Monday, March 4, 2013

מלאכת המשכן וכליו

It is that time of year when I take out my copy of Meleches Hamishkan V'keilav by Rabbi Dovid Meyers (printed by the author, 2006 [second ed.]). This book is an exhaustive study of every element of the Tabernacle, from the beams and coverings to the Ark and Menorah. The author has researched so many of the sources which deal with these topics and presents each item in unprecedented detail. The book is arranged by topic in an easy-to-use format, first citing the relevant Torah passage and then a listing of all the laws and requirements which are derived from the verses and commentators. The meat of the book is found in the form of footnotes where the different opinions and sources are cited and discussed. In addition to all the above, there are copious line drawings to illustrate each point, and at the end of every section there is a very helpful collection of drawings which shows the item in question according to the various opinions cited in the notes.

The author has also reviewed much of the material in his book with HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and he prints the correspondance with HaRav Kanievsky in a separate section in the back.

One of my favorite gems of Tabernacle Torah which this book addresses is a question I had asked myself about the adanim (silver sockets) which hold the kerashim (wooden beams). Every student of the Tabernacle knows the dimensions of the adanim, which are 0.75 x 1 x 1 amos (with a hole in the middle to accept the kerashim), and we also know that each one was formed from one kikar of silver. The problem is that the volume of one kikar of silver is simply not enough to form the shape of the adanim! I was pleased to discover that this issue had been raised by others before me and that this question was asked to the Chazon Ish. He answered that the adanim were not, as commonly believed, made of solid silver, but rather were hollow on the inside (Meleches Hamishkan V'keilav p.311, note 15, citing Ta'ama D'kra).

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