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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 27, v. 20: "V'atoh t'tza'veh" - And you shall command - Why is Moshe Rabbeinu not mentioned by name here, as he is almost everywhere else that Hashem spoke to him to introduce a mitzvoh? Numerous answers were offered in previous editions. As explained by many commentators, the Holy Ark represents "Torah sheb'ksav" and the menorah represents "Torah sheb'al peh." The gemara M'nochos relates that Moshe was shown that in the future Rabbi Akiva would teach his students the Torah and even expound on the "tagin," the crowns that appear on many letters in the written Torah. Moshe was not able to grasp Rabbi Akiva's teachings on the "tagin." The Mahara"l of Prague explains that Moshe's spiritual connection was to transmit the written Torah (Rashi in more than one place mentions that Moshe taught both the written and the verbal Torah) to the bnei Yisroel. Rabbi Akiva was the main transmitter of the oral Torah, as we see that the majority of the concepts mentioned in the mishnoh are from his students. The oral Torah in written form in the Torah Scroll is embodied in the "tagin." Since the light of the menorah, the oral Torah, was not Moshe's realm, his name is not mentioned here by this mitzvoh. (n.l.) n.b. It is obvious that the written Torah without the oral Torah is incomplete, and surely Moshe taught the oral Torah as well. It seems that the intention of the Mahara"l is that Rabbi Akiva was the main teacher for transmission of the oral Torah for all later generations.

Ch. 27, v. 20: "Shemen zayis zoch kosis lamo'ore" - Pure olive oil crushed for lighting - There is no such requirement for the oil used for "m'nochos," meal offerings that have oil mixed into them, as Rashi says, "Kosis la'mo'ore v'lo kosis lamnochos." The lighting of this exceptionally pure oil was done in the Mikdosh building, where almost no one entered. It was done in a most covert location. This in and of itself lends to the oil being pure. As one who does a mitzvoh without fanfare does it with the purity of his heart. The meal offerings with the added oil were brought upon the outer altar, hence they were not as pure. (n.l.)

Ch. 27, v. 20: "L'haalos ner tomid" - To bring up a permanent light - The gemara M'nochos 99 cites Rabbi Yochonon in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who says that he who recites "krias shma" in the morning and the evening has fulfilled the requirement of "Lo yomush sefer haTorah ha'zeh mipicho." How are we to understand that this twice daily recitation, which takes just a few minutes, is as if one is reciting divrei Torah continuously? Our verse commands the bnei Yisroel "L'haalos ner tomid." This is fulfilled by lighting the menorah even though when it is done the menorah continues to burn on its own. We see that when one lights a fire and it burns on its own it is considered as if the lighting is done continuously. Similarly, when one says "krias shma," which contains the belief in one Deity and in the reward and punishment for fulfilling and transgresses Hashem's precepts in a manner that the fire of this recitation remains in one's mind continuously, it is as if he were actually reciting these words, and it a fulfillment of "lo yomush." (Chidushei Hori"m)

Ch. 28, v. 3: "V'atoh t'da'beir el kol chachmei lev asher mi'leisiv ruach chochmoh v'ossu es bigdei Aharon l'kadsho l'chahano li" - And you shall speak to all who are wise of heart whom I have filled him with a spirit of wisdom and they shall make garments for Aharon to sanctify him to do priestly service for Me - "T'da'beir" is a term that connotes harsh talk. The Chasan Sofer explains that those who were to create the priestly garments, which were to be made for honour and splendour, would surely create stunningly beautifully garments, and when they are on public display, i.e. when the Kohanim wear them, the craftsmen would likely boast of their great handiwork. The verse therefore says that Moshe should tell the craftsmen words of warning that they should not sully the creation of the garments with such self-serving thoughts, because their ability to create such marvelous garments is the result of Hashem's filling them with a spirit of handicraft wisdom for this task. Therefore they should make the garments only with the intention of "V'ossu es bigdei Aharon l'kadsho l'chahano li."

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Odem" - Ruby - Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam posits that the names of our patriarchs and the words "shivtei Yeshurun" were both etched into the stones. He adds that the Patriarchs' names were all etched into the first stone, the "odem," and "shivtei Yeshurun' into the final stone, the "yoshfeh." He first assumes that this would require that these two stones would be very noticeably larger than the rest, and that this would be esthetically negative. He therefore says that these extra words were etched in a very small font size, while the names of the tribes were etched in a larger bold size.

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Tur" - A row - This word seems to be superfluous, as at the end of the verse it says "hatur ho'echod."

Ch. 28, v. 17: "Ho'echod" - The one - The first row is expressed in the cardinal form, "ho'echod." Why doesn't the verse say "horishon, the first, in the ordinal form, as it does with the remaining three rows?

Ch. 28, v. 18: "V'hatur hasheini" - And the second row - Why is the number of the row mentioned here and in the remaining two rows before the names of the stones, and in the previous verse the names are before the row number?

Ch. 28, v. 19: "Leshem shvo v'achlomoh" - A person was suggested a marriage match for his daughter. The reputation of the suggested man was that he was very righteous, G-d fearing, and an established Torah scholar. The concern he had was that he was aware of this fellow's having a brother who was an absolutely obnoxious person, lacking proper behaviour, and also that he did not adhere to the Torah. He sent a letter to Rabbi Efrayim Zalman Margolios with the question of whether he should pursue this "shidduch" or drop it because of the unsavoury brother. HRH"G Rav Margolios responded tersely, "Leshem shvo v'achlomoh." The one who sent the inquiry was at a loss in understanding the enigmatic response. Upon showing it to numerous people, one came up with the explanation. Read these words as, "L'shem shebo v'ach lomoh," - to the reputation that he has and the brother what for. (Otzar Sichos Tzadikim)

Ch. 28, v. 19: "V'achlomoh" - The Ralba"g writes that the name of this stone alludes to its nature. It contains the word form "chalome," dream. One who wears this stone will have many dreams.

Ch. 28, v. 20: "V'shoham" - We have four verses here, each containing the names of three stones. Each verse has the connective Vov placed only before the third, and last stone mentioned in the verse, except for the "shoham" stone, which is the second one mentioned in our verse, and yet it has a connective Vov. Rabbeinu Yoel explains that since this is the stone of the tribe of Yoseif the letter Vov, which connotes an addition, alludes to Yoseif's having his sons as two tribes.

Ch. 28, v. 21: "Shmos bnei Yisroel" - The names of the bnei Yisroel - The base plate was gold and the stones were set into the plate. The letters were etched into the stones. Rabbeinu Bachyei says that we can learn a very important lesson from this. People hold silver and gold very dear. Precious stones are even more dear to people. This is represented by the gold plate being the base for the stones. But into the stones were etched the names of the bnei Yisroel (or the names of the stones themselves). This teaches us that the letters of the Torah, its information, is the dearest of all.



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

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