by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL-P'KUDEI 5762 BS"D
Ch. 35, v. 2: "Sheishes yomim tei'o'seh m'lochoh" - The Sefer Y'rei'im mitzvoh #113 writes that "amiroh l'akum," telling a non-Jew to do a prohibited action on Shabbos is of Torah origin, and is derived from the word "tei'o'seh," may be done, indicating through others. We thus derive that on Shabbos it may not be done, even through others, i.e. a non-Jew. However, the Ramban and other halachic authorities posit that this is only a Rabbinic prohibition, and the connotation from the words of our verse is not a Torah "droshoh."
Ch. 35, v. 2: "Uva'yom hashvii y'h'yeh LOCHEM kodesh" - On the seventh day, Shabbos, even your LOCHEM, that which you do for yourself, your physicality, should be elevated and holy. (Chid"o)
Ch. 35, v. 3: "Lo s'vaaru aish b'chole moshvoseichem" - Do not think that only when you are in a proper Jewish environment are you commanded to keep the Shabbos. Even if you find yourself as the only Jew among many gentiles, for example, if you have been drafted into the army, you should still keep the Shabbos holy, "b'chole moshvoseichem." (Chofetz Chaim in Nidchei Yisroel)
Ch. 35, v. 11: "Brichov" - This word is read (kri) brichov," meaning "its poleS," plural, but is spelled (ksiv) without a letter Yud between the Ches and the Vov, thus allowing for understanding this word as "bricho," meaning "its pole," in the singular. We find the same spelling in parshas P'kudei (39:33). Perhaps the "kri" and "ksiv" can be explained according to the two opinions about the central support beam. The Breisa of M'leches haMishkon posits that they were three separate beams, one each for the north, west, and southern walls. However, Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on Shmos 26:28 and the gemara Shabbos 98b say that the "briach hatichon" was one long pole that spanned the length of all three walls and that it miraculously became flexible when reaching the end of a wall and having to make a 90 degree turn. When the insertion was completed and when removed from the walls upon disassembly it returned to its natural state of being a stiff long pole. The Torah has the written form of "bricho," singular, to indicate the opinion of Targum Yonoson ben Uziel and the gemara Shabbos 98b that it was one pole. On the other hand, the word is read "brichov," plural, to indicate the opinion of the Breisa of M'leches haMishkon. This does not explain why the "kri" and "ksiv" phenomenon repeats itself in 39:33.
Ch. 35, v. 13: "V'eis lechem haponim" - Our verses discuss the components of the Mishkon and not the offerings, as at this point the Mishkon was not functioning. If so, what does the verse mean with "v'eis lechem haponim"? The Mahari"l Diskin explains that it refers to the bread pans that were in the shape of the "lechem haponim."
Ch. 37, v. 1: "Va'yaas B'tzal'eil" - How old was B'tzal'eil was when he made the Mishkon? Bring a proof for your answer.
_Ch. 40, v. 18: "Va'yo'kem Moshe es haMishkon va'yi'tein es odonov" - The Sforno says that these words are not to be understood as "Moshe set up the Mishkon and this was done by his placing the foundation blocks, setting the wall beams into them, placing the horizontal support poles into place, etc." Rather "va'yo'kem Moshe es haMishkon" means that he set up the bottom roof covering called Mishkon, and then he did the rest. How was this done? How do you first place a roof before having built walls? He offers that either people held the roof in place and then the assembly of the actual building took place under it as per the gemara M'nochos 99a, or that it was lifted to its proper height and miraculously just stayed suspended in the air until the building below it was assembled.
Rashi seems to agree with the Sforno that Mishkon here means the lowest roof covering, as in the next verse on the words "Va'yifrose es ho'ohel" he writes that this refers to the goatskin covering. Why was the lower cloth covering not mentioned at all? According to the Sforno it was, in our verse. We might conjecture that the reason it was necessary to place the cloth cover first, a most unconventional way of assembling the Sanctuary is that it is the basis of the Sanctuary's structural holiness. Its name "Mishkon" alone conveys the message that it is the source for the "resting" of the Divine Presence. (This should not be confused with the essence of the Divine Presence in the Sanctuary emanating from the tablets of the Ten Commandments, as the Mishkon itself is called "Mashkan ho'eidus," indicating that its purpose is to house the "testimonial tablets." Rather, the source of the sanctity of Hashem's presence "in the structure of the building" comes from the lowest roof covering named Mishkon.)
