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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 2: "V'yikchu" - The Holy Zohar explains why the word "v'yitnu" is not used. Collectors were appointed to inform the donors that it was nececessary for them to totally relinquish their ownership of the materials donated for the Mishkon, its vessels and the garments of the kohanim, i.e. the collectors should TAKE the donations, insuring that they are "li," to Hashem.

Ch. 25, v. 3: "Zohov" - The M.R. 35:1 says that the only purpose for Hashem's creating gold was for its use in the Mishkon and the Botei Mikdosh. Once He created gold, He was very generous, and put an abundance of it into the world, allowing it to be used for other purposes as well.

Ch. 25, v. 3: "ZoHoV voCheSeF u'N'CHoSHeS" -

The Chasam Sofer says that just as these three materials are physically three levels of donation, likewise the letters of these words spell out three levels of magnanimity in giving. The highest level is "ZoHoV" - Zeh Hanosein Bori -giving when one is healthy. The next level is "KeSeF" - Kaasher Sakonoh Porachas - when a danger lurks. The lowest level is "N'CHoSheS" - N'sinas Choleh She'omar Tnu - the donation of a sick person who is so ill that he tells others to give for him.

Ch. 25, v. 6: "Shemen lamo'or" - This seems off topic. The subject matter is the materials needed for creating the Mishkon, not its daily function. Baalei Tosfos answer that just as a king has lamps placed in his new palace to illuminate it, so also the Mishkon should have lights. This is considered part of the creation of the Mishkon.

Ch. 25, v. 10: "V'OSU oron" - Why by the command to create all other vessels does it say "v'osoh" and here "v'osu?" The Moshav Z'keinim gives three answers:

1) The oron represents the Torah. Everyone is responsible to personally take part in studying it.

2) Shlomo Hamelech made replicas of all other Mishkon vessels, hence the singular form. However the Holy Ark was not duplicated by Shlomo Hamelech, hence the plural form. (See comments on 25:21 which might explain why Shlomo Hamelech could not create another Holy Ark).

3) The oron, shulchon, and mizbayach had ornamental crowns. The crown of the shulchon was taken by Dovid Hamelech, the crown of the mizbayach by Aharon the Kohein, but the crown of Torah is open for all, hence the plural term "v'osu."

Ch. 25, v. 10: "Amosayim vocheitzi orko" - The gemara Sanhedrin 29a derives from here that if one adds on, he actually decreases. Rashi explains that if the word "amosayim" would be spelled without an Alef, it would read "mosayim," two-hundred. This would be a great increase over two. The Maharsh"o asks that without the Alef we have two-hundred, but we don't know of which unit. The GR"A answers that if we decrease by removing the letter Vov from "vocheitzi" we are left with "chatzi." The verse would be telling us that half the length of the oron is two cubits. Its total length would be four cubits, more than with the Vov, which tells us that its length is only two and a half cubits.

Ch. 25, v. 11: "Mibayis umichutz t'tza'penoh" - The Holy Ark was made of three boxes which nestled one inside another. The outermost one was of gold, the centre one was of wood, and the innermost one again of gold. Rashi (gemara Yoma 72b) says that the Holy Ark was assembled in the following manner: The wooden ark was placed into the outer golden one, and then the innermost one was placed into the wooden one. This seems logical, as it requires lifting of only one box at a time. If the innermost box was first placed into the centre one, then these TWO boxes would have to be lifted to be placed into the outermost box.
However, there is a difficulty with this explanation. The words of our verse seem to contradict this. It says that you should cover the wooden ark from the inside and from the outside, seemingly indicating that it is was FIRST covered from the inside.
Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin once asked his illustrious teacher, the GR"A, a question on an esoteric Kabbalistic subject. The GR"A responded that the depth to which Rabbi Chaim had reached in understanding the subject matter was sufficient. "In Kabbalistic studies one cannot plummet to the total depth of understanding," said the GR"A. To prove his point, the GR"A asked the above question about the order of the construction of the Holy Ark.
He answered that the intention of our verse is that "from internally and from externally" does nor refer to the inside and outside of the wooden ark which is being covered. Rather, it refers to the golden arks. "From the inside (of the outer golden ark) and from the outside (of the inner golden ark) shall you cover it (the wooden ark). The INNER side of the larger golden box covers the wooden one first, and the OUTSIDE of the smaller golden one covers it second. The GR"A said that this still leaves us with a question. Why does the Torah express this in such a convoluted manner? Why not simply explain the assembly from the point of view of the wooden ark, and say "from the outside (of the wooden ark) and from the inside (of the wooden ark) shall you cover it?" He said to his student, "This is teaching us the point I made to you regarding the studying of Kabboloh, Chochmas haNistor. The two golden ark components symbolize the Torah, as the Torah is equated to gold (T'hilim 19:11), "Ha'nechemodim mizohov." The plural form "nechemodim" is used to show us that the two levels of Torah are like gold. The two golden arks are the Torah in its two forms, the open and hidden, nigloh and nistor. The outer box, open to view, represents Toras nigloh, the open Torah, PSHAT. The inner golden one, hidden from view, represents Toras nistor, SODE. The wooden ark component symbolizes man, as the Torah says (Dvorim 20:19), "ki ho'odom eitz haso'deh," man is a TREE of the field." The contact surfaces of the two golden arks with the wooden one symbolize the level to which man can fathom the Torah. Man comes into contact with the outer ark, Toras nigloh, on its inside. This indicates that he can understand it to its fullest level, all the way through to its inside. Man's contact with the inner ark, Toras nistor, is limited to its outside, indicative of his limited ability, to only grasp it on the surface. This is why the Torah expresses the covering of the wooden ark from the vantage point of the golden arks rather than from the vantage point of the wooden ark."

