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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim" - Six days - Rashi says that Moshe gave the mitzvoh of Shabbos before the mitzvoh of erecting the Mishkon, to teach that the building of the Mishkon does not push aside Shabbos. The difficulty raised by Rishonim, such as Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel, is that Rashi on Shmos 31:13 d.h. "ach" says that from that verse we derive this ruling, and there Shabbos is mentioned AFTER the building of the Mishkon. We see that we derive this point from Shabbos being mentioned AFTER the Mishkon. Likewise, we find the verse "Ish imo v'oviv tiro'u v'es Shabsosai tishmoru" (Vayikra 19:3), from which we similarly derive that although there is a mitzvoh to fear one's parents, nevertheless, if a parent commands his child to do an act that involves desecration of Shabbos, the child may not comply, and there too, Shabbos is mentioned after fearing one's parents. (Placing Shabbos afterwards to bring out this point of information seems to be the logical order. Do this or that mitzvoh, BUT keep the laws of Shabbos.)

A careful reading of our Rashi yields a most interesting answer offered by the B'eir Yitzchok. Rashi does not say that Moshe taught the parsha of Shabbos ahead of building the Mishkon. Rather he says "hikdim LO'HEM," he taught it earlier to THEM. Note the name of our parsha, "Va'yakheil." This is one of the very special occasions where Moshe deviated from the norm, of teaching a law first to Aharon and his sons, then to the tribal heads, and finally, to all the bnei Yisroel (gemara Eiruvin 55). Here he taught it immediately to all in a public assemblage. The reason for this is simple. The building of the Mishkon was not a mitzvoh that each person could do on his own, such as tefillin. Rather, it was a communal mitzvoh, and as such, it was taught to all, even the women, and in one go. However, there was no need to relate the mitzvoh of Shabbos in the same assemblage. Why did Moshe first give THEM, "hikdim lo'hem," IN ASSEMBLAGE, the mitzvoh of Shabbos? It must be to teach them to not build the Mishkon at the expense of Shabbos. This is derived not from the positioning of these two mitzvos one to another, but from the fact that Shabbos was taught in "hakheil." This teaches that Shabbos plays a role in the building of the Mishkon. However, we are left with a problem. According to this explanation the ruling is not derived from HIKDIM, but only from the fact that Shabbos was also taught in this assemblage. Why does Rashi mention which mitzvoh came first? Lekach Tov, an Acharone, answers this. Had Moshe taught them the mitzvoh of building the Mishkon first, some of the people would have been so enthused that they would have immediately run out and begun the task. They would not have realized that Moshe was about to continue with the laws of Shabbos. This is why "HIKDIM lo'hem."

Why this ruling is taught twice remains to be explained. Although the building of the Mishkon being mentioned both in parshas Trumoh and here is explained by Rishonim (Some commentators say that it is a continuation of the parsha in Ki Siso, and other matters mentioned in between were a tangent), the need to repeat that Shabbos is not to be desecrated for the building of the Mishkon, remains to be clarified.

According to the opinion that the command to build the Mishkon took place chronologically ahead of the sin of the golden calf, we might have an answer. In the interim some of the bnei Yisroel had sinned with the golden calf. M.R. says that the building of the Mishkon brings exoneration for this sin. The need for this "kaporoh" was so terribly important that I might mistakenly believe that it must be done post haste, now even at the expense of Shabbos Kodesh. This requires a repetition of this ruling. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 35, v. 3: "Lo s'vaaru aish" - You shall not ignite a fire - It is a well-known (to those who know it well) historical fact that a group of deviant bnei Yisroel, called Tzidokim, prohibited lighting a fire on the eve of Shabbos for it to burn on the Shabbos. They derived this from their incorrect understanding of our verse. Rabbeinu M'shulom, a Rishon, met some of these people and brought a proof that they were wrong. In Breishis 2:3 the verse says, "Va'yivo'reich Elokim es yom hashvii." In which manner did He bless it? If we look at the curse Iyov pronounced, we can deduce that the blessing is the reverse. He said, "Halayloh hahu yikocheihu ofel, y'kav lo'ore vo'ayin." We can deduce that blessing is the opposite, that the night be well illuminated. From this we see that the night of Shabbos must be illuminated, and since we all agree that igniting a fire on Shabbos itself is prohibited, it must be that we illuminate Shabbos with lights that were lit before Shabbos begins.

In addition, just as Iyov continued and said, "Al tovo r'nonoh vo," - let no song come upon that day, we conversely make sure to sing Shabbos songs during our meals. (Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid #1,147)

Ch. 35, v. 3: "Lo s'vaaru aish b'chole moshvoseichem b'yom haShabbos" - You shall not ignite a fire in any of your homes on the day of Shabbos - The Holy Zohar on parshas Trumoh writes that even the most evil person who is in Gehinom and roasts there all week, has a respite from the fire on Shabbos Kodesh.

Hashem does not keep His fire going on Shabbos. There is one exception. For the people who desecrated Shabbos, the fires keep going, as they had no respect for the mitzvoh of not igniting a fire on Shabbos. This is alluded to in our verse. Do not desecrate the Holy Shabbos so that you do not ignite a fire in ALL your places of residence, even in Gehinom. (Chid"o in Chomas Anoch in the name of Rabbi Vidal Tzrofasi)

Ch. 35, v. 20: "Va'yeitzu kol adas bnei Yisroel milifnei Moshe" - And all the congregation of bnei Yisroel exited from in front of Moshe - The gemara Yoma 53 says that when one leaves the presence of his Rebbi he should not turn his back on him, but rather, he should exit walking sideways, so that he would still be facing his Rebbi. The stress in our verse is on "miliFNEI," from in front of Moshe's FACE. Moshe was still within view. (Rabbi Chaim Palagi) It is pointed out specifically here, because even the women were present, and they too did the same. (Haa'meik Dovor)

Alternatively, it is because here they were in a great rush to start building the Mishkon, and nevertheless, they walked out facing Moshe, even though it slowed them down. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 35, v. 25: "V'chol ishoh" - And every woman - Compare this with the next verse, "V'chol haNOSHIM," - and all the WOMEN, plural. The singular form is used in our verse is because we are discussing the weaving of sheep's wool. Only women who were not menstrually impure did this. The next verse is discussing the weaving of the hair of goats, which the gemara Shabbos 74b and 99a says was done in a most skilled way, while the hair was still attached to the goats. The gemara says that this allowed even menstrually impure women to weave, hence the plural form, "noshim." (Meshech Chochmoh)



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

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