CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS TRUMOH 5766 - BS"D
1) Ch. 25, v. 9: "K'chole asher ani ma'reh os'cho ...... v'chein taasu" -
Rashi says that "v'chein taasu" tells us that for all generations the form of the
Sanctuary and the form of its vessels should remain the same. We find that
King Shlomo made an altar of different dimensions and that there were numerous
other changes such as the altar of King Shlomo was not covered with copper
plating. How will Rashi answer this?
2) Ch. 25, v. 10: "V'OSSU oron" - Why by the command to create all other
vessels does it say "v'ossoh" and here "v'ossu?"
3) Ch. 25, v. 20: "Ish el ochiv el hakaporres" - Are they to face each other
or the lid of the Holy Ark?
4) Ch. 25, v. 29: "M'nakiosov" - Rashi, in his first translation of this
word, says that these are two pairs of vertical panels which are attached to the
shulchon. They have thin pipes attached to them which support the "lechem
haponim." This serves a double purpose, to support each bread so that an upper one
does not crush the one below it, and to allow for air to circulate around
each bread, so that they do not get mouldy. The way the pipes stay in place is by
their lying in notches cut into the panels.
The text of Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrochi of our Rashi says that there were FIVE
sets of notches, "pitzulim," in each pair of panels. This seems very logical.
The two bottom "lechem haponim" sit on the table itself and need no support.
To allow for air to circulate it is sufficient to place thin pipes below them,
but there is no need for supporting notches, as the pipes sit on the shulchon.
However, the original text in Rashi is SIX sets of notches. How is this to
5) Ch. 27, v. 10: "Vachashukei'hem" - Rashi explains that these were silver
threads that were attached to the pillars that held the cloth walls of the
courtyard in place. Rashi adds that he does not know if the threads wound around
the pillars from top to bottom, or only on top, or only in the middle. This is
most puzzling, as the verse clearly states "vachashukei'hem kesef v'tzipuy
roshei'hem kosef v'heim m'chushokim kesef," (Shmos 38:17).
Answer to questions on parshas Mishpotim:
1) Ch. 21, v. 13: "V'ho'Elokim inoh l'yodo" - Rashi brings the gemara Makos
10b which tells us that although one can escape the judgement of the courts, no
one escapes the judgement of Hashem. If one were guilty of intentional murder
and deserved the death penalty, and another killed someone by accident and
deserved to go into exile into a city of refuge, but there were no witnesses for
either act, then Hashem will bring about circumstances so that these two
people will come together. The one deserving exile to the city of refuge will be
climbing a ladder (either downwards or upwards but the rungs of the ladder sag
as he steps upon them), and the one deserving death for intentional murder
will be below. The man on the ladder will fall upon the murderer in front of
witnesses. The murderer will be killed, thus getting his just punishment, and the
one who fell upon him will now be forced to flee to a city of refuge.
Since the death penalty due a murderer is beheading and someone falling onto
him is a form of stoning, then he received a punishment which was stricter
than he deserved, since the mishnoh Sanhedrin 7:1 (49b) says that stoning is
stricter than beheading. Why is this fair?
1) The Chizkuni answers that the gemara means that the person on the ladder
had a sharp blade in his hand and upon falling, accidentally delivered a fatal
laceration to the neck of the murderer. He adds that there is no reason to
say that he now deserves to go to the city of refuge twice, i.e. waiting until
the death of two Kohanim G'dolim until he is free, because the accidental
killing of the second person deserves no banishment, as the one who was killed was
a murderer and is considered a dead man, "gavra k'tila kotal."
2) The Maskil l'Dovid answers that a stricter form of punishment is
appropriate. He says that although we derive from the words "Mose yumas hama'keh
rotzei'ach hu" (Bmidbar 35:21) that if the court is unable to put the murderer to
death with the prescribed form of execution they must kill him by any manner
available to them (gemara K'suvos 30b, Sotoh 8b, Sanhedrin 37b, Shvuos 34a),
nevertheless, if the execution is a more lenient form of death, the guilty person
does not have full atonement. It is obvious that when a person is being
judged in a case of a capital punishment offence and is found guilty, that he goes
through much mental anguish until he is executed. Not so the person who is
suddenly killed. Hashem, in His infinite kindness, wants the murderer to have his
sin cleansed fully and therefore visits upon him a more severe form of death
to compensate for the lack of anticipatory anguish.
