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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL 5768 BS"D

Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim tei'o'seh m'lochoh uva'yom hashvii yi'h'yeh lochem kodesh" - Six days work shall be done and on the seventh day it should be hallowed for you - Rashi says that Moshe gave priority to Shabbos by mentioning it ahead of the upcoming command of donating for the Mishkon, to teach us that Shabbos takes precedence over building the Mishkon. Rabbeinu

Chaim Paltiel and others ask that the order in not necessary to prove this point. We derive from "Ish imo v'ovi tiro'u v'es Shabsosai tishmoru" (Vayikra 19:3) that one may not comply with his father's or mother's command when fulfilling it would entail Shabbos desecration, even though Shabbos is mentioned after fear of one's mother and father. One answer is that Moshe feared that if he were to first relate the donating and building of the Mishkon, the bnei Yisroel would leave immediately because they would be so enthused, and they would not be present to hear the command of Shabbos. A careful reading of Rashi yields a very good explanation. Rashi says "hikdim," not "nismach" or the like. Rashi's intention is that there was a need to tell the masses in congregation, "va'yakheil," of the donating for and the building of the Mishkon, as "group therapy" would elicit a generous response. But why give a priority to Shabbos, and relate it during this convocation? There is ample opportunity to relate this at another time? The reason is to teach that Shabbos is not pushed to the side by building the Mishkon. Thus Rashi's intention is not that Shabbos is related to the bnei Yisroel "ahead" of the Mishkon, but rather, that it is told at this great assemblage. Alternatively, but along the same line of thought, "hikdim" means that Moshe gave the laws of Shabbos in a priority manner. Usually Moshe related new laws to Aharon, then Aharon and his sons, then the N'siim are added, and finally to all the above and the bnei Yisroel, as related in Rashi on Bmidbar 30:2. Here Moshe assembled all and besides giving the command of donating for and building a Mishkon, also gave first reading of Shabbos laws to the whole congregation along with Aharon, his sons, and the N'siim.

Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim tei'o'seh m'lochoh uva'yom hashvii yi'h'yeh lochem kodesh" - Six days work shall be done and on the seventh day it should be hallowed for you - Note the differences between these words and those in parshas Yisro (20:9,10), "Sheishes yomim taavode v'ossiso kol m'lachtecho, V'yom hashvii Shabbos laShem Elokecho." The differences can be well understood if we were to say that in parshas Yisro poor workers are being addressed, as indicated by the verse saying that "you will work," while in our verse wealthy business people are addressed, as indicated by the verse saying that the "work will be done (by your workers)." One whose income comes totally by the sweat of his brow, and yet is limited, need not be exhorted to keep the Shabbos in a manner of "lochem kodesh," that the physical niceties of Shabbos be sanctified. Even on Shabbos the poor man has no abundance of pleasures. Rather, he has to be told to rest for Hashem, not just to recharge his drained physical batteries. On the other hand, the wealthy man need not be told to avoid misdirecting his rest to rejuvenate himself, as he doesn't work very hard during the six weekdays anyway. Rather, he is told to make sure that his "lochem," physical pleasures enjoyed on Shabbos, should be sanctified, "kodesh." (Shaar Bas Rabim)

Ch. 35, v. 2: "Shabbas Shabbosone" - The Rada"k in his monumental work Sefer Hashoroshim, a sort of dictionary, giving parameters of how words are used in Tanach, writes in entry "ish" that Shabbos of our verse refers to the actual Shabbos, while Shabbosone refers to the additional time we add to Shabbos, called Tosfos Shabbos.

Ch. 35, v. 3: "Lo s'vaaru aish" - You shall not kindle a fire - Although one may not light a fire on Shabbos itself, it is permitted to light a fire before Shabbos and allow it to continue burning while it is Shabbos. This point was contested by the Tzidokim, who did not accept the Perushim's interpretation of the Torah, nor the Torah "sheb'al peh." They therefore sat in the dark on Shabbos and had no warm or hot food on Shabbos morning. To demonstrate that we run counter to their opinion, one should have hot food on Shabbos by day. The most practical use of fire upon entering Shabbos is simply to have a light for illumination. This was surely done every night of the week, although hot food might not be steady daily fare. It is interesting to note that the numerical value of "tzidokim" is that of "ner."

Ch. 35, v. 22: "Kol n'div lev" - Everyone with a generous heart - The gemara Shkolim notes that when material was donated for the creation of the golden calf the verse says that "kol ho'om" donated, and here by donating for the Mishkon the verse says "kol n'div lev." The gemara says that the bnei Yisroel are holy. When asked to give for the golden calf they gave and when asked to give for the Mishkon they also gave.

If the gemara equates the two incidents of donations, why does the verse change its description of who actually donated, by the golden calf with "kol ho'om," while here with "kol n'div lev?" Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Lublin answers that although the donours for the golden calf thought that they were donating for a holy purpose, once they experienced a major fiasco with the golden calf, people were very reluctant to again donate. Who knows what the end result will be, even though the donation is given with a positive intention. This left only the very generous of heart to donate.

As an aside, we see from the gemara Shkolim that the bnei Yisroel themselves donated for the golden calf. However, some commentators posit that only the "eirev rav" donated for the golden calf, as indicated by the verse saying that "kol ho'OM" donated.

Ch. 36, v. 7: "V'hamlochoh hoysoh da'yom l'chol hamlochoh laasose osoh v'hoseir" - And the material was sufficient for all that was to be done to make it and extra - Was it sufficient or extra? The medrash says that the bnei Yisroel brought exactly the amount needed, but a blessing went into the materials and there was extra.

A Chasidic approach: There was enough material, "v'hoseir," and this great emotion of donating generously, remained with them always. (Imrei Noam)

Ch. 38, v. 21: "Al pi Moshe b'yad Isomor" - As per Moshe's mouth through the hand of Isomor - The gemara Yoma 9 says that the first Mikdosh was destroyed because of forsaking the Torah, and the second because of baseless hatred. Our verse tells us that the Mishkon stood, and was not destroyed, because of the power of Moshe, the one who transmitted the Torah to us, and through Isomor, who was a sibling who survived the wrath of Hashem upon two of his brothers, who died according to one opinion for baseless dislike of one for the other, as evidenced by their not taking counsel with each other. (Toldos Yaakov Yoseif)

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


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