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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 35, v. 2: "Kodesh Shabbas Shabbosone" - Rabbeinu Bachyei points out that we find the term "kodesh" used in conjunction with Shabbos earlier in parshas B'shalach (16:23), but with the word "kodesh" after the words "Shabbas Shabbosone." He explains that the placement of "kodesh" both before and after "Shabbos Shabbosone" alludes to adding sanctity to the Shabbos, "tosfos Shabbos," both before and after Shabbos. This question was raised in parshas Ki Siso of this year as well, as the words "Shabbas Shabbosone kodesh" appear there as well (31:15).

What remains to be explained is why the indication to add to the Shabbos is placed at the END of Shabbos in Shmos 16:23 and 31:15 which appear first, and is placed at the BEGINNING of Shabbos in our verse which appears later. Perhaps this can be answered by raising a question on a phrase in our well-known "Shabbos z'miros." In "Kol m'ka'deish shvii" we sing "hamachrim lotzeis min haShabbos um'maharim lovo," - those who delay to leave the Shabbos and hurry to enter it. Here too, things seem to be reversed, as one enters Shabbos first as it commences, and only afterwards exits from the sanctity of Shabbos at its conclusion. Many of the answers for this question will answer ours as well. For example, if we assume that "tosfos Shabbos" is only required because we do not have clear knowledge of exactly when the weekday ends and Shabbos begins, then there was no need for adding to the Shabbos all the years the bnei Yisroel were in the desert, as there was a "changing of the guard" between day and night when the pillars of clouds that surrounded the encampment changed for the pillars of fire at night. However, upon the death of Moshe both these types of pillars ceased. Moshe died on Shabbos in the afternoon according to the opinion of many, hence the first time the bnei Yisroel were in doubt as to when the day ended was as Shabbos ended. Therefore there was an addition to the Shabbos at its end before there was an addition at its beginning the following Friday. Since this is what the future held, the Torah when alluding to "tosfos Shabbos" did so in the order it would take place in practice.

Ch. 35, v. 22: "V'chol ish asher HEINIF T'NUFAS zohov laShem" - The Moshav Z'keinim asks, "Why is the word HEINIF used specifically by the donation of gold and the expression "U'n'choshes haT'NUFOH" (Shmos 38:29) by copper, but no such word form is used by the donation of silver? He answers that HANOFOH indicates waving an object in a proud manner. Gold is a prestigious item that when donated is proudly bantered about for all to see. Silver is not. Although copper is less precious than even silver, nevertheless, since it can be polished to a brilliancy that almost equals that of gold (see gemara Yoma 38a regarding the copper gates donated by Niknor), people proudly wave copper for all to see.

Ch. 36, v. 13: "Va'y'cha'beir es ha'y'rios achas el achas va'y'hi haMishkon echod" - Our verse tells us that B'tzal'eil not only prepared the sections of cloth sheets of roof covering, but also joined them to become one. However, in verse 18, which discusses the upper covering of hides the verse only says that he prepared them TO BE JOINED as a covering TO BE one, "l'cha'beir es ho'ohel l'h'yose echod."

In parshas P'kudei of last year the following question was raised: < The Tur Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. #684 brings in the name of the P'sikto that the reason we read the chapters of the N'siim (Bmidbar 7:1-8:4) during Chanukah is because the creation of all items needed for the Mishkon was completed on the 25th day of Kisleiv, the first day of Chanukah.

The Ta"Z ad loc. s.k. 1 adds that although the completion of the creation of the Mishkon, its vessels, and the priestly garments took place on the 25th of Kisleiv, the actual assembly of the Mishkon took place on the first day of Nison, as mentioned in numerous medroshim.

According to the above, even if the vessels were crafted after the creation of the Mishkon components, since the vessels were completed by the 25th of Kisleiv and the Mishkon was not assembled until the next Rosh Chodesh Nison, the vessels were completed and the Mishkon was not assembled, so there still wasn't a building into which the vessels could be placed. What was accomplished by making the vessels first? The Chasam Sofer in his responsa O.Ch. #188 offers an answer in the name of his illustrious teacher Rabbi Nosson Adler.

