Parsha Q&A - Parshas Vayakhel - Pekudei

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Vayakhel - Pekudei

For the week ending 25 Adar 5759 / 12& 13 March 1999

Contents:
  • Parsha Questions
  • Sherlox Holmes
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Solution to Sherlox Holmes
  • Back issues of Parsha Q&A
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] [Word] [PDF] Explanation of these symbols 

    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents

    VAYAKHEL

    1. What three different words in this Parsha have the same four letters?
    2. Why is the prohibition of work on Shabbos written prior to the instructions for building the Mishkan?
    3. In verse 35:11, what is the Mishkan, the tent of the Mishkan and the covering of the Mishkan?
    4. What were the bigdei hasrad for?
    5. What was unique about the way the goat's hair was spun?
    6. Why did the princes contribute last? How does the Torah show dissatisfaction with this?
    7. Who were the two primary builders of the Mishkan? What tribes were they from?
    8. What image was woven into the paroches?
    9. Why was the building of the aron attributed to Betzalel?
    10. What was the mizbach haolah made of?

    PEKUDEI

    1. Why is the word Mishkan stated twice in 38:21?
    2. Who was appointed to carry the Mishkan's vessels?
    3. What does "Betzalel" mean?
    4. How many people gave a half-shekel?
    5. Which material used in the bigdei kehuna was not used for covering the sacred vessels?
    6. How were the gold threads made?
    7. What was on the hem of the me'il?
    8. On which day was the Mishkan first erected and not dismantled?
    9. Where in the Mishkan was the menorah placed?
    10. On which day did both Moshe and Aharon serve as kohanim?


     
    Solution 
    Contents

    Sherlox Holmes and the Mystery List

    Did you notice that Mr. Glenshire's account details his movements before and after the crime, but not during?" said world famous detextive Sherlox Holmes. "There's a conspicuous omission in the middle."

    "I really didn't notice," said Watstein. "I was too busy being confused."

    "About what?" asked Sherlox.

    "This verse: Everyone who had with him techeles, argaman, red wool, linen, goat's wool, dyed-red ram skins and tachash skins, brought them." (Shemos 35:23)

    "What's confusing about that?" asked Sherlox.

    "It's Rashi's commentary that has me stumped," said Watstein. "Rashi explains the verse by inserting the word "or" several times. Rashi says: "Techeles or argaman or red wool or dyed-red ram skins or tachash skins."

    "As you know, Dr. Watstein, a list of items in Hebrew is written with the letter vav joining each item. Sometimes vav means 'and.' Sometimes vav means 'or.' "

    "Certainly I know that!" said Watstein. "That's my question! I know that vav means 'or.' Why do I need Rashi to tell it to me here? Would I think that a person had to have all these things in order to donate any one?"

    "There's a conspicuous omission in the middle," said Sherlox.


    I Did Not Know That!

    "Moshe gathered the entire community of Bnei Yisrael" (35:1)

    At the time of the sin of the Golden Calf, dissent and disunity splintered the Jewish People. So much so that, according to the Talmud Yerushalmi, each tribe actually had its own golden calf, because they couldn't agree on one!

    Here, with the building of the Mishkan, Moshe seeks to rectify this; he gathers the entire community together, attempting to unite them as when they received the Torah "like one man, with one heart."

    (Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky in "Emes L'Yaakov")


    Recommended Reading List

    VAYAKHEL
    Ramban
    35:1
    Date of the Assembly
    35:21
    Generosity and Inspiration
    35:22
    Female Leadership
    38:8
    Mirrors of Virtue

    Sefer Hachinuch
    114
    Recess from Judgment

    Ibn Ezra
    35:27
    Gifts of the Princes
    35:34
    Learning and Teaching
    38:8
    Mirrors of Devotion

    PEKUDEI
    Ramban
    38:22
    Betzalel's Genius
    40:2
    Timetable of the Yemei Miluim

    Ibn Ezra
    38:11
    Sunshine and Rain
    40:35
    Covering the Aron

    Sforno
    40:18
    Essence of the Mishkan

    Ba'al HaTurim
    39:27
    Storage of the Garments

    Aderes Eliyahu
    39:33
    The World of the Mishkan


    Answers to this Week's Questions

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

    VAYAKHEL

    1. What three different words in this Parsha have the same four letters?
      36:35, 37:6,19 - Paroches, kapores and kaftor.

    2. Why is the prohibition of work on Shabbos written prior to the instructions for building the Mishkan?
      35:2 - To teach that building the Mishkan does not supersede Shabbos.

