CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS TRUMOH 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 25, v. 3: "Zohov voCHESEF u'n'choshes" - Rashi says that although all other materials mentioned came as a voluntary donation, the silver that was used to create the base sockets for the wall beams was obligatory and was a set amount for each person (35:25,26). He ends by saying that silver donations were used for making vessels of service. The Sifsei Chachomim says that Rashi added this comment so that we can say that there was silver given as a voluntary donation.
The Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos #20 and #33 says that there is a mitzvoh to donate materials for vessels of gold, silver, etc., not only for the items mentioned in this parsha but also for OTHER VESSELS, "v'zulosom." To what does this refer?
2) Ch. 25, v. 10: "V'ossu arone" - Why was there no Holy Ark in the second Beis Hamikdosh. Even though the original orone and its contents were sequestered, why not build an orone as is required for the Mikdosh even though there will be no "luchos" inside?
3) Ch. 25, v. 15: "B'tabose ho'oronee yi'h'yu habadim lo yosuru mi'menu" - The gemara Yoma 72a says that we derive from our verse that if one removes the poles from the Holy Ark he has transgressed a negative precept and is lashed. This is mentioned in the Rambam hilchos klei hamikdosh 2:13. If one has transgressed this prohibition is it a one time sin or is it ongoing until the poles are back in place?
4) Ch. 25, v. 21: "V'nosato es hakaporres ...... v'el ho'orone ti'tein es ho'eidus" - The Ibn Ezra says that this means "Place the lid onto the Holy Ark AFTER you have fulfilled 'v'el ho'orone ti'tein.'" Rashi says that this has already been taught in verse 16. Our verse teaches that it is not permitted to place the lid onto the orone before placing the "luchos" into the orone first. What need is there for this command? It is physically impossible to first place the lid on top and then put in the "luchos."
5) Ch. 26. v. 26, 28: "V'ossiso v'richim ...... chamishoh, V'habriach hatichon ...... min hakotzeh el hakotzeh" - What were these five poles and where were they placed? How does your answer/s impact on understanding, "V'habriach hatichon ...... min hakotzeh el hakotzeh?"
Perhaps the Rambam felt that since silver was mentioned among the materials DONATED for the Mishkon, this should be taken literally. Others say that since this verse lists materials for the Mishkon, silver was included, although it was not a voluntary donation. The Rambam seems to posit that silver was truly a voluntary donation, used for vessels such as pans for receiving the blood of slaughtered sacrifices.
Rashi also mentions this in the end of our verse, but does not say that this is considered a donation to the building of the Mishkon. Perhaps he considers these as necessary vessels, appurtenances, but not part and parcel of the mitzvoh of erecting the Mishkon, contrary to the above-mentioned explanation of the Sifsei Chachomim.
This could similarly explain why no one says that the silver which was voluntarily donated was used for the hooks, binders, and caps of the pillars which were part of the fencing around the Mishkon courtyard (27:10,11 and 38:17), as they are not considered part of building the Mishkon.
The Sfas Emes asked this question to Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzenski. Rabbi Chaim Ozer answered that an orone without luchos is not an orone. Possibly this is what is taught by the extra verse.
This seems to depend upon two opinions regarding the second ark which escorted the bnei Yisroel to the battlefield, discussed in gemara Shkolim 16a-b and B.B. 14a. Was this ark empty or did it house the broken "luchos?" According to the opinion that it was empty, we see that an ark with no "luchos" in it is still of value. Also see Rashi on Bmidbar 10:33 in the name of the Sifri, that the ark that escorted the bnei Yisroel to battle had the broken "luchos." Possibly, even if this orone was empty, the orone that was to occupy space in the Kodesh Hakodoshim required luchos. Tosfos on the gemara Eiruvin 63b d.h. "kol zman", deals with this at length.
Another answer to the Sfas Emes's question might be with the opinion of the Baalei Tosfos cited in the answer to the next question, who say that it is prohibited to place the kaporres onto the orone without the "luchos" inside. Since the "luchos" were gone, the "kaporres" could not be placed onto the orone, so an orone wasn't made.
Another possible answer might be that there is a strong indication from the Rambam hilchos Beis Habchiroh 1:6 that the orone was not needed to create the sanctity of the Mikdosh. He lists all the vessels that must be made for the Beis Hamikdosh, the mizbach ho'oloh, kevesh, shulchon, menoroh, kior, and mizbach hazohov. He does not mention the orone. It would seem that the command to make an orone is only for the purpose of having it house its holy contents, but it is not one of the "klei Mikdosh."
It would seem logical to assume that this transgression is similar to most other transgressions in that once it has been done the sin is completed and is not being continuously transgressed until the poles are replaced.
However, the Ritv"o in his commentary on the gemara Makos 21b says otherwise. The gemara says that one can plow a furrow and in this one act transgress eight sins, each of which is punishable by lashes. The gemara asks that there is the possibility of another sin taking place at the same time if while plowing he transgresses "lo yosuru mi'menu." The Ritv"o writes that the person had already removed the poles from the Holy Ark and had now placed them into the plow as handles and is actively plowing. Every moment that he has not returned the poles to their proper place is a separate sin. He probably explains the case in this manner to give the logistics of how the poles were removed and reached a field where one could plow, obviously a distance from the Mikdosh.
The Oruch L'neir strongly disagrees, saying that the moment the poles were removed the sin was done and completed, thus having nothing to do with the plowing which took place later. Instead he offers that the Holy Ark was carried past the field where the plowing was taking place (perhaps on the way to a war site) and the person who was plowing knocked the poles out of their rings with his plow.
Perhaps an allusion to the opinion of the Ritv"o is found in our verse. It says both "B'tabose ho'oronee yi'h'yu habadim," and "lo yosuru mi'menu." Could not "lo yosuru min hatabo'ose" have sufficed? Perhaps the first part of the verse teaches us the guidelines of the negative precept in the second half of the verse. "Do not remove the poles from it," and not only do you transgress when removing them but also every moment that they are still out of their proper place as well, since the verse says "B'tabose ho'oronee yi'h'yu habadim."
The Baalei Tosfos ask this. They answer that the verse prohibits placing the lid on first even if only to test if it is properly shaped to sit securely upon the orone.
Rashi explains that the north and south walls had five poles to support and align them as follows: Two went across the upper area of the beams, running through rings attached to the beams. Each spanned half the length of the wall. Similarly, two ran across the lower area. The fifth pole was not external, but rather, ran through a hole bored into the thickness of each beam. This was the "briach hatichon" of verse 28. However, it was not two poles as the exterior ones were, but rather, one long pole. There were three internal poles, one for each of the three walls of the Mishkon. Since only the "briach hatichon" went from end to end of each wall and the external poles only went halfway across, it is understood why the verse says "min hakotzeh el hakotzeh" specifically by the "briach hatichon."
However, the Rashbam says that the five poles of verse 26 all spanned the complete length of the wall. Contrary to Rashi who says that the walls had two external rows of poles for support, the Rashbam says that they had five rows, besides the internal pole. If so, why does the Torah point out "mikotzeh el hakotzeh" only in verse 28? The Rashbam says that the gemara Shabbos 98b indicates that the "briach hatichon" was a single pole that spanned ALL THREE walls. It miraculously bent as a flexible hose would and took two 90 degree turns at the corners. Upon removal, the pole would revert to being stiff and straight. This is stated clearly in the Targum Yonoson ben Uziel as well. "Mikotzeh el hakotzeh" means from one end of the Mishkon walls to the other end of the Mishkon walls, while the external poles only spanned one side.
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