With the answer of the Haa'meik Dovor on the question raised on our verse a new answer to the Chasam Sofer's question emerges. The Haa'meik Dovor says that the structural components of the Mishkon were not assembled immediately, as mentioned above in the name of the Ta"Z in his commentary on O.Ch. #684:1. That is why in verse 18 we find that he prepared the sheets of goat hides TO JOIN them as a covering. However, since he knew that after preparing the building components the vessels of the Mishkon would be created and there would be no holy place to house them, he therefore took the components of the first coverings mentioned to him and JOINED them to make a proper roof and placed it on poles to create a temporary dwelling for the holy vessels. Perhaps we can add that this would explain why the name MISHKON is given to the cloth covering of the Mishkon (26:6). Since it served as the main component of the temporary housing for the holy vessels, it too was called Mishkon, the resting place for the vessels.

The Meshech Chochmoh explains the difference in terms between these two verses as follows: Halacha required that all items used for the Mishkon and its vessels be created specifically for the sanctity of the Mishkon, etc. The dwellings people lived in also had sheets of material used as roof coverings. It is very likely that to connect the sheets of material, inexpensive copper hooks were also used, similar to those required for the upper Mishkon covering. Therefore the Torah stresses, "l'chaber es ho'ohel" in verse 18 to emphasize that the hooks used to join the sections of the Sanctuary covering had to be created specifically for that purpose. For the lower level of Mishkon covering which would be visible, the Torah required that the hooks be made of gold (verse 13). Since people would not use gold to make hooks for the roof covering of their own homes, it was therefore not necessary to mention "l'cha'ber es ho'ohel" in verse 13.


Ch. 38, v. 21: "Asher pukad al pi Moshe" - The M.R. 51:6 asks, "Why did Moshe find it necessary to give an accounting of the materials donated for the building of the Mishkon?" The medrash answers that Moshe heard the scoffers say that he misappropriated the funds, so he responded by giving a detailed calculation. It seems that the reason the medrash calls them scoffers, "leitzonim," is that since the bnei Yisroel merited to see the "shechinoh," Hashem's Holy Spirit, rest in the Mishkon, it is obvious that all donations were properly used, otherwise the "shechinoh" would not rest upon the Mishkon.

Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin in Oznayim laTorah points out that we find no questions raised about the use of gold, a most precious commodity, when it was donated for the golden calf, and yet here questions were raised even regarding the use of copper. He says that history repeats itself and when people donate monies, even large sums, for modern "golden calves" there are no requests for an accounting of the use of donated funds, and when even a small donation is given for a Torah-true pursuit an accounting is often requested. However, he actually finds merit in this. The Rambam in hilchos "gerushin" 2:20 says that the internal wish of every ben Yisroel is to comply with Hashem's Torah, just sometimes a "bit" of prodding is needed to translate this inner emotion into practical action. When a person donates to a non-Torah-true activity his inner feelings don't bother him if the donation was not properly used as he has not fulfilled a mitzvoh with his donation.

However, when he donates to a Torah-true pursuit his conscience bothers him if the money is not used appropriately, as he is concerned to have it used to its maximum for mitzvos. He therefore asks for an accounting.

Ch. 40, v. 10: "Mizbach ho'oloh" - We find this same term in Shmos 31:9, 35:16, and 38:1. Some commentators say that it is called "mizbach ho'oloh" because the "oloh" sacrifice is the most common one to be processed on it. Others say that the title "mizbach ho'oloh" is used, not because the "oloh" sacrifice is offered on it, but because this altar is so tall that it requires the Kohanim to ASCEND upon it, hence "mizbach ho'oloh" means "altar of ascent."

Ch. 40, v. 10: "V'hoyoh hamizbei'ach kodesh kodoshim" - The Ramban asks why the altar is called "holy of holies" since it does not stand in the Holy of Holies (see 26:33), but rather in the courtyard. He answers that since some of the sacrifices processed on this exterior altar have the status of "kodo'shei kodoshim" the appellation carries over to this altar. Alternatively, he offers that it received this title because the altar sanctifies all that comes into contact with it, and this power gives it this title, as we find "V'hoyoh hamizbei'ach 'kodesh kodoshim' kol hano'gei'a bamizbei'ach yikdosh" (Shmos 29:37).

Perhaps another explanation can be offered. We find that Kohanim are called "kodesh kodoshim" in Divrei Ha'yomim 1:23:13, "Va'yibo'deil Aharon l'hakdisho KODESH KODOSHIM hu uvonov ad olom." Perhaps because the Kohanim who are "kodesh kodoshim" ascend upon the outer altar it is called "kodesh kodoshim," just as some commentators say that it is called "mizbach ho'oloh" because the "oloh" sacrifice is the most common one to be processed on it, as mentioned earlier in this verse.



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