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Friday, May 28

The Weekly Shtikle - Beha'alosecha

It is with great joy and gratitude that we welcome our latest addition to the family - an 8 lb baby girl born last night! This week's shtikle is dedicated to our as-yet-unnamed baby girl.
The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Opa, Tovia Yehudah ben Yoel, a'h.
 
     As a baby enters this world, one of the life skills that just about every baby clearly lacks is the ability to discern between night and day, usually leading to its parents losing that perception temporarily. It is therefore fitting that I bring up this old question that I had.

    This week's parsha begins with a discussion concerning the lighting of the menorah in the heichal. It is the opinion of most that the menorah was lit only at night. This is certainly the simple understanding of the commandment at the beginning of parshas Tetzaveh (Shemos 27:21) "from the evening until the morning." Rambam (Hilchos Temidim uMusafim 3:10), however, states that the menorah was lit in the morning and the night.
 
    Meshech Chachmah attempts to explain Rambam's position. Although I have not been able to find the Meshech Chachmah inside, I heard it quoted by Rav Kulefsky, zt"l. The menorah is lit even during the day, according to Rambam, to demonstrate that the candles are not there simply to provide physical light. Rather, as R' Sheishes asserts in the gemara (Shabbos 22b), the candles were meant to symbolize the Divine presence that rested in the Mishkon and among all of Klal Yisroel.
 
    This approach puzzled me. Even during the day, the inside of the Mishkon would have indeed been in need of light. The architectural specifics of the Mishkon, as delineated in parshas Terumah indicate that it was completely smothered on all sides. There was simply no way for any sunlight to have penetrated the Mishkon. Tosafos on that gemara do quote Beraysa diMleches haMishkon stating that the Ananei HaKavod provided constant light to B'nei Yisroel no matter where they were. If they were locked inside a barrel, they would be able to see inside it. Therefore, the menorah was indeed not needed for its light, as R' Sheishes explained. However, inside the heavily padded walls of the Mishkon, this would have been no more evident during the day than during the night.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

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