CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YAKHEIL-P'KUDEI - BS"D
1) Ch. 35, v. 22: "Va'yovo'u ho'anoshim AL hanoshim" - How do we explain "AL"?
2) Ch. 35, v. 26: "V'chol hanoshim ...... b'chochmoh tovu" - Rashi says that the special wisdom exhibited by the women in spinning the thread made of goats' hair, was their ability to do this while the hair was still attached to the goats (gemara Shabbos 74b). What was accomplished by spinning the threads while still attached to the goats?
3) Ch. 36, v. 1: "V'OSSOH B'tzalel" - Does "V'OSSOH" mean "and he SHALL make" or "and he HAS made?"
Ch. 39, v. 40: "Eis KA'LEI hechotzeir" - The curtains served as a fence around the Mishkan courtyard. The courtyard of the Botei Mikdosh was surrounded by a stone wall, which was called "chomas ho'Azoroh," - the wall of the Mikdosh courtyard. It is therefore most puzzling to find the term "lifnim min haKLO'IM," - inside the CURTAINS, in the mishnoh Zvochim 5:3,5, since the mishnoh discusses the laws pertaining to the sacrifices of the Beis Hamikdosh. Why does the mishnoh use the description of the walls of the Mishkon courtyard?
Ch. 40, v. 10: "V'hoyoh hamizbei'ach kodesh kodoshim" - Why is the altar called "holy of holies" since it does not stand in the Holy of Holies (see 26:33), but rather in the courtyard.
1) The Sforno translates AL as "next to," as we find in Breishis 14:6 and Dvorim 6:6. The men had to come along when the women donated their materials because there is an halacha in Y.D. 248:4 that one may not accept a donation of considerable value from a married woman since her property belongs to her husband and he might not agree to have it donated. (Sforno)
2) The men came SECONDARY to the women with their donations. Not one woman sinned with the golden calf and therefore no woman required an atonement afforded by the building of the Mishkon. Their motivation was purely for the mitzvoh. Not so the men. Some of them were tainted with the sin of the golden calf and required atonement afforded by the building of the Mishkon. Therefore their donations had an ulterior motive and were secondary to the women's donations. (Shaa'rei Simchoh)
3) AL is TO be taken literally, UPON. The Medrash Shir Hashirim 4:20 says that after the sin of the golden calf, even those who did not die were tainted with this sin that was akin to idol worship. At this point the women did not allow their husbands to have marital relations with them. The building of the Mishkon served as atonement for the sin of the golden calf. Only when the donations for the Mishkon took place did the women allow their husbands to resume relations with them, thus "Va'yovo'u ho'anoshim AL hanoshim."
1) If the women were impure, since the threads were still part of the goats, the impurity would not affect the purity status of the threads.
2) The women wanted to donate that which was truly theirs. Since there is a rule that the handiwork of a woman becomes her husband's property, this would not truly be their own donation. However, if a woman does handiwork beyond the normal capacity, then it belongs to her. By spinning the threads while they were still attached to the goats, time was saved, which was considered their own donation. (Maharil Diskin)
I have two difficulties in understanding this:
a) The rule of a woman's handiwork belonging to her husband was not instituted until the time of the mishnoh.
b) Even if we consider this rule in place at the time of the building of the Mishkon, there is also another part to this rule. The Rabbis instituted that for the woman's handiwork to go to her husband, he would in turn be responsible for her sustenance. This arrangement was established for the wife's benefit, since women commonly did not have the opportunity to be wage earners. Since the main intention of this rule was to protect the wife, if circumstances arose by which she could have a well paying and reliable income, she had the option to change the arrangement and tell her husband, "I will not receive your sustenance and I will keep my handiwork (income) for myself (gemara K'subos 58a)." Since in the desert all were sustained by Hashem's manna, it is obvious that all women would take advantage of this option.
