Torah Tidbits

18 April 2014 / 18 Nisan 5774
Issue 1034
Shabbat Parshat T'rumah
February 14, 2013

Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliya Sedra Summary

[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p’sukim in it.
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-count of Sefer HaChinuch AND Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva comes.

Kohen - First Aliya 16 p’sukim - 25:1-16
[P> 25:1 (9)] G-d tells Moshe to tell the People to donate materials in amounts that “each person sees fit”. The donations were to be of gold, silver, copper; dyed wools (blue, purple, red), fine linen; goat-hair fabric, red-dyed sheep-skins, Tachash skins; acacia wood; oil for light, spices for the anointing oil and the incense offerings; gem stones for the Eifod and the Choshen.
SDT: In the list of materials donated by the people, the gems for the Eifod and Choshen are mentioned last. They were the most valuable of the gifts - why mention them last? Rav Moshe Sternbach quotes two reasons from different sources. One, that they were brought to us by the Heavenly Clouds, without any effort on our part. Human effort is a major factor in the value of a contribution to the community. Two, that the Nesi’im waited until last to give what was lacking. As valuable as was their gift and as noble were their motives - they should not have followed; they should have led.
It seems from our sources that silver was not as “as each person sees fit” as the other materials. Almost all of the silver (used for the ADANIM, foundation blocks of the Mishkan) came from the mandatory and specific collection of the silver half-shekel). Some additional silver that was donated was used for Mishkan “decorative trim” and holy vessels. It is significant that it was specifically the foundation of the Mishkan that came from the silver half-shekels, that donation that all who participated share in equally.
“And they shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell in their midst” [95,A20 25:8]. This well-known pasuk constitutes the mitzva to build the Mishkan in that generation, and to build the Beit HaMikdash in later times (including our own). Each time the Mishkan was taken apart, transported, and reassembled, the mitzva was fulfilled. It was fulfilled by Shlomo HaMelech and his generation, and by Ezra HaSofer and his generation. It will be fulfilled IY"H when the third Beit HaMikdash will be built, IY"H in our own time.
SDT: Some interpret the word B’TOCHAM as “within each Jew”, not just in the midst of the People, thereby personalizing the relationship between G-d and each Jew.
V’YIKCHU rather than V’YITNU. “Take” rather than “give.” Famous question. The Malbim answers it this way. Really, everything belongs to G-d. So how can we give to Him. Our first step is to take from Him by using worldly goods for sacred purposes. Just as making a bracha enables us to take possession of food which is essentially G-d’s, so too did the donations of materials for the Mishkan make those materials ours to give (and the balance to keep).
Rambam gives 14 rules for the counting of the 613 mitzvot. Rule #12 is that it is not “appropriate” to count as separate mitzvot those commands that are part of a more all-encompassing mitzva. Therefore, Rambam does NOT count among the 613 the mitzvot to make the Aron, Menora, Shulchan, Altars, etc. since they are included in Building the Mikdash. In other words, ALL of the details of the building of the Mikdash are included in this one single Mitzvat Asei.
Other mitzva-counters disagree (in part). E.g. Ramban counts the making of the Aron as a separate mitzva (but not the other sacred vessels).
And, as you will see, there are specific details that are counted as separate mitzvot by Rambam too.
G-d will show the various forms that the work should take as models for the people to follow in M’lechet HaMishkan, the sacred task of building the Mikdash.
[S> 25:10 (13)] The first specific command is that of making the Aron (Ark). It is to be made of wood, gold-plated inside and out. Four gold rings are to be fixed to its sides to receive the Carrying Poles (also made of gold-plated wood). The Carrying Poles, once inserted into the rings, may never be removed [96,L86 25:15].
Note that although all the positive commands related to the details of each of the vessels are included within the “master-mitzva” of building the Mikdash (and everything in it), this prohibition is counted separately. In other words, the commands to make the Aron, to plate it with gold, to attach rings, to make poles, to cover them with gold, to put a decorative border around the top of the Aron, to make the lid, to fashion the K’ruvim from the Kaporet (lid), etc. etc. are all part of the mitzva to make the Sanctuary. The prohibition of removing the carrying poles is its own mitzva. To put the carrying rods into the rings is not its own mitzva, but the prohibition of ever removing them is.
The “Testimony” (the LUCHOT, Tablets) shall be placed in the Aron.
Clarification: Some commentaries describe the ARON as three nested, open-top boxes - an outer box of gold, a middle box of wood, and an inner box of gold which had a rim to cover over the thickness of the wooden box, so that only gold would be visible both from the outside and inside of the ARON. There are different opinions as to how thick the gold plating was.

