CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS TRUMOH 5773 - BS"D
1) Ch. 25, v. 4: "V'sheish" - And flax - We find the word "bad" used for flax as well. Which word is used when?
2) Ch. 25, v. 4,5: "V'izim, V'oros eilim m'odomim v'oros t'choshim" - And goats, And hides of reddened rams and hides of t'choshim - "Hides of" are mentioned by the rams and "t'choshim," but not by goats. Why?
3) Ch. 25, v. 12: "Arba tabose zohov" - Four gold rings - Similarly by the stave coverings of gold in the next verse we find "v'tzipiso osom zohov." By the creation of the gold Ark, the term "zohov TOHOR" is used, PURE gold. Why the difference between the actual ark and its staves covering?
4) Ch. 25, v. 20: "V'hoyu hakruvim" - And the cherubs shall be - We know that the faces of the cherubs were in the form of children, and the wings were obviously like bird wings. What form did the bodies from the neck down have, of humans or birds?
5) Ch. 25, v. 29: "K'orosov" - Later on we have "k'sosov" and "m'nakiosov." What were these three items and what was their function?
Minchoh V'luloh says that when the thread is a single strand of flax then the word "bad" is used. This is appropriate because "bad" likewise means "single." When multiple threads are spun together or folded to create a six-fold strand the word "sheish" is used. We are still left with the word "pishtim."
The Chasam Sofer answers this through first raising a question. Why do we not find donations of musical instruments, which were used during the services? The mishnoh at the end of Kinim says that an animal while still alive, emits one sound, that of its voice. When it is dead it emits seven sounds. Its horns are fashioned into two trumpets, its thighbones into two flutes, its hide into a drum, its large intestines into harp strings, and its duodenum into violin strings.
If rams are dedicated to the Mishkon, even if earmarked for the structural needs, they nevertheless receive the sanctity of an "oloh" sacrifice. (This seems to be a weak point, as this is so only by virtue of a Rabbinic edict.) An "oloh" is totally consumed on the altar. Its body parts can therefore not be fashioned into instruments. A goat cannot be an "oloh." Even if some of its parts become an offering the parts that can be made into musical instruments remain. Therefore the goats were totally sanctified, and the rams not, only their hides.
It still remains to be explained why by "t'choshim," a species totally unfit as any type of sacrifice, only their hides are mentioned.
Perhaps this is an allusion to the unfortunate reality that although the Torah itself is pure and untainted, the support of the Torah, symbolized by the rings and staves, is not always pure, as money donated for Torah study is sometimes not honestly earned. (Nirreh li)
Chizkuni writes that the body form of the cherubs was that of birds, not humans with wings attached.
Rashi explains that "k'orosov" were forms similar in shape to the breads, to keep them from breaking. Chizkuni says that they were bowls used for kneading the dough to make the show-breads. Similarly, Rashi says that "k'sosov" of our verse were split pipes that were used as spacers between the breads, and Chizkuni says that they were bowls from which water was poured upon the flour to create the show-breads. Similarly, Rashi says that "m'nakiosov" of our verse means panels that were part of the table, which also served as the legs of the table, while Chizkuni says that they were tools with which they cleaned the ovens of ash and debris before they would use them for baking the breads. In all three cases Rashi says that the items were for the table or storage of the breads on the table, while Chizkuni says that they were all items used for making the bread.
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