3) The Holy Admor of Ostrovtze gives another reason for the hair being spun while still attached to the animal. He says it is because of the halochoh, "kol mitzvas a'sei shehazman gromo noshim p'turos (gemara Brochos 20b),"women are exempt from positive mitzvos which are time bound." Because the building of the Mishkon may not be done on Shabbos, it is considered a time bound mitzvah. Therefore, the women were at a disadvantage, since their helping to create the Mishkon was only voluntary, while the men's was obligatory. That which was created as an obligation is preferable to that which is voluntary (gemara Kidushin 31a). By showing that their creations could be made in this unusual manner, which is a "shinnuy," it was shown that it could be done without a Torah level desecration of Shabbos, making it a non-time bound mitzvoh, making it obligatory even on the women.
I likewise have two difficulties in understanding this:
a) A mitzvoh which requires that something be done once seems to not be time bound. Time bound means that theoretically a mitzvoh could be done at all times but the Torah limits it to a specific time. For example, we could have been instructed to eat matzoh every night and day of the year. Once Hashem limited it to Pesach night, it became timebound. Theoretically, building the mishkan did not have the possibility of being a continuous mitzvoh, since once it would be completed, there would be nothing more to do.
b) The overriding Shabbos does not give it the status of "zman gromo." It is a full time mitzvoh which has something more powerful pushing it aside, but not by virtue of its being time bound.
1) Rashi on gemara Makos 12a d.h. "v'rotzach" says that it means the future tense, as does the Ibn Ezra in our verse. This seems to be the logical translation, as Betzalel had not received the building materials until verse 3.
2) The Shach, Chasam Sofer, and Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh all say that it means "and he HAS made." They have different answers for the problem from verse 3, that he had not yet been given the building materials.
Since the earlier commentators say that "V'OSSOH" is in the future tense, how can the latter commentators deviate from this?
The above mentioned Rashi points out that "V'OSSOH Hashem lo'hem" in Dvorim 31:4 is also in the future tense, although it differs from our "V'OSSOH." For Betzalel it was a command, "And he SHALL do," while in Dvorim 31:4 it means, "And Hashem WILL do," not a command but a statement of fact. In either case it is still in the future tense. The Targum Onkelos on that verse says "V'YA'A'BEID." However, on "V'OSSOH" of our verse, he translates "VA'AVAD." We see clearly that here he translates "V'OSSOH" in the past tense. Perhaps this is the source for the Acharonim.
We know that one is to learn Torah, mishnoh, and gemara daily. This is the reason for the chapter of "Eizehu m'komon," Z'vochim chapter 5, being inserted in our daily morning prayers, to serve as the mishnoh component. The reason for this particular chapter being chosen is that it is the only chapter of mishnoh in the whole Talmud which does not contain a disagreement in its text. The Beis Yoseif in his commentary on the Tur Shulchan Oruch O.Ch. #50 says in the name of the RA"H on the gemara Brochos 32a that the reason there is no argument in this chapter is because the teaching of the matters discussed in this chapter were preserved with much care and the text of Moshe's words were transmitted accurately from generation to generation. The GR"A says that this is the reason the word KLO'IM is used although the mishnoh discusses matters pertaining to the Beis Hamikdosh. In the time of Moshe the fence around the courtyard was made of curtains, not a stone wall, and the sages of the mishnoh wanted to preserve Moshe's words exactly as he said them.
(Please note that there are disagreements with the words of the mishnoh, but they are not in the text of the mishnoh of this chapter itself. An example is the deadline for eating the Korban Pesach. This seems to go against the words of the RA"H since if there was a tradition that the text of this chapter is the lesson taught by Moshe verbatim, how could anyone disagree. See the Ritv"o on the gemara Avodoh Zoroh 19b for further clarification.)
I have a difficulty with the mishnoh Makos 3:3 which says that one incurs lashes if he eats sacrifices which have the status of Kodoshei Kodoshim outside the KLO'IM. Why is the word KLO'IM used instead of "chomas ho'Azoroh?" Perhaps it is because the next case of the mishnoh is eating Kodoshim Kalim and Maa'seir Sheini outside the CHOMOH, so the mishnoh wanted to use different terms to differentiate between the locations. However, the mishnoh had the option of saying "chomas ho'Azoroh" and "chomas ho'ir."
1) The Ramban 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.
2) 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).
3) 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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