    3. In verse 35:11, what is the Mishkan, the tent of the Mishkan and the covering of the Mishkan?
      35:11 - The lower curtains visible from within, the goat-skins, and the ram and tachash skins, respectively.

    4. What were the bigdei hasrad for?
      35:19 - They covered the aron, shulchan, menorah, and the mizbechos during transport.

    5. What was unique about the way the goat's hair was spun?
      35:26 - It was spun directly from the goats' backs.

    6. Why did the princes contribute last? How does the Torah show dissatisfaction with this?
      35:27 - The princes wanted the people to contribute first, and only then they would contribute whatever was lacking. Hence, the Torah omits a letter from their title.

    7. Who were the two primary builders of the Mishkan? What tribes were they from?
      35:30, 35:34 - Betzalel ben Uri from Yehuda; Oholiav ben Achisamach from Dan.

    8. What image was woven into the paroches?
      36:35 - Keruvim. (See Rashi 26:31).

    9. Why was the building of the aron attributed to Betzalel?
      37:1 - Because he dedicated himself to its building more than anyone.

    10. What was the mizbach haolah made of?
      38:1-2 - Wood covered with copper.

    PEKUDEI

    1. Why is the word Mishkan stated twice in 38:21?
      38:21 - To allude to the Beis Hamikdash that would twice be taken as a "mashkon" (pledge) for Jewish People's sins.

    2. Who was appointed to carry the Mishkan's vessels?
      38:21 - The levi'im.

    3. What does "Betzalel" mean?
      38:22 - "In the shadow of G-d."

    4. How many people gave a half-shekel?
      38:26 - 603,550.

    5. Which material used in the bigdei kehuna was not used for covering the sacred vessels?
      39:1 - Linen. (See Rashi 31:10)

    6. How were the gold threads made?
      39:3 - Gold was beaten into thin plates from which threads were cut. (See Rashi 28:6)

    7. What was on the hem of the me'il?
      39:24,25 - Woven pomegranates and gold bells.

    8. On which day was the Mishkan first erected and not dismantled?
      40:17 - Rosh Chodesh Nissan of the second year. For seven days before this, Moshe erected and dismantled the Mishkan. (Rashi 39:29)

    9. Where in the Mishkan was the menorah placed?
      40:24 - On the southern side of the Ohel Mo'ed opposite the shulchan.

    10. On which day did both Moshe and Aharon serve as kohanim??
      40:31 - On the eighth day of the Mishkan's consecration.



    Mystery
    Contents

    Solution to Sherlox Holmes

    "Notice the conspicuous omission in Rashi's comment?" asked Sherlox.

    "Hmm, now that you mention it, yes. Rashi repeats every item except for the middle two. The verse lists seven items: 'techeles, argaman, red wool, linen, goat's wool, dyed-red ram skins and tachash skins.' Yet Rashi mentions only the first three - 'techeles or argaman or red wool' - and the last two - 'dyed-red ram skins or tachash skins.' "

    "Exactly," said Sherlox. Rashi omits 'linen and goat's wool.' Why do you suppose that is? How do these two items differ from the others on the list?"

    "Give me a clue," said Watstein.

    "Take note," said Sherlox, "that the items Rashi mentions are generally combined. That is, they are used together in the work of the Mishkan. The items Rashi omits, on the other hand, are used separately. Each one is used by itself in some capacity."

    "Yes! Brilliant observation!" said Watstein. "Techeles, argaman, and red wool were used in combination; for example, they were together in the High Priest's clothing. Similarly, the dyed-red ram skins and tachash skins were combined, joining together to form one of the Mishkan's coverings. The linen and goat's wool, on the other hand, were used separately. The linen was the lone material of the priestly garb, while the goat's wool was the single ingredient in one of the Mishkan's coverings."

    "Continue," said Sherlox.

    "Therefore," said Watstein, "I might have thought that the items which are used in combination must be donated in combination. That is, if you don't have them all, don't donate any. Thus Rashi needs to negate this fallacy by inserting the word 'or' as he does. But regarding the items which are used separately, it's obvious that they can be donated separately. Thus, Rashi need not mention those."

    (Based on Sifsei Chachamim, Sherlox is by Reuven Subar

    Inspired by "What's Bothering Rashi" by RabbiAvigdor Bonchek)

    (Based on Sifsei Chachamim; Sherlox" is by Reuven Subar
    inspired by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek's "What's Bothering Rashi")

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Eli Ballon
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