Thoughts from Kollel KLAL

Vayakhel Pekudei

The pessukim state that a few coverings were made to place over the Mishkan. One was called יריעות המשכן which were sheets covering the Mishkan and was visible inside the Mishkan. They were made from wool dyed three different colors as well as linen. Another was called יריעות עזים which were sheets sewn from goats-hair that was placed over the bottom sheets.

The Gemara brings: the wisdom of the top sheets was greater than of the bottom sheets. The Torah states by the bottom sheets וכל אשה חכמת לב בידיה טוו and every woman who was smart-hearted sewed with her hands. Whereas by the top sheets it states וכל הנשים אשר נשא לבן אותנה בחכמה טוו את העזים and all women that raised up their hearts with wisdom, sewed the goats. It states by the sheets of goat-hair נשא לבן which infers greater wisdom than the bottom sheets. What is this greater wisdom, and what was its purpose?

The Gemara brings that they washed and spun the hair of the goats while still attached to the goats. This was unusual and needed an especially advanced wisdom.  Onkelos translates the word העזים by the contributions and building of the Mishkan differently than the in rest of the Torah. Generally Onkelos translates עזים as עזין goats or עזיא the goats, whereas here Onkelos translates מעזיא. Rashi explains this means the hair from the goats; they did not bring actual goats for contributions, rather goat-hair. The Nesinah LaGer adds that the מ’ of Onkelos’ translation of מעזיא teaches as the Gemara that it was still attached to the goats.

The Seforno explains that when something is detached from its source it weakens and lessens. The wise women wanted to spin the hair right off the back of the goats while still fresh and completely intact in order to have the brightest shine. Avi Mori shlita explained b’shem the Maharsha that something detached is able to become tamei, whereas something attached to the ground or to a live animal cannot not become tamei. The wise women spun the goat-hair from upon the animal to make the threads in a completely tahor way. The Meshech Chachmah points out that one passuk states וכל אשה and every woman, singular, whereas another passuk states וכל הנשים and all women, plural. This reflects that all types of women, even those tamei, were able to spin the goat-hair since it was upon the animal while attached, and would not become tamei.

The Torah uses the lashon נשיאת לב by the making of the Mishkan, as it states נשאו לבו and נשא לבן. Onkelos translates the lashon of נשא as רצון, one who desired came close to build the Mishkan. Every person who desired to build the Mishkan came close to dedicate their special talents for the making of the Mishkan.

May we learn from the builders of the Mishkan to direct each of our personal talents for avodas Hashem!

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