Levi - Second Aliya 24 p’sukim - 25:17-40
A thick, solid gold lid (called the KAPORET) is to be made for the Aron. From the lid are to be formed two Cherubs (K’ruvim) facing each other with their wings spread out above the lid. Communication from G-d to Moshe will be from “between the two K’ruvim”.
Think about this… It seems a bit strange, does it not, that we would be commanded to make the K’ruvim in light of the strong prohibitions against graven images. And more so, if we note the chronology of the events in the months following the Exodus - specifically, that the command to build the Mikdash followed in the wake of the Golden Calf fiasco. The “answer” is that G-d is the Boss. He says no graven images - then we dare not. And so, the Golden Calf is the ultimate affront to G-d. He commands us to make the K’ruvim, then we do. There are many examples of this same idea. Light- ing fire is forbidden on Shabbat. In the Mikdash it is required. Piku’ach Nefesh situations also require it. This is not contradictory. This is recognizing G-d’s mastery of the world and our commitment to follow His commands.
[P> 25:23 (8)] A special table of gold-plated wood shall be made; a frame and decorative border to the frame are to be made of gold. Four gold rings are to be attached to the legs of the table as receptacles for the carrying rods. Shelves and supports for the shelves complete the Shulchan.
The Lechem Panim (Showbread) are to be placed on the Shulchan at all times [97,A27 25:30].
This is not considered just a detail of the making of the Shulchan, but as its own mitzva. The mitzva involves baking 12 special loaves (they were halachic matza) on Friday to replace the previous week’s loaves on Shabbat. Tradition records a weekly miracle that the one- week-old Lechem HaPanim was found to be fresh by the kohanim on duty who shared in eating it. This mitzva makes the statement that we should not view food as only the physical necessity that the rest of the world sees it as, but rather we are challenged to add a spiritual dimension to even this most basic of our human activities. Lechem HaPanim are the symbol; our laws of kashrut, brachot, and more, help us achieve the spiritual levels of this concept. In the Shabbat Zmira KI ESHM’RA SHABBAT, we sing that G-d gave a Torah-mitzva to the Kohanim to put Lechem HaPanim on the Shulchan on Shabbat. THEREFORE, we are forbidden to fast on Shabbat (except for Yom Kippur). In other words, G-d did not include a food in the Temple service just to feed the Kohanim. G-d is showing us the potential spirituality of food. Take this lesson, He says, from the Mikdash into your homes. Food is not incidental to Shabbat; it is a significant part of our obser-ance of Shabbat. We can see this from the earlier (Parshat B’shalach) introduction of Shabbat to the people of Israel. We were first taught Shabbat in the context of the manna. “And Moshe said - Eat it TODAY, for TODAY is Shabbat to HaShem, TODAY you will not find it in the field.” As significant to Jewish Life as is fasting, so too is eating. It is part of our Judaism, not just a physical need we have to satisfy.

Some Chumashim put Shlishi here
[P> 25:31 (10)] The Menora is to be made of solid gold, one continuous piece, a central branch with six side branches (3 on each side), decorative orbs, flowers, and cups adorned the ends of each branch, with additional ones on the central branch. The Menora’s utensils were also made of gold. Additionally, there was a 3-step platform that was used by the Kohen when he tended and lit the Menora.
(The oil cups were separate and either attached or placed at the top of the branches.)
SDT: All parts of the Menorah were integral to the whole; none was “merely” attached. Torat Moshe applies this to the People of Israel and, with a play on words, says that even Jews who have strayed from Torah and mitzvot are part of the whole.

Shlishi - Third Aliya 14 p’sukim - 26:1-14
[S> 26:1 (14)] The MISHKAN was a roofless structure covered with three layers of coverings. The first was called the MISHKAN (the term is used for the whole structure as well as the first fabric covering) and was made of 10 panels of woven fabric made from three different colors of dyed wool, plus white linen. Five panels were attached to form one section; similarly for the other five panels. The two sections thus formed were linked with buttons of gold through loops of blue wool, the buttons being attached to the edge of one section and the loops woven onto the edge of the other section. The weave of the Mishkan included images known as K’ruvim.
Above the Mishkan was an 11- panel covering (sections of six and five panels joined with copper buttons) made of goats hair. The Mishkan was decorative; this covering, known as the OHEL, was utilitarian, affording protection from the elements. The OHEL and MISHKAN covered the sides of the structure as well as the top.
The topmost covering (some say it was just on the top, not the sides; others say it too draped down the walls of the Mishkan) was made of red-dyed sheepskin and Tachash skins.
The Mishkan, as described in the Torah, functioned for the 40 years of the Wilderness (actually 39 years), and the first 14 years in Eretz Yisrael (in GILGAL), the years of conquest and settlement. After that, a stone structure - with the same dimensions as presented in Parshat T’ruma for the Mishkan - was made in SHILO to replace the gold-covered wooden wall sections. (These K’rashim of the Mishkan were not used; they were buried.) The three coverings were the same, as were the furnishings inside the Mishkan. The Mishkan stood in SHILO for 369 years. After ELI HAKOHEN died, the Mishkan was set up in NOV, where it stood for 13 years, and then (after Shmuel’s death) in GIV’ON for 44 years. That’s a total of 480 years, from the Exodus until the first Beit HaMikdash was begun. It took 7 years to finish the first Bayit. The dimensions of the Beit HaMikdash we very different from those of the Mishkan.