2) Ch.21, v. 30: "IM kofer yushas olov" - Rashi near the end of parshas Yisro
(20:22) brings a Mechilta in the name of Rabbi Yishmoel, that "IM" always
means "IF, R'SHUS," except for the following three places, which are all
requirements: 1) IM mizbach avonim ta'a'seh li (20:22) 2) IM kesef talveh es ami
(22:24) 3) IM takriv minchas bikurim (Vayikra 2:14). In these three places, IM
means "when you will do," a requirement. Rashi on our verse says that this
"IM" is not "IF, TOLUY," dependent upon one's choice, but rather a must, as
"Im kesef talveh." This Rashi seems to contradict the Mechilta he himself
quoted in 20:22 and 22:24, that there are only three places that "IM" means "as you
The Baalei Tosfos answer that the basic meaning of "IM" is "IF, voluntary."
Rabbi Yishmoel lists the only three places where it is a requirement by
virtue of a mitzvoh to do, to build an altar, to lend money, to bring a korban
Minchas ho'Omer. Rashi is saying in 21:30 that the atonement payment of our verse
is required and not optional. In that way, it is similar to 22:24. However,
it is not a mitzvoh requirement. On the contrary, one is required to guard
his animals from damaging or inflicting injury on another person or his
property. We now have three types of "IM," IF, a MUST which is not a mitzvoh, and a
MUST which is a mitzvoh. This also answers the question of Bmidbar 36:4, "IM
y'h'yeh ha'yovel." This is not optional, "IF Yovel will come," but rather a
definite happening. Once again, this "IM" is not in Rabbi Yishmoel's list, as
Yovel's coming is not a mitzvoh to be done, but it is also not optional.
It would seem that Rashi carefully forewarns the point made by the Baalei
Tosfos. When he quotes Rabbi Yishmoel, he says that the three exceptions are not
"RSHUS." Similarly in Vayikro 2:14, he says that bringing the Omer offering
is not a "RSHUS." The opposite of "RSHUS" is a mitzvoh. However, in our
verse where "kofer" is a must but not a mitzvoh, Rashi says this "IM" is not
"TOLUY," not hanging on one's decision, as it is a required payment. The opposite
of "TOLUY" is "va'dei," definite. One MUST pay, but it is not a mitzvoh to
bring oneself to this situation.
3) Ch. 22, v. 13: "V'nishbar o meis" - Why was the "nishboh," seized,
possibility not mentioned, as it is mentioned in verse 9, when discussing the laws of
the paid guard?
Our verse is discussing a borrower. The gemara B.M. 96b says that we derive
from our verse that although the borrower is responsible for all losses, this
does not apply in situations where the borrowed animal was damaged or died in
the normal course of its intended use. Since being "seized" is not a result
of the normal usage of the animal by the borrower, it is not mentioned here.
4) Ch. 22, v. 30: "U'vosor BASO'DEH treifoh" - The law of "treifoh" is not
limited to the field. Rashi says that it is a common occurrence for an animal
to be torn asunder in a field. This is one of four places in our parsha where
Rashi says that the specifics of a verse are not limited to that case only,
but a common occurrence is used as an example, "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh." Rashi
brings two proofs for this concept, from Dvorim 22:27 and 23:11.
The other three places are:
1) 21:28, "V'chi yigach SHOR," not only an ox, but any animal, etc.
2) 22:17, "M'cha'sheifoh lo s'cha'yeh," not only a female witch, but a male
3) "Kol almonoh v'yosom lo s'anun," not only a widow and an orphan, but
Why doesn't Rashi bring a proof for "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh" at the earliest
opportunity? Why does he wait until the fourth time this appears in our
parsha? Why aren't the first three cases proof for "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh" for
In the other three cases the commonplace example is the SUBJECT or OBJECT of
the action, the OX, the WITCH, the WIDOW or ORPHAN. To consider the subject
or object of the verse a commonplace example needs no proof. By the treifoh
meat, the example is not the meat, but the CIRCUMSTANCE surrounding the subject,
that it took place "in the field." To say that this is only a commonplace
example requires proof. The two proofs from Dvorim are also about the
circumstances surrounding the subject, that the impurity took place AT NIGHT and that
the man accosted the betrothed maiden IN THE FIELD. (Bni Yechezkeil Shraga
5) Ch. 24, v. 6: "Chatzi hadam" - Rashi says that an angel split the amount
of blood EXACTLY in half. The gemara Eruvin 15b and Chulin 28b states that it
is possible for a person to divide something exactly in half. If so, why was
an angel needed?
The Daas Z'keinim and the Rosh answer that this is only possible when the
whole object is in front of a person. Here, some of the blood had left the
slaughtered animal and some was still inside. One is not able to collect exactly
half the blood of the animal when the remainder of the blood is within the
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