Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 28, v. 3: "V'ossu es bigdei Aharon" - The gemara Arochin 16a says in the name of Rav Shmuel bar Nachamani that a person can be afflicted with "tzoraas" for one of seven sins. The gemara goes on to say in the name of Rav An'ni (Anini) bar Soson that the garments of the Kohein Godol atone for these seven sins. This is derived from the juxtaposition of the parsha of the priestly garments to the parsha of sacrifices. Just as sacrifices offer atonement, so too, the priestly garments offer atonement. The gemara then enumerates which garment atones for which sin. It is most puzzling that the Ri"f in his commentary on the second chapter of Shabbos (folio 14 in our print) brings this statement of Rav Shmuel bar Nachamani and of the atonement brought through the priestly garments. The Ri"f limits his writing on the gemara to only items of relevant halochos that apply to our times. With the "bigdei K'hunoh" not in use why does he bring this gemara?

2) Ch. 28, v. 6: "V'ossu es ho'eifode maa'sei chosheiv" - And they shall create the apron skilled work - "V'ossu," - and THEY shall make, is a departure from the normal expression, "v'ossiso," which we find in verses 2,13,15,22,23, and 27. (I have only listed the verse until "shlishi," but there are more.)

3) Ch. 28, v. 10: "V'es shmos hashishoh hanosorim al ho'evven hasheinis" - Why doesn't the verse simply say "Shishoh mishmosom al ho'evven ho'echos v'es shmos shishoh al ho'evven hashei'nis k'soldosom"?

4) Ch. 29, v. 33,34: "V'zor lo yochal ki kodesh HEIM, V'im yivoseir mibsar hamiluim umin ha'lechem ad haboker v'sorafto es hanosar bo'eish lo yei'ocheil ki kodesh HU" - That which has been left over beyond its prescribed time obviously is lacking to some extent in its sanctity, as testified by the Torah's requiring that it be burned. What level of sanctity does it have?

5) Ch. 30, v. 6: "Lifnei haKAPORRES" - We find in parshas Va'yakheil (40:5) that the command was to place the golden altar "lifnei aron ho'eidus." As well, there is a third verse (40:26) which says that the golden altar was placed across from the POROCHES, not mentioning the kaporres or the oron.



If we take careful note of the statement of Rav An'ni as it is brought in the gemara Z'vochim 88b we will note a subtle difference. It says that the juxtaposition of the parsha of sacrifices to the parsha of priestly garments teaches us The order of juxtaposition is reversed, mentioning sacrifices first and then the priestly garments, the opposite order of the gemara Arochin. Indeed, Rashi d.h. "lomoh" seems to take notice of this by saying in Z'vochim that the parshios under discussion are in Tzav, "toras hachatos" etc., then "kach es Aharon v'es b'godov."

In his commentary on the gemara Arochin, also d.h. ""lomoh," he says that the gemara refers to our parsha, where the "milu'im" come after the creation of the priestly garments. Rashi surely changed the locations to keep in step with the gemara. Where the gemara mentioned sacrifices ahead of the priestly garments, Z'vochim, Rashi says it refers to parshas Tzav because there too, sacrifices are mentioned earlier than the priestly garments. Where the gemara mentioned the priestly garments ahead of the sacrifices, Arochin, Rashi cites our parsha, where the priestly garments are likewise mentioned ahead of the sacrifices.

Getting back to the question raised on the Ri"f - Besides the order being reversed in the two parshios there is also another difference. Our parsha discusses the CREATION of the garments, while in parshas Tzav the WEARING of the garments is the theme, "Va'yi'tein olov, va'yachgore oso, va'yalbeish, va'yi'tein, va'yachgore, va'yepode" (Vayikroh 8:7), "Va'yo'sem olov" (v. 8), "Va'yo'sem es" (v. 9). There might very well be a disagreement between the two gemoros as to the true opinion of Rav On'ni ben Soson, or Rav On'ni and Rav Onini are two different people. If the source of priestly garments affording atonement is from parshas Tzav, it would seem that it is based on the Kohein Godol WEARING the garments, as that is the theme of that parsha. If sourced from our parsha, then we might say that the mere EXISTENCE of the priestly garments affords atonement, as our parsha only discusses their CREATION.

