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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 27, v. 20: "V'yikchu eilecho shemen zayis zoch kosis lamo'or" - And they shall take for you pure oil of olives that are crushed for illumination - "Eilecho" or "l'cho" connotes "for YOUR benefit," as in "Lech l'cho," as expounded there in Rashi. Here too, the oil that is to be used in the menorah would be for Moshe's benefit. He served as Kohein Godol during the days of the Mishkon's inauguration. Hashem needs no light. However, whoever is performing the service inside the Mishkon, the "ketorres, menorah," and weekly "lechem haponim" services requires illumination inside the Mishkon, hence "eilecho." (Chizkuni)

This is especially well understood in "light" of the fact that the Mishkon had no windows and there was a curtain hung across the whole width of the Mishkon entrance, albeit that it was distanced sufficiently to allow for ease of entry. Meshech Chochmoh offers a most interesting insight into why the lighting of the menorah was of specific benefit for Moshe, and not limited to the week that he served as Kohein Godol.

Ch. 28, v. 1: "Hakreiv eilecho es Aharon ochicho v'es bonov ito mitoch bnei Yisroel l'chahano li" - Draw close your brother Aharon and his sons to serve as Kohanim for Me - The appropriate person to be elevated to a prominent position is one who is "toch bnei Yisroel," one who is positioned among the bnei Yisroel, and not one who acts as if he were everyone's superior. (Kli Chemdoh)

Ch. 28, v. 1: "Aharon l'chahano" - Aharon to install him as a Kohein - The Ibn Ezra on Shmos 6:23 writes succinctly that the secret of Aharon's having the position of Kohein is drawn from his having married the sister of Nach'shon ben Aminodov. Here he elaborates slightly and explains that Nach'shon's family was a greatly honoured one and this is a family which therefore appropriately can bring atonement for the nation.

Ch. 28, v. 1: "Nodov vaAvihu Elozor v'Isomor" - Note that there is no conjunctive Vov connecting Elozor to Avihu. This is because we have two groups here, Nodov and Avihu, Elozor and Isomor. The former ended up dying in their priestly service, while the latter lived long productive lives as Kohanim. Nodov has no connecting Vov with Aharon simply because Aharon was given the position of Kohein Godol, while his sons were all regular Kohanim.

Ramban says that although these five people were appointed as Kohanim through anointing, all descendants born from this point on would automatically be Kohanim. The Ibn Ezra points out that the word "l'chahanO" of our verse has an extra letter Vov. Perhaps it alludes to this point made by the Ramban, that all future descendants are born Kohanim. The Vov alludes to continuity, as it connects Aharon in some way to his sons, albeit the Vov is not placed before the name Nodov, as explained earlier.

Ch. 28, v. 1: "Nodov vaAvihu Elozor v'Isomor" - Why are these names enumerated? We already know all of Aharon's sons by name. The Ibn Ezra offers that Aharon had at this point in time a number of other sons. He bolsters this by noting that numerous cities were given to the Kohanim in the days of Yehoshua's apportioning the Holy Land. (There is a medrash that relates that upon the death of Aharon many sons of his ripped their garments to the extent that their shoulders were exposed.)

We might simply explain that the need for enumerating Aharon's sons is to exclude Pinchos. If the verse were to only say "Aharon's sons," a grandson is also called a son. If you feel that Pinchos is obviously excluded since we find him becoming a Kohein only after his heroic act in dealing with Zimri and Kozbi, this can be refuted. Perhaps he was a Kohein, but lost the status by killing a ben Yisroel, or the verse in the main is adding a "bris K'hunas olom."

Ch. 28, v. 4: "Mitznefes v'avneit" - A turban and a sash - These two garments are not specifically mentioned in parshas Tzav by the donning of the priestly garments. They are mentioned in a general way, "V'lovash haKohein mido vad." This is because the wearing of these garments brings atonement for haughtiness and negative thoughts. These are both hidden negative matters. The garments are therefore likewise mentioned in an indirect, covert manner. (Ponim Yofos)

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Arbo'oh turei ovven" - Four rows of stone - The Baal Ho'akeidoh writes that among these twelve stones there were both very precious and common stones of no great value. The gemara Yoma says that the wearing of the "urim v'tumim" brings atonement for distorting proper judgment. This brings home the lesson that distorting monetary judgment is just as strict when the ruling was for a few coins of for an astronomical sum. We know that a person can pervert judgment in a manner that is hard to detect, as there are many reasons for seeing things in the favour of the one or the other. Integrity is in the heart. Therefore the "urim v'tumim" are worn on the heart.

Ch. 28, v. 20: "V'yoshfeih" - The gemara Kidushin 31 and Yerushalmi Peioh chapter 1 relates that a stone went missing from the "chshen." Tosfos on the gemara Kidushin relates that it was the "yoshfeih" stone as mentioned in the Yerushalmi. Of what importance is this? Meshech Chochmoh says that this is the stone of Binyomin. Binyomin was aware of what was done to Yoseif, and nevertheless, he kept quiet to avoid causing his father anguish. This is the allusion of the name "yoshfeih," - "yeish peh" - there is a mouth, but it keeps quiet. Since the story was that the Rabbis pursued a replacement and came to Dama ben N'sina, who did not wake up his father to gain access to the stone, we have a common thread with Binyomin, who was very careful to not disturb his father.

M'oroh Shel Torah offers that there is an opinion that the stones have to be set into the "choshen" in order. It is important to relate that it was the "yoshfeih" stone because it was the final stone, so that no problem was presented, as it could simply be put into its setting.

This doesn't seem like a very compelling reason. Let us say that it was an earlier stone. A goldsmith would simply remove all later stones, place the missing one, and then place back the later ones. Based on the order requirement another answer might emerge. There is an opinion that the etching into the stones had to be done in order (possibly the opinion of the Mahari"l Diskin). If not for this being the final stone, other new stones would have to be found and etched as well, a daunting, if not close to impossible task. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 30, v. 43: "V'nikdash bichvodi" - And IT will be sanctified through the presence of My Honour - Rashi writes that the antecedent of IT is the Mishkon. There are two versions of Targum Onkelos. One is "v'yiskadash," in consonance with Rashi, and "v'eskadash," reflexive, meaning that Hashem will be honoured through His presence in the Mishkon.



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

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