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 to the world, the windows were bevelled in a manner indicating that the light emanates from the inside to the outside.

Ch. 25, v. 18: "Kruvim" - The Ramban and Rivo say that the source of this word is "k'riva (kof hadim'yon)," as a young child. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on Breishis 24:14, "v'hoyoh hanaaroh," translates "riva."

Ch. 25, v. 20: "Ish el ochiv el hakapo'res" - Are they to face each other or the lid of the Holy Ark? The Rashbam says that by facing each other, they are facing the open space above the kaporres, fulfilling "el hakaporres." The Maharil Diskin answers that Hashem told Moshe that the kruvim would face each other when Hashem is pleased with the bnei Yisroel as per gemara B.B. 99a. However, they are to be originally formed to face the kaporres.

Ch. 25, v. 21: "V'nosato es hakaporres ...... v'el ho'oron 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'oron 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 oron before placing the "luchos" into the oron first. The Baalei Tosfos ask on Rashi, "What need is there for this verse? It is impossible to put the kaporres on first and then place the "luchos" inside." They answer that the verse prohibits ever placing the lid on first, even to test if it is properly shaped to sit securely upon the oron.
The Sfas Emes asked Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzenski why there was no Holy Ark in the second Beis Hamikdosh. Even though the original oron and its contents were sequestered, why not build an oron as is required for the Mikdosh? Rabbi Chaim Ozer answered that an oron without luchos is not an oron. 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 oron was empty, the oron 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 above Baalei Tosfos who say that it is prohibited to place the kaporres onto the oron without the "luchos" inside. Since the "luchos" were gone, the kaporres could not be placed onto the oron, so an oron wasn't made.
Another possible answer might be that there is a strong indication from the Rambam hilchos Beis Habchiroh 1:6 that the oron 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 oron. It would seem that the command to make an oron is only for the purpose of having it house its holy contents.

Ch. 25, v. 29: "M'nakiosov" - Rashi, in his first translation of this word, says that these are two pairs of vertical panels which are attached to the shulchon. They have thin pipes attached to them which support the "lechem haponim." This serves a double purpose; to support each bread so that an upper one does not crush the one below it, and to allow for air to circulate around each bread, so that they do not get mouldy. The way the pipes stay in place is by their lying in notches cut into the panels.
The text of Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrochi of our Rashi says that there were FIVE sets of notches, "pitzulim," in each pair of panels. This seems very logical. The two bottom "lechem haponim" sit on the table itself and need no support. To allow for air to circulate it is sufficient to place thin pipes below them, but there is no need for supporting notches, as the pipes sit on the shulchon. However, the original text in Rashi is SIX sets of notches. How is this to be understood?
Regarding the "lechem haponim" the Torah says in Vayikro 24:7, "V'nosato AL hamaa'reches l'vonah zakoh." There is a requirement to place two cups of pure frankincense "AL" hamaa'reches. The gemara M'nochos 98a brings two opinions of how to translate "AL." One is NEXT TO the row of breads, upon the table top. Another opinion is that it means to literally place the cups of "l'vonoh" ONTO the top bread of each row. The Rivo says that according to the opinion that the cups of "lvonoh" were placed ONTO the breads,the cups had two handles like pipes coming out of them. These fit into the notches on the panels. This alleviated the problem of the weight of the cups and their contents crushing the bread below them. Thus there is a need for a sixth set of notches in the panels.

Ch. 25, v. 31: "M'noras zohov" - The Rashbam says that the purpose of having the menorah and lighting it was to illuminate the shulchon, as it says (26:35), "v'es ha'menorah nochach hashulchon - the menorah shall be placed across from the shulchon."

Ch. 25, v. 31: "Tei'oseh" - The spelling of this word is unusual. It has an extra Yud after the Tof. The Daas Z'keinim says that this is a hint to the TEN (Yud equals 10) menoros that Shlomo Hamelech will create for the Beis Hamikdosh.

