Parsha Q&A

For the week ending 22 February 2014 / 22 Adar I 5774

Parshat Vayakhel

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

  1. On which day did Moshe assemble the Jewish People?
  2. Why is the prohibition against doing work on Shabbat written prior to the instruction for building the Mishkan?
  3. Why does the Torah specify the particular prohibition of lighting a fire on Shabbat right after it had already noted the general prohibition of doing work on Shabbat?
  4. What function did the "yitdot hamishkan" serve?
  5. What function did the "bigdei hasrad" serve?
  6. What was unusual about the way the women spun the goat's hair?
  7. Why were the Nesi'im last to contribute to the building of the Mishkan? How does the Torah show dissatisfaction with their actions?
  8. Who does the Torah identify as the primary builders of the Mishkan? From which tribes were they?
  9. What time of day did the people bring their daily contributions for the construction of the Mishkan?
  10. For what was the woven goat's hair used?
  11. What image was woven into the parochet?
  12. Why does the Torah attribute the building of the aron to Betzalel?
  13. Where were the sculptured kruvim located?
  14. How many lamps did the Menorah have?
  15. Of what materials was the mizbe'ach haketoret composed?
  16. Of what material was the mizbe'ach ha'olah composed?
  17. The kiyor was made from copper mirrors. What function did these mirrors serve in Egypt?
  18. How did the kiyor promote peace?
  19. The kiyor was made from the mirrors of the women who were crowding at the entrance to the Ohel Mo'ed. Why were the women crowding there?
  20. Of what material were the "yitdot hamishkan" constructed?

Answers

All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. On which day did Moshe assemble the Jewish People?
    35:1 - The day after Yom Kippur.
  2. Why is the prohibition against doing work on Shabbat written prior to the instruction for building the Mishkan?
    35:2 - To emphasize that the building of the Mishkan does not supersede the laws of Shabbat.
  3. Why does the Torah specify the particular prohibition of lighting a fire on Shabbat right after it had already noted the general prohibition of doing work on Shabbat?
    35:3 - There are two opinions: One opinion is to teach that igniting a fire on Shabbat is punishable by lashes as opposed to other "melachot" which are punishable by death. The other opinion is to teach that violation of numerous "melachot" at one time requires a separate atonement for each violation.
  4. What function did the "yitdot hamishkan" serve?
    35:18 - The edges of the curtains were fastened to them. These were inserted in the ground so the curtains would not move in the wind.
  5. What function did the "bigdei hasrad" serve?
    35:19 - They covered the aron, the shulchan, the menorah, and the mizbachot when they were packed for transport.
  6. What was unusual about the way the women spun the goat's hair?
    35:26 - It was spun directly from off the backs of the goats.
  7. Why were the Nesi'im last to contribute to the building of the Mishkan? How does the Torah show dissatisfaction with their actions?
    35:27 - The Nesi'im reasoned that they would first let the people contribute materials needed for the Mishkan and then they would contribute what was lacking. The Torah shows its dissatisfaction by deleting a letter from their title.
  8. Who does the Torah identify as the primary builders of the Mishkan? From which tribes were they?
    35:30, 35:34 - Betzalel ben Uri from the tribe of Yehuda; Oholiav ben Achisamach from the tribe of Dan.
  9. What time of day did the people bring their daily contributions for the construction of the Mishkan?
    36:3 - Morning.
  10. For what was the woven goat's hair used?
    36:14 - It was made into curtains to be draped over the Mishkan
  11. What image was woven into the parochet?
    36:35 - Cherubim. (See Rashi 26:31)
  12. Why does the Torah attribute the building of the aron to Betzalel?
    37:1 - Because he dedicated himself to its building more than anyone else.
  13. Where were the sculptured kruvim located?
    37:7 - On the two extremities of the kaporet (cover of the aron).
  14. How many lamps did the Menorah have?
    37:23 - Seven.
  15. Of what materials was the mizbe'ach haketoret composed?
    37:25,26 - Wood overlaid with gold.
  16. Of what material was the mizbe'ach ha'olah composed?
    38:1-2 - Wood overlaid with copper.
  17. The kiyor was made from copper mirrors. What function did these mirrors serve in Egypt?
    38:8 - These mirrors aided in the proliferation of the Jewish People. The Jewish women in Egypt would look in the mirrors so as to awaken the affections of their husbands who were exhausted by their slave labor.
  18. How did the kiyor promote peace?
    38:8 - Its waters helped a woman accused of adultery to prove her innocence.
  19. The kiyor was made from the mirrors of the women who were crowding at the entrance to the Ohel Mo'ed. Why were the women crowding there?
    38:8 - To donate to the Mishkan.
  20. Of what material were the "yitdot hamishkan" constructed?
    38:20 - Copper.

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