THE TANACH STUDY CENTER / [http://www.tanach.org]
In Memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag
PARSHAT PEKUDEI / Questions for self-study
PART I - QUESTIONS FOR THE 'SHABBOS TABLE'
1. Scan Parsha Pekudei (using a Tanach Koren /or similar), noting the last phrase of almost every single "parshia".
Can you discern a pattern? Attempt to explain why this phrase is repeated so many times.
Next, review the opening psukim of Parshat Va'yakhel (i.e. 35:1-4), looking for a similar phrase (or context).
Attempt to relate your understanding of the Torah's emphasis on this phrase in regard to building the Mishkan to the events at chet ha'egel. Relate to the nature of Aharon's sin, i.e. his intentions.
2. Read Shmot 38:24-31. How do these psukim relate to the law of "machatzit ha'shekel" as discussed in Shmot 30:11-16?
Does 30:16 correspond to 38:27-30?
Do either of these sources appear to relate to a 'yearly' requirement to give a "machatzit ha'shekel", or to a one-time 'head-tax' of silver to raise money for the Mishkan?
If not, from where to we learn the law of the yearly "machatzit ha'shekel from?
See Rambam Sefer Zmanin Hilchot Shekalim Chapter 1
(and the "rishonim" on the above psukim).
3. Compare the amount of gold, silver, and copper that was collected to build the Mishkan, with the amounts that were collected by David ha'melech to help Shlomo build the first Bet ha'Mikdash (see Divrei ha'yamim I 29:1-9!).
[See as well Divrei ha'yamim II 1:15 & 4:18 & 5:1, noting how Shlomo used these precious metals.]
While you are doing this comparison between the Mishkan and the Mikdash, note as well the parallel between Shmot 40:34-35 and Melachim I 8:10-11. Why is this significant?
4. If you have time, note that if you compare all of the primary topics in Teruma/Tezaveh to the primary topics in Vayakhel/Pekudei, you'll find that chapter 29 (the 7 day miluim ceremony) is not repeated. Where DO we find the story of its execution? Can you explain why it is 'there' and not in Sefer Shmot?
Relate to the primary difference between the type of laws regarding the Mishkan that are found in Shmot, and the type of laws that are found in Sefer Vayikra.
PART II - QUESTIONS FOR PREPARATION (for weekly shiur)
1. Carefully review Shmot 40:34-38.
Can you divide these psukim into two distinct topics?
If so, explain what each topic is, where they can be divided, and why. [Is the flow of these psukim logical?]
2. Next, compare 40:34-38 to Shmot 24:15-18.
What is parallel and what is different?
Does this parallel allude to a connection to Vayikra 1:1?
See Rashbam, Ramban, Chizkuni, Ibn Ezra to Vayikra 1:1.
Based on this parallel, what is the thematic and textual connection between the Mishkan and Har Sinai?
[See Ramban Shmot 25:1.]
3. Attempt to relate 40:36-38 to Bamidbar 9:15-18.
What is the textual and thematic connection?
Does this appear to be a repetition of the same detail?
If so, can you explain why?
4. Based on the above questions, what would you say is the relationship between the conclusion of Sefer Shmot and Sifrei Vayikra and Bamidbar?
Relate to the main topic of each Sefer.
Relate as well to the two primary reasons WHY God took Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt. [Relate to both Shmot 3:8 & 3:12.]
5. With these questions in mind, read once again Ramban's introduction to Sefer Shmot, as well as his introductions to Vayikra and Bamidbar. How does he define the difference between each of these seforim?
See also Sforno's introduction to Chumash (found in Torat Chaim Sefer Breishit) and his explanations of Sefer Vayikra and Bamidbar.
6. In the last chapter of Parshat Pekudei, the Torah describes the events that take place when the Mishkan is assembled on the first of Nisan. Note that the story of other events which take place on this very same day are recorded in Vayikra 9:1-10:10, and in Bamidbar 7:1-89 and 9:15-23.
Can you explain why these events that all take place on the same day are recorded in three different seforim?
Quickly review those events as recorded in each Sefer and attempt to explain how each specific event relates to the theme of the Sefer in which it is recorded.
Can you explain why the Torah doesn't simply record all these events together in one Sefer?
PART III - PARSHANUT
1. Recall from Shmot chapter 29 (and Vayikra chapter 8) that a seven day dedication ceremony takes place BEFORE the Mishkan becomes fully 'functional' on the 'eighth' day.
In your opinion, do the events which are described in chapter 40, that take place on the first of Nisan, correspond to the first day of the seven day miluim ceremony or to the 'eighth' day? Support your answer.
Be sure to relate to Vayikra 9:1-6, and Bamidbar 9:15.
Does your answer to this question affect how you understand on what date Bamidbar chapter 7 begins?
[In other words, on what days in the month of Nisan did the NSIIM offer their korbanot?]
2. After you answer this question, see Ibn Ezra on 40:2.
What are the two opinions that he offers, and why does he prefer the opinion that the seven day miluim ceremony began on the first of Nisan? Be sure that you can follow his logic.
Then, see Rambam, noting how he too relates to both opinions, but prefers the opinion that the YOM HA'SHMINI ceremony took place on the first of Nisan, and the miluim began seven days earlier. Note as well how he relates to Ibn Ezra's pirush.
Why 'should' Ramban prefer Ibn Ezra's pirush? [Relate to his approach to "ein mukdam u'meuchar".] Why then does he prefer the other opinion? Which source does Ramban consider primary?
According to Ramban, WHEN were the mitzvot of Vayikra chapter 1 -> 7 given to Moshe Rabeinu, and from where?
How does Ramban solve the 'problem' of "ein mukdam u'meuchar" between these events and the order of events in Sefer Vayikra?
3. Note that according to 38:29-31 that this copper was only used for the mizbach ha'nechoshet, but apparently not for the kiyor.
Does this make sense?
Then, see 38:8. Relate this to the above question.
See Ramban on 38:8 for an interesting explanation.