Parsha Q&A - Vayakhel/Pekudei

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Parsha Q&A

This issue is dedicated in memory of R' Avraham Yitzchak ben Yaakov zt'l and Rachel bas Nassen Nota z'l by their family

Parshas Ki Sisa

For the week ending 25 Adar 5756; 15 & 16 March 1996

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
  • The Chronology of the Giving of the Torah According to Rashi
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents


    1. Why is the prohibition against doing work on Shabbos written prior to the instruction for building the Mishkan?
    2. In verse 35:11, what is the Mishkan, the tent of the Mishkan and the covering of the Mishkan?
    3. What was unusual about the way the women spun the goat's hair?
    4. Why were the Nesi'im (Princes) the last ones to contribute to the building of the Mishkan? How does the Torah show dissatisfaction with their actions?
    5. Who does the Torah identify as the primary builders of the Mishkan? From which tribes were they?
    6. What image was woven into the Paroches?
    7. Why does the Torah attribute the building of the Aron to Betzalel?
    8. Of what materials was the Mizbe'ach haKetores (Incense Altar) composed?
    9. Of what materials was the Mizbe'ach haOlah (Burnt-Offering Altar) composed?
    10. The Kiyor was made from the mirrors of the women who were crowding at the entrance to the Ohel Mo'ed (tent of meeting). Why were the women crowding there?


    1. Why is the word Mishkan stated twice in verse 38:21?
    2. Who was appointed to carry the vessels of the Mishkan in the Midbar?
    3. What is the meaning of the name Betzalel?
    4. How many people contributed a half-shekel to the Mishkan? Who contributed?
    5. Which material used in the bigdei Kehuna was not used in the coverings of the sacred vessels?
    6. What was on the hem of the Me'il?
    7. Which date was the first time that the Mishkan was erected and not dismantled?
    8. Where was the Shulchan placed in the Mishkan?
    9. Where was the Menorah placed in the Mishkan?
    10. On which day did both Moshe and Aaron serve as Kohanim?

    Bonus Question
    Why are the details of the building of the Mishkan repeated so many times in the Torah?

    I Did Not Know That!

    Giving jewelry for building the Mishkan and its vessels acted as an atonement for the person who gave his jewelry for construction of the golden calf. The women did not give their jewelry for the golden calf, and did not require atonement. Nevertheless, they also gave jewelry for the Mishkan and the Torah stresses this fact (35:22) in order to praise them for their pure intentions.
    Kli Yakar

    Recommended Reading List


    Date of the Assembly
    Generosity and Inspiration
    Female Leadership
    Mirrors of Virtue

    Ibn Ezra
    Gifts of the Princes
    Learning and Teaching
    Mirrors of Devotion

    Sefer Hachinuch
    Recess from Judgment


    Betzalel's Genius
    Timetable of the Yemei Miluim

    Ibn Ezra
    Sunshine and Rain
    Covering the Aron

    Essence of the Mishkan

    Ba'al HaTurim
    Storage of the Garments

    Aderes Eliyahu
    The World of the Mishkan

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

    All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated


    1. 35:2 - To emphasize that the building of the Mishkan doesn't supersede the laws of Shabbos.
    2. 35:11 - The lower curtains that were visible in the structure, the covering of goats' skins, the coverings of rams' and tachash skins, respectively.
    3. 35:26 - It was spun directly from off of the backs of the goats.
    4. 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.
    5. 35:30, 35:34 - Betzalel ben Uri from the tribe of Yehuda; Oholiav ben Achisamach from the tribe of Dan.
    6. 36:35 - Cherubim. (See Rashi 26:31).
    7. 37:1 - Because he dedicated himself to its building more than anyone else.
    8. 37:25,26 - Wood overlaid with gold.
    9. 38:1-2 - Wood overlaid with copper.
    10. 38:8 - To donate to the Mishkan.


    1. 38:21 - To allude to the Beis Hamikdash that would twice be taken as a "mashkon" (pledge) for the sins of the Jewish People until the nation repents.
    2. 38:21 - The Levi'im.
    3. 38:22 - The name means "in the shadow of G-d."
    4. 38:26 - 603,550. Every man that was counted from twenty years of age and up (excluding the Levi'im).
    5. 39:1 - Linen. (See Rashi 31:10).
    6. 39:24,25 - Woven pomegranates and golden bells.
    7. 40:17 - Rosh Chodesh Nissan of the second year in the Midbar. For seven days before this, during the consecration of Aaron and his sons, Moshe erected and dismantled the Mishkan. (Rashi 39:29)
    8. 40:22 - On the northern side of the Ohel Mo'ed, outside the Paroches.
    9. 40:24 - On the southern side of the Ohel Mo'ed opposite the Shulchan.
    10. 40:31 - On the eighth day of the consecration of the Mishkan.

    Bonus Question
    The Mishkan is the vehicle through which the Shechina rests in the midst of the Jewish People. The Torah repeats the details of the building of the Mishkan to stress how important the Mishkan is to Hashem and the Jewish People.

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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