R’vi’i - Fourth Aliya 16 p’sukim - 26:15-30
[P> 26:15 (16)] The walls of the Mishkan were gold-plated wood planks. Each board had two pegs to be inserted into silver foundation blocks. Boards were joined by square gold rings into slits at the top of the boards; connecting rods through rings mounted on the sides, above and below their mid-lines; and a central bolt through the thickness of the boards, internally. There were to be 20 boards each for the north and south walls, eight on the west. The east side had no boards; it was covered by a special curtain.
SDT: Rashi brings a Midrash that Yaakov Avinu foresaw with Divine Vision that wood would be needed by his descendants upon their departure from Egypt. He brought saplings with him to Egypt which he planted and told his children to take the wood with them when they left Egypt.

Chamishi 5th Aliya 7 p’sukim - 26:31-37
[S> 26:31 (7)] A woven curtain (like the first covering of the Mishkan) was to be hung from four gold-plated wooden pillars to separate between the Holy of Holies and the main hall of the Sanctuary. This curtain is called the PAROCHET, and gives its name to the curtain which we place on the Aron Kodesh in shul. Rashi explains that Parochet means Mechitza, partition, or in the language of our Sages, Pargod, a partition between a king and his subjects. As such, the Parochet in shul also separates the congregation from the Torahs.
MA’ASEI CHOSHEIV, Rashi explains is highly skilled weaving (maybe involving embroidery?) which results in different designs on each side of the fabric.
The Aron is to be put into the Holy of Holies. The Shulchan on the north wall (2 amot from the north wall) opposite the Menorah on the south wall (also 2 amot from the south wall) are placed outside the Parochet in the main section of the Mishkan.
During Chanuka, the custom is to place the Chanukiya on the south wall of the shul, to commemorate the Menorah’s position in the Mik- dash.
A curtain similar to the Parochet was to be hung across the entrance of the Mishkan. This MASACH is to be hung on five wooden pillars plated with gold, fitted with golden hooks, and inserted into gold foundation sockets. The Masach measured 10 amot by 10 amot, as did the Parochet.
Some commentaries say that each curtain hung from hooks on the supporting pillars. Others say that a rod was inserted at the top of each curtain and the rod was suspended from the hooks on the pillars. This allows the Parochet and Masach to hang evenly without sagging.

Shishi - Sixth Aliya 8 p’sukim - 27:1-8
[S> 27:1 (8)] The Mizbei’ach (Altar) is to be made of wood, plated with copper. It is a square with raised corners. All vessels and utensils for this Altar were to be made of copper, as are the rings for the carrying rods. This Altar was outside the Mishkan, in the courtyard of the Mikdash and was used for most of the sacrifices. (Unlike the internal, gold, incense Altar - not mentioned in the sedra).
The Torah says that this Altar was 3 amot tall. R. Yehuda says: understand it as it is written.
R’ Yosi says just as the internal Altar is twice as tall as it is wide and long, so too is this one. It measures 5 amot on each side of the square, therefore, it is 10 amot tall. But the Torah says three? That is, measured from its SOVEV.
The Aron, Shulchan, Menora are 1,2,3 in Parshat T’ruma. Then the structure of the Mishkan, then the External Altar. Internal Altar doesn’t come until T’tzaveh - after the garments of the Kohanim. The Washing Basin and its Stand don’t show up until the beginning of Ki Tisa. When the actual construction is described in Vayak-hel and P’kudei, the order is different.

Sh’VII Seventh Aliya 11 p’sukim - 27:9-19
[S> 27:9 (11)] Linen curtains were to be made, as were wooden columns, decorated (trimmed, not totally covered) with silver. The courtyard curtains were to be hung from silver hooks on these columns. Each column was supported by a copper foundation socket. An entrance curtain was to be woven in the style of the Mishkan, the Parochet, and the Masach, to be hung across the eastern side of the courtyard. Copper spikes anchored the curtains that surrounded the Mishkan.

Haftara 20 p’sukim Melachim Alef 5:26-6:13
The Haftara describes the preparation for the building of the first Beit HaMikdash, much like the Torah presents the preparation for the building of the Mishkan. One notices differences between the building of the Mishkan and the building of the Beit HaMikdash, especially on the point of participation of the people. In the case of the Mishkan, there was a high level of enthusiasm and volunteerism that even had Moshe begging the people to stop bringing materials. In the case of the Beit HaMikdash, there were conscriptions of labor forces to do some of the work to supply material for the Beit HaMikdash.
V’ASU LI MIKDASH is a command. V’SHACHANTI B’TOCHAM is a promise, conditional upon our keeping the Torah.

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