Ch. 25, v. 37: "V'osiso es neiro'sehoh" - Although many details of the menorah were discussed, i.e. the kanim, gviim, prochim, and kaftorim, "v'osiso" is used here, seemingly indicating some sort of new creation. The gemara M'nochos 88b brings two opinions as to whether the "neiros," the lamps which contained the oil and wicks were unibody with the menorah or not. According to the opinion that the "neiros" were separate, it is obvious why "v'osiso" is used here and not by the kanin, gviim, prochim, or kaftorim. The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh says that even according to the other opinion, the "neiros" were not formed out of the large original block of gold that became the menorah, but rather, they were soldered on later, also justifying the use of "v'osiso," specifically by the "neiros."
However, the Breisoh d'mleches haMishkon chapter 9 says that the "neiros" were made of the same block of gold as the main body of the menorah, and its ornamentation, the gviim, prochim, and kaftorim may be soldered. This chapter is brought in its entirety and is expounded upon by the Ramban 25:39.

Ch. 26, v. 15: "V'osiso es hakroshim LAmishkon" - Rabbi Oshioh asked (M.R. 35:4), "Why doesn't it say 'V'osiso es hakroshim Mishkon,' since the beams were the actual structure of the Mishkon?" He answers that this is to indicate that the Mishkon and the future Botei Mikdosh are a collateral, "LAMASHKON, for a collateral." If the bnei Yisroel will sin, the Botei Mikdosh will be destroyed.

Ch. 26. v. 26, 28: "V'osiso v'richim ...... chamishoh, V'habriach hatichon ...... min hakotzeh el hakotzeh" - 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.

A commonly used expression used to bless a newly married couple is, "May you merit to build a 'binyan a'dei ad.'" This means, "May your marriage be an everlasting building." Which building is everlasting? The Botei Mikdosh were destroyed. The future one is not yet here, and it is illogical to bless them with a comparison to a Beis Hamikdosh which doesn't yet exist. Perhaps, the comparison is to the Mishkon, which is permanent. On the words "atzei shitim OMDIM (26:15)" the gemara Yoma 72a says that it stands forever. Although it was not in use any more after the 57 years at Nov and Givon, the actual Mishkon was never destroyed. I heard that just as the Mishkon was unified with one single pole running through its three walls, so also the new couple can learn to keep their new "binyan" together by taking a lesson from the "briach hatichon." Its ability to keep things united and aligned was because it was flexible. The comparison to marriage needs no further elaboration. Perhaps, there is another lesson from the comparison to the Mishkon, again particularly from the unifying component, the "briach hatichon." The pole is seventy cubits long, corresponding to the average seventy year life-span of man (T'hilim 90:10). Let us follow its course as it snakes (see Targum Yonoson ben Uziel "k'achno") its way along. The first twenty cubits find it along the southern flank of the "heichal," the area that is occupied by the menorah, the light of the Torah. This represents the first twenty years of one's life before marriage. These are the formative years, when one forms his value system and hopefully sees the light of the Torah as his guiding force. These years are also a great opportunity for growth in Torah, while still unencumbered (gemara Kiddushin 29b, "reichayim al tzavoro v'yaasok baTorah?"). The last twenty cubits on the north side of the "heichal" pass the area occupied by the shulchon and its "lechem haponim," representative of bread, livelihood. From fifty to seventy, one commonly finds himself with less financial burdens, as children have left home and one's business and Social Insurance benefits have often brought an opportunity for reliable income. The middle thirty cubits cross the area of the Holy of Holies, the "Kodesh Hakodoshim." These are the years from twenty to fifty which are spent in raising one's children. This is indeed the "Holy of Holies" of one's duties, to pass on our heritage from generation to generation (See Sedrah Selections parshas B'shalach 17:9).

Ch. 26, v. 35: "V'es ham'noroh ...... teimonoh ......v'hashulchon tzofon" - The Chasam Sofer says that if we picture the Kohein at the front of the Mishkon facing the bnei Yisroel who come to the Mishkon, we find the menorah to the Kohein's right and the shulchon to his left. The bnei Yisroel, facing towards the doorway of the Mishkon, have the shulchon to their right and the menorah to their left. The right side represents dominance, that which is more important. The bnei Yisroel who work the fields, etc., have the shulchon, their livelihood in a position of priority. They therefore come to the Mishkon, Mikdosh, to receive positive spiritual influence from the Kohein, whose right side is to the menorah, representing the dominance of Torah.

ANSWER TO LAST WEEK'S QUESTION: Why does Rashi give us two examples of "dibeir hakosuv b'hoveh" by "uvosor BASO'DEH treifoh (22:30)," and not earlier by any of the three other cases? In the other three cases the commonplace example is the SUBJECT or OBJECT of the action, the OX, the WITCH, the WIDOW or ORPHAN. To consider the subject or object of the verse a commonplace example needs no proof. By the treifoh meat, the example is not the meat, but the CIRCUMSTANCE surrounding the subject, that it took place "in the field." To say that this is only a commonplace example requires proof. The two proofs from Dvorim are also about the circumstances surrounding the subject, that the impurity took place AT NIGHT and that the man accosted the betrothed maiden IN THE FIELD. (Heard from Y.C.)


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