CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS T'TZAVEH 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 27, v. 20: "Shemen ZAYIS zoch" - From where was the olive oil sourced, given that they were in a desert?
2) Ch. 28, v. 4: "Choshen v'eifode" - A breastplate and an apron - In 25:7, 35:9, and 35:27 the "eifode" is mentioned before the "choshen." Why the change of order?
3) Ch. 28, v. 15: "Choshen" - What is the word source for "choshen?"
4) Ch. 28, v. 32: "Lo yiko'rei'a" - It shall not be ripped - Does this mean to make it in a manner that it would not readily rip or is this a prohibition?
5) Ch. 28, v. 33: "Ufaamonei zohov b'sochom soviv" - And golden bells in them all around - What does "b'sochom" mean, that the golden bells should be placed in an alternating manner between the cloth pomegranates or that they be placed inside them?
The Ponim Yofos writes that "shemen ZAYIS" in our verse does not mean olive oil, but rather, oil of an olive tree, as we find in "a'lei ZAYIS torof b'fihoh" (Breishis 8:11), a leaf of an olive tree. The Torah is telling us that the bnei Yisroel must extract oil from olives found on trees in hospitable areas of the desert, truly a daunting task.
This seems to be contrary to the words of Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on Shmos 35:28, who says that the oil was miraculously brought by clouds from Gan Eden.
In the other verses the "eifode" is mentioned first because it is donned before the "choshen," which goes on top. However, our verse is simply listing all the garments of the Kohein Godol. The "choshen" is mentioned before the "eifode" here because of its greater holiness. It houses the "urim v'tumim." (Tzror Hamor)
Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam says that the source for this word is "chosh," hurries. This is because one who asks a question of the Urim v'Tumim contained in the "choshen" receives an immediate response.
Rashi explains that this is a continuum of the previous words. Make a strong doubled over hem so that the opening should not rip. Rashi adds that this is not simply advice, but rather, it is a negative command, "Do not rip it." Chizkuni explains that this is a specific requirement of how to create the opening. At the time of weaving the garment do it in such a manner that you leave an opening for the Kohein Godol's head. Do not make a solid sheet and then cut an opening.
Rashi says that this means to place golden bells and cloth pomegranates in an alternating manner all around. Thus each gold bell has a pomegranate before it and after it. This is "b'sochom soviv." Ramban disagrees and says that each cloth pomegranate had a gold bell placed inside it.
The Sfas Emes in his commentary on the gemara Z'vochim 88b notes that the gemara seems to clearly state the opinion of the Ramban. "He brings 72 bells which contain 72 clappers and hangs them BO'HEN," in THEM. The use of the plural word clearly shows that they are hung in a plurality of items, and there is but one "eifode." BO'HEN must clearly mean "in the pomegranates. However, the position of Rashi is readily clarified, based on the text of the Shitoh M'kubetzes on the folio. His text is not BO'HEN, but rather BO, in IT, the "eifode."
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