Chanukas Hatorah - Parshas Vayakhel

Why did the women who spun the goats’ hair have to be especially skilled?

(35,26) “And all the women whose hearts inspired them with wisdom, spun the goats’ hair.”

Rashi explains that this refers to women who possessed exceptional craftsmanship and were able to spin the hair directly from the back of the goats. We can explain that the reason why Rashi gave this explanation is because according to halachah the work of a wife’s hands belongs to her husband. If so, how could she sanctify to the Mishkan that which is not hers? However, the halachah also states that if she produces more than she is required to produce, then the extra amount belongs to her.

This is why Rashi needed to explain that these women were exceptionally skilled, because less skilled women who had to first shear the wool and then spin it had no time to produce more than their quota. But these extra skillful women who did not need to first shear the wool could use the time that they saved to produce more than their quota, and thus were able to donate the extra amount to the Mishkan.

What does the phrase אלקים קדושים הוא mean?

(35,30) “And Moshe said to the children of Yisrael: See, Hashem has called by name Betzalel, the son of Uri, the son of Chur, of the tribe of Yehudah.”

The Midrash on this posuk brings the posuk from Yeshayohu 40:25 “To whom will you compare Me that I should be equal, says the Holy One (יאמר קדוש)”, but it adds two words to the posuk: “To whom will you compare Me that I should be equal, if so, יאמר קדוש. The Midrash continues: “Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these” - in whose merit were “these are the generations of the heavens and the earth (Bereishis 2:4)” created, and in whose merit do they continue to exist? In the merit of “these are the names of the children of Yisrael” (Shemos 1:1). Why did the Midrash add the words "if so"?

We can explain this Midrash according to another Midrash which teaches that wherever the heretics ask their heretical questions, the answer to their question can be found in the same place. For example, the posuk in Yehoshua 24:19 says “אלקים קדושים הוא (He is a Holy G-d)”, but the word 'Holy' is written in the plural, implying that there is more than one G-d! But the answer to this apparent problem is also written there, because it does not say הם (they are), but הוא (He is). But why then was the word 'Holy' written in the plural? The answer is that it is not referring to G-d, but to His holy ones - Yisrael. Thus the phrase does not mean "He is a Holy G-d", but rather "He is the G-d of the holy ones".

This is what the Midrash means: “To whom will you compare Me that I should be equal” - there is no one comparable to Hashem since He is completely unique. If so, continues the Midrash,  יאמר קדוש - it should say קדוש in the posuk of Yehoshua, in the singular! Why did it write it in the plural? Because of “lift up your eyes and see who created these”. In whose merit were the heavens and the earth created? In the merit of Yisrael who are holy, and thus the word קדושים in Yehoshua is written in the plural because it refers to Yisrael.

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