Thursday, March 07, 2013

Ksav Sofer on VaYakhel (1)

A few Ksav Sofers this week:

1) Rashi explains that the word “al” in the pasuk, “Vayavo’u ha’anashim al ha’nashim,” (35:22) means alongside.  When the women came to donate to the Mishkan, their husbands came with them.  Ksav Sofer quotes the halacha that “mah she’kansa isha kanah ba’alah,” whatever property a woman acquires belongs to her husband (unless a special stipulation is made.)  Technically speaking women had no right to give away property or money to the Mishkan because they did not own what they were giving.  Nonetheless, their husbands respected that desire to give, and so they came with their wives and showed their support and acquiescence to their wives’ donations and participation.  I would suggest that the Torah is teaching us that building G-d’s house, his Mishkan, demands first building shalom bayis in your own home.  The support of the husbands for their wives's avodah and vice versa is the foundation of that shalom.

2) The pasuk starts by telling us “Kol ish v’isha asher nadav libam osam l’havi…,” that every man and women who was so moved brought donations for the Mishkan, and then ends, “…havi’u Bnei Yisrael nedava l’Hashem,” that Bnei Yisrael brought donations for Hashem (35:29).  There seems to be a redundancy here, as saying all the men and women gave donations and saying Bnei Yisrael gave donations amounts to the same thing.  Ksav Sofer again returns to the point that not everyone had assets to give.  Children who are minors do not halachically have ownership rights and therefore could not donate.  These children's parents still very much wanted them to have a share in this great mitzvah of making a Mishkan.  Therefore, instead of bringing their gifts themselves, the parents sent it with their children.  “Bnei Yisrael” in the pasuk is not a proper noun, i.e. the Children of Israel, but rather is a common noun, i.e. the children, meaning the minors.  Every “ish v’isha,” man and woman, donated, but it was “bnei Yisrael,” the children, who actually brought the gifts to Moshe.  We've all seen parents who give their children coins to put in the pushka when it is brought around in shul.  I wonder if this minhag yisrael has its roots in this pasuk.  Children learn by doing, and it’s the delivery of those coins at a young age that inculcates in children the midah of chessed forever.

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