishma kolo b'vo'o el haKodesh" - The Baal Haturim says that we find the word "v'nishma" in two other places, "kole asher di'ber Hashem naa'seh v'nishmo" (Shmos 24:7), and "v'nishma pisgam ha'melech" (Megilas Esther 1:20). He explains this "meso'res" as follows: In the gemara Megiloh 3b Raboh says that when one is engaged in the study of Torah and the time for reading Megilas Esther is at hand, one must put aside his Torah study to read/hear Megilas Esther. The Baal Haturim says that this is indicated by the words "kole asher di'ber Hashem naa'seh," when one is studying the Torah, "v'nishma," priority is given to HEARING the story of the King, Hashem, - "v'nishma pisgam haMelech," of how He saved us from the diabolical plans of Achashveirosh and Homon.

Raboh also says that if one is engaged in prayer and the time for reading Megilas Esther is at hand, one must put aside his prayers to read/hear Megilas Esther. This is indicated in the words of our verse, "v'nishma kolo b'vo'o el haKodesh," that the Megiloh should be heard even when one comes into the Sanctuary to serve, Sanctuary service = prayer.

He adds that the indication that Megilas Esther takes precedence is that the verse in Megilas Esther ends with "ki RABOH hee," - because she is great, indicating that the reading of Megilas Esther is greater. As well, this alludes to Raboh stating this ruling.

The Nachal K'dumim offers another insight into this "meso'res." The gemara Shabbos 88a derives from the verse "va'yisyatzvu b'sachtis hohor" (Shmos 19:17) that the bnei Yisroel were coerced into accepting the Torah. The gemara goes on to say that since they were coerced, if one were to ch"v transgress the precepts of the Torah, he could excuse himself by saying that it was accepted through coercion. The gemara adds that in the days of Achashveirosh the bnei Yisroel willingly accepted the Torah, as is written, "kimu v'kibl(u) haYehudim" (Megilas Esther 9:27).

Tosfos d.h. "kofoh" asks why there was a need for coercion, as we see that the bnei Yisroel willingly accepted the Torah, as is indicated by the words "kole asher di'ber Hashem naa'seh v'nishmo" (Shmos 24:7). Tosfos answers that coercion was necessary since there was the fear of the bnei Yisroel's rescinding their acceptance when they would see the awe inspiring fire present at the time of the giving of the Torah.

The medrash Tanchuma says that coercion was necessary for acceptance of the Oral Torah, and "naa'seh v'nishmo" was a willing acceptance of the Written Torah only. This automatically answers Tosfos' question, as the willing acceptance in the days of Achashveirosh was only necessary for the Oral Torah. The Rashb"o writes that the excuse of being coerced into accepting the Torah only helped until the bnei Yisroel entered the Holy Land. However, upon entering, this excuse fell to the wayside, as the merit to live in Eretz Yisroel was predicated upon the bnei Yisroel's complying with the Torah's precepts, as is stated, "Va'yi'tein lo'hem artzose goyim, Baavur yish'm'ru chukov v'Sorosov yintzoru" (T'hilim 105:44,45).

We can now explain the "meso'res" of "v'nishma" as follows. The statement of "naa'seh v'nishmo," indicating that the bnei Yisroel willingly accepted the Torah, was limited to the Written Torah only, "v'nishma PISGAM haMelech, the King's statement as WRITTEN in the Torah only. However, even the Oral Torah became binding, "v'nishma KOLO," even His voice, Torah "she'b'al peh," upon entering the Holy Land, "b'vo'o el haKodesh."

Ch. 28, v. 39: "V'shibatzto hakso'nes sheish" - Our verse clearly states that the tunic of the Kohein Godol is made of linen. However, the P'sikta page 78 and the Yalkut Shimoni remez #513 both say that it also contained wool. This is most puzzling, as there seems to be no indication for this in the Torah.

Ch. 29, v. 2: "Urki'kei matzos m'shuchim basho'men" - The Nachal K'dumim (Chid"o) homiletically interprets: "Urki'kei" has the numerical value of 420, the number of years that the second Beis Hamikdosh stood. The reason it was destroyed is because "matzos," there was much argumentative discord among the bnei Yisroel, "m'shuchim ba'sho'men," even though people spoke smoothly, as if their words were anointed with oil, but in their hearts they harboured very negative feelings, as is written in Yirmiyohu 9:7, "B'fiv sholo-m es rei'eihu y'da'beir uvkirbo yosim orbo."


Ch. 27, v. 10: "Vachashukei'hem" - Rashi explains that these were silver threads that were attached to the pillars that held the cloth walls of the courtyard in place. Rashi adds that he does not know if the threads wound around the pillars from top to bottom, or only on top, or only in the middle. The N'tzi"v asks that this is most puzzling, as the verse clearly states "vachashukei'hem kesef v'tzipuy roshei'hem kosef v'heim m'chushokim kesef," (Shmos 38:17). He offers no answer.

ANSWER: The Tur Ho'oruch writes that certain details of the courtyard pillars and their threads are not clarified here, but are at the time of construction in 38:17. The Chizkuni on 36:38 quotes Rashi on 38:22 who says that B'tzal'eil did things when building the Mishkon which were not even told to him by Moshe. He says that this points out the greatness of B'tzal'eil, who through his knowledge of the Heavenly spheres knew of even these details. It is understood that if the Torah would have given all the details in the parshios of the command to build the Mishkon we would not know the greatness of B'tzal'eil. We can thus understand Rashi as follows: "I do not know from this verse, which is a command to build the Mishkon, this particular detail." However, Rashi never meant to say that we could not derive it from the verses discussing the actual construction later on. (Otzar Yad Hachaim)



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

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