There seems to be a parallel to this in the structure of a Sukoh. The name Sukoh comes from the covering, called "s'chach," again indicating that the essence of this structure is its covering.
Similarly, a ben Yisroel has his head covered with a "yarmulka." This word is a composite of "yo'rei malka," fear of the king, a constant reminder of Hashem's presence. See the gemara Shabbos 156a, which states that covering one's head brings the fear of Hashem upon him.
The gemara Brochos 55a explains that we find that Moshe advised B'tza'leil to craft the vessels of the Mishkon before he told him to build the Mishkon itself. B'tza'leil questioned this order. He asked Moshe if the order should not be switched, to create the vessels before creating the building, so that there would be a building into which the vessels could be placed. Moshe replied in the affirmative, that the Mishkon should indeed be built first. 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 our verse.
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?
In Sedrah Selections Vayikroh 5760 an answer was offered in the name of Rabbi Noson haKohein Adler brought down in the responsa of the Chasam Sofer O.Ch. #188.
An answer offered by the N'tziv is that B'tzal'eil hooked together the sections of the cloth covering much earlier than the 1st of Nison, and suspended the covering over upright poles. The space under it was sanctified so that the holy vessels that would be created would have a sanctified storage space. According to the words of the Sforno this seems to not be so, as our verse tells us that the Mishkon cover was set up on the first of Nison.
Ch. 40, v. 18: "Va'yi'tein es adonov va'YO'SEM es kroshov" - Why the change from "va'yi'tein" to "va'yo'sem"? The gemara Yerushalmi Shabbos 12:3 derives from the word "k'mishpoto" (Shmos 26:30) that there is a rightful claim for each wall beam to its position. Therefore a beam that was placed in the north should be placed in the north when the Mishkon is later reassembled. Marks or letters were written upon the beams to assure their proper placement. The word form "simoh" indicates careful placement as we derive (final words of the gemara T'muroh 34a) from "v'somo eitzel hamizbei'ach" (Vayikroh 6:3). The wall beams required care in placement, i.e. each to its exact former position, hence "va'yo'sem." However, this is not the case with the foundation blocks, so the Torah says "va'yi'tein," he put, without having to place the blocks where they were previous positioned. (Haksav V'hakaboloh and Malbim)
Ch. 40, v. 19: "Va'yifrose es ho'ohel al hamishkon va'yo'sem es mich'sei ho'ohel olov milmaloh" - "Va'yifrose es ho'ohel" - and he spread out the roof layer made of goatskins, "al hamishkon" - onto the cloth roof layer called "mishkon" (as explained earlier in the name of the Sforno), "va'yo'sem es mich'sei ho'ohel olov" - and he put the covering made of reddened ram hides onto the "ohel" layer, "milmaloh" - and above it the "tachash" hide layer. (N"tziv)
Ch. 40, v. 20: "Va'yikach va'yi'tein es ho'eidus" - Why specifically by the tablets does the Torah say "va'yikach?" The Mahari"l Diskin answers that all other items were brought to Moshe, but the tablets were with him, so he only had to take them and not receive them from the donours. Alternatively, he offers that this indicates that he placed the tablets into the Holy Ark before bringing it to the Mishkon. He derives from the seemingly repetitive verses 25:16 and 25:21 (see Rashi there), which both tell us that the tablets should be placed into the Holy Ark, that Moshe was commanded to first bring the Ark into the Mishkon with the tablets in it, but with the cover off, and only after they are in the Holy of Holies should the cover be put on. However, Moshe placed the cover on before bringing it into the Mishkon, as clearly stated here in our verse and the next verse. At the time of the command, before the sin of the golden calf it would have been appropriate to do things in such an open public manner. When the actual assembly of the Mishkon and bringing its appointments in took place it was after the sin of the golden calf, so doing things in a more private manner was more appropriate.
Perhaps a simple explanation can be given for the word "va'yikach." In 25:21 Hashem told Moshe that he should place the tablets "asher e'tein ei'lecho," that I will give you, into the Holy Ark. At the time of the command they were not on this world yet. Therefore our verse tells us that Moshe took them, meaning that they came into his possession, as Hashem had earlier told him.
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