Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Posts so far for parshat Vayakhel


1.  Why single out kindling? As ruling out the exception of ochel nefesh.

2. Why does Rashi change midrash Tanchuma?

1. YUTorah on Vayakhel-Pekudei. And

2. Why does the Torah emphasize that 'on the day of the Shabbat' there is a prohibition of kindling? From Magid Meisharim, it comes specifically to remove us from the hearts of the Sadducees...

3. A woman's wisdom is only in the spindle? I suggest this strong response is because he was responding to a polemic attack on Pharisaic Judaism.


  1. The trup symbol of psik in וְאַתָּה תְּצַוֶּה | אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל --  to hint that it was not from the money of the Israelites, but rather that clouds brought it from Gan Eden. This according to Birkas Avraham. Based in Tetzaveh, but connected to Vayakhel.
  2. Vayakhel sources, 2012 edition. 


  1. Vayakhel sources -- further improved. For example, many more meforshei Rashi.
  2. YUTorah on parashat Vayakhel. And for 2012. And 2014 edition.
  3. Some thoughts on Onkelos on Vayakhel --   Regarding three points -- the word shaba as a back-formation; Onkelos' rendition ofal hanashim as al neshaya; and whether ve'asah should be rendered in Onkelos as a part tense verb.
  4. Betzalel did all that Hashem commanded Moshe, pt i -- based in Pekudei, but involving Vayakhel:  According to Rashi, Betzalel knew even that which Moshe didn't say to him, and also argued against the reverted order. How to understand this is a major dispute amongst super-commentators of Rashi. In this first part, we try to establish that Rashi never even juxtaposed the two midrashim, which may then impact how we understand what he does say.
  5. Betzalel did all that Hashem commanded Moshe, pt ii --  Into the fray! Looking at the Levush Ha'Orah, who takes other meforshei Rashi to task.
  6. Lo Tevaaru vs. Lo Taviru Esh --   I'm almost certain the Samaritans changed it. The question is, why?
  7. Is it היו or יהיו פני הכרובים?  The Rashba answers a query, based on the texts before him and bolstered by sevarah.
  8. Should Shemot 35:35 read כל or בכל?  Exploring a variant raised and rejected by Minchas Shai.
  9. The pesik in Et | Mizbach HaOlah --  Should we indeed darshen the trup in this way?  My very first post arguing with Birkas Avraham about this issue.


  1. Vayakhel sources -- revamped. Now with more than 100 meforshim on the parasha and the haftara.
  2. Did they donate four, or five, types of jewelry to the Mishkan? Did the midrashist have a non-Masoretic text?! A pasuk in Vayakhel lists four types of jewelry donated to the Mishkan. But a Midrash Rabba appears to indicate five types of jewelry. And LXX and the Samaritan Torah back up this reading. What shall we make of this? Could an entire word have fallen out of our Torah?!
  3. As a followup to the above post, Did an entire word fall out of the Torah, pt ii -- No, it didn't. Though I'll attempt to prove this in the third segment. Though the idea that this would be the conclusion could bias one's analysis -- after all, one does not want to be a heretic, according to the Rambam's definition!

    This segment is dedicated to analyzing the language of the midrash, and is an attempt tofurther demonstrate that the midrashist indeed was working off a text equivalent to that found in the Samaritan Torah.
  4. And Did an entire word fall out of the Torah, part iii -- No, it didn't. And in this segment, I will try to demonstrate.
  1. Vayakhel sources -- links by aliyah and perek to an online Mikraos Gedolos, and many, many meforshim on the parsha and haftara. Great for preparing Shnayim Mikra.
  2. Vayakhel thoughts, on gematria and Rashi. What is motivating Baal HaTurim to give all these derivations of the count of 39 melachos. And what is motivating Rashi to explain that Vayakhel is the hiphil? Was it the variant girsaot of Onkelos on this pasuk? I personally doubt it.
  3. The Karaite interpretation of lo tevaaru esh, and how Aharon ben Yosef responds to Ibn Ezra and Rav Saadia Gaon within this polemic. Some interesting stuff on both sides.
  4. And then, why I think the Karaite position is ridiculous; and my own suggestion of a peshat-based interpretation of this pasuk.
  5. How Zohar on parshat Vayakhel mentions Yishtabach, which might be post-Talmudic. And how Zohar on parshat Vayakhel says (citing Chazal that) one may not break off a "parsha" that Moshe did not, but misinterprets parsha to mean sidra, something which does not seem to make sense.
  • "Upon the Women" -- Does Onkelos intend a derash? I would guess not, and Rashi may not really be saying this either.
  • Behold, Hashem is Called / Credited
    • Midrash Rabba (48:5) has an interesting spin on the singling out of Betzalel. While it is homiletic, it fits into an existing theme in the peshat of the pesukim, and also relies on a very clever play on a linguistic ambiguity in the text, one which most casual and many serious readers of midrash will miss...
  • The First Word of Parshat Vayaqhel
    • Explaining Rashi's explanation of the first word of the parsha, as the perfect causative, created by vav hahipuch from the imperfect causative. You can recognize the imperfect hiph'il because it looks exactly like the imperfect Aramaic Aph'el.
  • The 39 Melachot of Shabbat as Pashut Peshat
    • How, on the simplest level of reading, the construction of the Mishkan and the prohibition of performing labor on Shabbat are linked, such that Chazal's derivation of the 39 melachot may be read as pashut peshat.

to be continued...

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