We can now answer the question raised on the Ri"f. The words in the Ri"f are exactly that of the gemara Arochin, mentioning the priestly garment before the sacrifices, referring to parshas T'tza'veh and not Tzav. Although the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, nevertheless, some of its vessels and the priestly garments might well still be in existence, and this alone provides some level of atonement. This component of softening the sin is a practical aspect of repenting, so the Ri"f mentions it. (Nirreh li)


"V'ossu" that is found by creating the Holy Ark (25:10) has been explained to indicate that all should personally take part in the study of Torah, not only donating for its upkeep, as the Holy Ark is representative of the Torah.) Although Hashem asked Moshe to see to it that all the items be made, He did not want to connect Moshe, even by inference, to the creation of the "eifode." This is because the gemara Arochin 16a says that the "eifode" brings atonement for "avodoh zoroh." The communal act or being an accomplice to "avodoh zoroh" took place with the golden calf. Moshe took absolutely no part in this, so he is not mentioned in the verse to involve himself in its creation.

Our verse ends with "maa'sei chosheiv." This is to interpreted as "a creation connected with thought," i.e. worshipping false gods. "Avodoh zoroh" is a sin that is unique in that it is the only sin where thoughts of sinning are equated with an act, as per the gemara Chulin 142a, which derives this from the verse in Yechezkel 14:5, "l'maan t'fose es beis Yisroel b'libom." (Kli Yokor)


The Mahari"l Diskin answers that the seemingly superfluous words teach us a ruling of "k'sidron," somewhat similar to the laws of writing tefillin or a mezuzoh. Our verse teaches us that it is required to chronologically have the names of the first group of six tribes etched into one stone before beginning the inscription of the second group of six names. (It would seem that there is no requirement to etch the names of one group of six in any particular chronological order as long as they appear in a "k'soldosom" order on their stone.)


The Maharsh"o on the gemara Kidushin 56b d.h. "b'Tosfos d.h. "hamka'deish" writes that when the meat of a sacrifice has been left over beyond the prescribed time for its consumption, "nosar," its sanctity is totally gone.

The Chasam Sofer in his responsa Evven Ho'ezer 2:152 and the Beis Yitzchok in his responsa both ask that our verse stands in stark opposition to the Maharsh"o, clearly stating that although the meat is disqualified from further eating as sacrificial food, nonetheless it may not be eaten because it is still holy, "ki KODESH hu." Although the gemara P'sochim 24a derives from these words that all disqualifying matters affecting sacrificial meat have this same prohibition, "kol shebkodesh posul bo hakosuv li'tein lo saa'seh al achiloso," nevertheless, the simple words of the verse still stand, namely that the meat still retains its sanctity, contrary to the Maharsh"o.

The sefer Ari B'mistorim page 93 answers in the name of Rabbi Yehudoh Leib Alter zt"l, the son of the Pnei Menachem, the Holy Admor of Gur, Rabbi Pinchos Menachem Alter zt"l, by pointing out that there is a difference in the wording between verse 33 and verse 34. In verse 33 the prohibition of a foreigner to partake of the meat of a sacrifice is expressed "ki kodesh HEIM, while in the next verse which prohibits the eating of "nosar" it is expressed as "ki kodesh HU."

