Oroh V'Simchoh

Meshech Chochmoh
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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 15: "Lo yosuru mi'menu" - The MESHECH CHOCHMOH says that the purpose of leaving the staves in their rings permanently is to teach us that they are not there for the purpose of carrying the Holy Ark. The Holy Ark had the miraculous ability to carry its carriers (gemara Sotoh 35b). If the staves would be in the rings during transport only, one would say that they are needed for that purpose. Leaving the staves in the rings permanently shows that even when the ark is transported, the staves are not there for transportation purposes, but rather are a component of the Holy Ark. This is similar to the illumination of the Beis Hamikdosh. The window frames were bevelled, larger to the outside (M'lochim 1:6:4). This is contrary to logic. If the frames would be enlargened inwards it would maximize the light coming in. Since the Beis Hamikdosh is a light unto the world, the windows were bevelled in a manner indicating that the light emanates from the inside to the outside.

As well, the Rambam posits hilchos tmidim umusofim 3:10 that the menorah was lit in the morning as well as in the evening. There was no need to light it in the morning as daylight was sufficient. Rather, this teaches us that the Beis Hamikdosh is the source of light for the world.

Ch. 26, v. 6: "V'hoyoh haMishkon echod" - The lowest layer of roofing was called Mishkon. It was made of ten sections of material, five sewn together, and another five sewn together. On the lips of the five-section sheets 50 loops were sewn, and interlocking hooks were used to join them. At this point the Mishkon, the lowest layer of roofing material, became one. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH suggests that "v'hoyoh echod" is to be understood as a command that it remain one, that the hooks should never be removed, even upon disassembly of the Mishkon and transport.

Ch. 26, v. 21: "V'arbo'im adneiHEM ko'sef" - In verse 19, when discussing the foundation blocks of the southern wall, the verse says "v'arbo'im adnei cho'sef." Why does our verse add the possessive suffix HEM to "adnei"? The MESHECH CHOCHMOH answers that the gemara Yerushalmi Shabbos 12:3 says that each beam had its unique position and should not be switched with another beam. The gemara derives this from the words "Vaha'keimoso es haMishkon k'mishpoto." The gemara translates "k'mishpoto" as "according to its judgment." Is there then a judgment, a claim, for a beam? The gemara concludes that the beams had a claim to their positions and a beam that made up part of the northern wall shall remain in the northern wall when erected again, and a beam in the southern wall shall remain in the southern wall. The MESHECH CHOCHMOH daringly suggests that only the first half of this statement is said in earnest, while the part about the southern beams remaining to the south is not literal, just a follow through expression that mirrors the first half, that a northern beam shall remain to the north, which is to be taken literally. He explains that since sacrifices of the Kodoshei Kodoshim status may only be slaughtered in the northern half of the Mikdosh courtyard, it was more sanctified than the south. (I believe that we may likewise assume that those that were further to the west, which were either closer to the Holy of Holies, or were even part of the wall of the Holy of Holies, can also not be switched with beams on the same flank that were further away. Applying this to north/south, those that were to the north should not be changed to the south, even when placed in the corresponding east-west position.)

We thus see that being on the north is greater than being on the south. This is why our verse says "v'adneiHEM," with the possessive suffix. Our verse discusses the northern foundation blocks, and the foundation blocks are THEIRS, claiming a higher position. Verse 19 discusses the foundation blocks belonging to the southern wall. Their blocks have no claim to remain on the south because if a northern block is lost or rendered improper for use, a southern block may be moved up and put in its place.

Although a beautiful insight, it is a bit unusual for the verse to point this out by the foundation blocks, which are mentioned after the beams and are also the subject of the gemara. Perhaps we see this same point by the beams. In verse 18 the Torah tells us to make 20 beams for the southern wall, mentioning the creation of the 20 beams ahead of saying where they will be positioned. In verse 20 the Torah switches around the order, first stating that beams are to be made for the northern wall, and then telling us that there are 20. Perhaps we can say that by mentioning the number of beams without first stating their intended position, we can derive that they are not totally designated to that position, as they might move up to a more coveted position, the north. Verse 20 first states the position, "for the northern flank," indicating that this is first and foremost, that they will remain in the north and not later be repositioned in the south. This nuance carries through for the western wall, which totally abuts the Holy of Holies (verse 22), as does the word "v'adneiHEM" (verse 25).

What remains to be resolved is the verse that discusses the poles and base blocks that supported the courtyard curtains. Although the command for the north is in consonance with the MESHECH CHOCHMOH, saying "v'amudov" and "v'adneihem" (27:11), but when discussing the poles and their base blocks for the south (verse 10) the verse says both "V'amudOV" and "v'adneiHEM." Since they too may be elevated to the north, as they are first adjacent to the southern part of the courtyard, why does the verse add the possessive suffix?

Finally, "k'mishpoto" as explained by the gemara is to be translated as "according to its judgment/just claim." Perhaps on a simple level we can say that this word can be translated as POSITION, as we find by the butler in Breishis 40:13. Yoseif told him that he would once again serve Paroh "kaMISHPOT horishon," as was his original POSITION.


See also Sedrah Selections, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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