He explains that in verse 33 both the eating of the sacrifice, Shalmei Tzibur, and its accompanying breads are mentioned. One who is not fit to eat them, a non-Kohein, is prohibited to do so because of THEIR (the sacrifice and the bread) sanctity, thus "ki kodesh HEIM." Verse 34 discusses Shalmei Tzibur becoming "nosar." They become "nosar" after the passing of that day and the following night. However, normally a Korban Shlomim has an eating time allowance of the day the sacrifice is processed, the following night, and the following day. Why is this sacrifice disqualified earlier? Its breads are logically disqualified earlier because accompanying breads of another type of Korban Shlomim, the Korban Todoh, are limited in their time allowance to only that day and the following night. However, the sacrificial meat should have an extra day of allowance for eating, as all other Korb'nos Shlomim. To this question the Torah responds, "ki kodesh HU," because the public Korban Shlomim, Shalmei Tzibur, is different from the private Korban Shlomim in that it is holy, Kodshei Kodoshim, and not Kodoshim Kalim as all other Shlomim. The Torah is only explaining the sanctity of the sacrifice and not its accompanying bread, thus the term HU, and not HEIM as in the previous verse, which explains the restriction to a non-Kohein to eat either the sacrifice or its breads. The words in verse 34 explain the allowed eating time of the sacrifice when it is not yet "nosar," and therefore there is no verse stating that "nosar" is "kodesh," in perfect consonance with the words of the Maharsh"o.


The Maharil Diskin answers that both are true. The verse in Vayakheil tells us to place the golden altar in the centre of the Mishkon across from the oron. Our verse tells us that its height should be across from the lid of the oron. This is a height of ten t'fochim. Although the height of the golden altar is twelve t'fochim, if one were to dig out the earth below the altar three t'fochim deep, the altar would no longer be across from the height of the kaporres.

At first glance this seems to be a farfetched answer. Why would anyone consider digging three t'fochim into the earth and burying a fourth of the total height of the golden altar? Perhaps this can be answered with a question raised by the Moshav Z'keinim (26:1). It says in 26:16 that the height of the beams which created the walls of the Mishkon was ten cubits. The gemara Shabbos 92a says that the height of the Kohanim and Leviim who lived at the time of the bnei Yisroel's wandering in the desert was ten cubits. The Moshav Z'keinim asks, "How did the Kohanim serve inside the Mishkon to prepare the lamps of the menorah and to burn incense? They were as tall as the height of the Mishkon. Add to this that they also had to wear a hat as part of the required priestly vestments. If you answer that they did the service in a bent over position, this is not acceptable. Since it would not be honourable to serve a flesh and blood king in a bent over position, it would surely be improper to serve Hashem, the King of all kings in this manner." The Moshav Z'keinim leaves this question unresolved.

Perhaps we could offer by necessity of answering the Moshav Z'keinim's difficulty, that before the Mishkon was erected, the floor space was dug out a few t'fochim deep to allow for clearance for the height of the Kohanim and their hats. Now we can understand the need to forewarn that the golden altar be across from the height of the kaporres. When digging out the floor of the Mishkon, make sure to leave the golden altar on the original earth surface so that it doesn't descend below the height of the kaporres.

What still remains to be resolved is the third verse (40:26) which says that the golden altar was placed across from the POROCHES, not mentioning the kaporres or the oron. Given the above answer that lowering the floor was necessary, perhaps the verse tells us that the ground below the golden altar was not lowered at all. If it were to be lowered, the bottom of the golden altar would be below the bottom of the poroches which extended from the ceiling until the bottom of the foundation blocks. Although this would not contravene the requirement of being across from the kaporres, even if lowered by as much as two t'fochim, the verse might be telling us that they were very careful to avoid a problem. The earth in the desert was not firm, but rather dry loose sand. If one removes desert sand to a depth of three t'fochim and leaves an area of one square cubit at its original height, there is a great possibility that the sand in the remaining mound would spill down its slopes and there will no longer remain a sufficient elevation. Therefore this last verse tells us that the altar was placed across from the poroches, insuring that it would not sink to below the height of the kaporres. I eagerly await a better explanation, but, "L'fum duchka r'vocha."



See also Sedrah Selections, Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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