Parsha Encounters



Parshas Pikudei:

A Lofty Vision

Rabbi Yoel Goldberg

[Don't forget to see the Halacha Encounters below!]

The Pasuk says that Betzalel did everything "Asher Tzivah Hashem Es Moshe - As Hashem commanded Moshe". The Pasuk is puzzling because it doesn't say he did all that he was commanded by Moshe, but rather that which Hakadosh Baruch Hu commanded Moshe Rabeinu. Rashi on the Pasuk explains that Moshe told Betzalel to construct the Kailim and then the Mishkan. Betzalel then questioned him by saying it is the way of the world to first build the house and then to fill it with Kailim, so we should build the Mishkan first. Moshe replied and said "Kach Shamati Mipi Hakadosh Baruch Hu - This is what I heard from Hashem". Moshe agreed with Betzalel, and the Mishkan and Kalim were built according to the order of Betzalel.

Rashi is difficult to understand, how could Moshe either forget or change that which he was commanded. The Gur Aryeh explains that the Kailim were assigned to Kehas to carry while the Mishkan was carried by the Merari. Since Moshe, Aharon and the Kohanim were from Kehas, it was seen as a Maaleh for the Kailim. Therefore, Moshe replied that the Kailim were first. Betzalel then replied that on a practical level the Mikdash should be built first.

However, Rashi says that Moshe told Betzalel "Betzail Kail Hayisa - You were in Hashem's shadow". This remark implies that only due to Betzalel's lofty level could he have "corrected" Moshe. But the logic that he gave seems fairly simple, so why did Moshe answer Betzalel with such a remark that he was in Hashem's shadow? Conversely, the logic seems to contradict what actually occurred. The Mishkan was finished in the end of Kislev while it wasn't inaugurated until the 23rd of Adar, so the Kailim weren't "stored" in the Mishkan like vessels are stored in a house.

Rav Schwab wants to answer our dilemma based on a Midrash. The Midrash says that the Bais Hamikdash of this world is based on the Bais Hamikdash Lemaalah and that everything that is created Lemaalah is created Lematah. Therefore, even though in this world the Kailim weren't going to be placed in a "house" immediately, since the Bais Hamikdash Lemaalah was Hukam, Betzalel felt the building of the Mishkan and its Kailim should be the same of that of the creation of the ones Lemaalah. This also answers why Moshe responded to Betzalel with such a lofty compliment, because Betzalel had the special ability to see which was lemaalah.

In addition, the Pasuk says (39:32) "Vayaasu - And They Did", and in the end it repeats and says "Kain Asu - So They Did". Rav Shternbuch says that Moshe received special directions as to how to build the Mishkan with the Shechina residing within it. Not only did Bnei Yisrael build the Mishkan and Keilim with the proper measurements and specifications but they also built it with the special intentions of having the Shechina live amongst them. The repetition shows that the whole process was done Lishma and not for their own personal reasons. This is why Moshe then blessed Bnei Yisrael by saying "Yehi Ratzon Shetishre Shechina Bimaaseh Yedeichem-It should be (Hashem's) will that the Shechina should rest in the work of your hands", that the purpose of the construction was the Shechina living among the Bnei Yisrael. Therefore, Betzalel was the proper choice to be the foundation and master builder of something of such importance. Betzalel was able to look lemaaleh and have Bnei Yisrael follow in his lead and bring the Mishkan into existence with the proper intentions.

Rabbi Goldberg learns second seder with the Kollel.

Halacha Encounters

Purim Meals on the Move

Rabbi Moshe Rosenstein

Reuvain and his family are eating their Purim Seudah together with Shimon and his family.  All of a sudden, Levi comes singing into the home with his family and asks if there is room for a few more at the table.  As Mrs. Shimon prepares chairs and place settings for the Levis, Levi picks up a glass of wine to make a "l'chaim" and continue his fulfilling of the mitzvah of simcha on Purim.  But before he makes a brocho on the wine he pauses, realizing that he had already had some wine to drink in his own home before coming here.  He thinks for a moment if he indeed needs to recite a new brocho on the wine where he is.  In a quandary, he puts down the wine and wonders if he will be able to fulfill his mitzvah of ad d'lo yada after all.

The Halachic Background

The Gemora in Pesachim [101] discusses the halachos of what happens when a person makes a brocho in one place and then moves to another area while still in the middle of his eating.  The issue revolves around the following principle:  When one makes a brocho rishonah [blessing recited prior to eating or drinking] on food or drink, that brocho does not last indefinitely.  There are several ways for the brocho's ability to "cover" later foods to be severed.  One obvious end to a brocho's potency is for one to make a brocho acharonah.  If one said an after-brocho on food that he ate and he would then desire to eat more food he would certainly need to recite a new brocho rishonah.  Likewise, if a person definitively decided that he was not going to eat any more in this sitting, and then he were to change his mind and decide to eat more, he would also need to recite a new brocho as he himself severed his prior brocho.  [The details of what is considered a "definitive" end of one brocho's potency are many.  See Orach Chaim 179 for the particulars.]  Another potential way for a brocho to no longer retain its ability to work for future food is if a person leaves the original place where the first brocho was made and continues his eating in another place.  It is the details of this type of situation that we will examine here.

Note:  The halachos discussed here apply only to those of Ashkenazic decent.  The practical halacha is very different for Sefaradim.

The Practical Halacha

We will divide the practical halachos into two sections:  What to do if one already moved from the place of the original brocho and only then realizes that they would like to eat more (as in the anecdote above)[1].  And what to do if one knows in advance that they would like to move mid-way through their eating from one place to another.

One Already Left Their Original Place of Eating

If one had no intention of leaving his original place from the onset, the determining factor that will decide whether or not one will have to make a new brocho rishonah on food he would like to eat in his "new" place is if we consider the person to be "kavuah," set or anchored, to the place of his original brocho.  If he is considered kavuah in his original place, his new eating will be seen merely as a continuation of the eating that he began in his original place.  He therefore will not need a new brocho on foods (of the same brocho-type) in the new place.  If, however, he is viewed as having severed his connection to the original place, his brocho will be severed as well, thereby requiring a new brocho in his current location.  The eating of certain foods is considered to be the "anchor" necessary for a person to be considered kavuah in his original place.  Any food that requires a brocho acharonah to be recited in the place of eating is considered to be an "anchor-food."  The only food that can definitely be considered a k'vius is bread.[2]  If one moved from place to place in the middle of a bread meal, any food that would not have needed a brocho in his original meal[3] does not need a new brocho in his new location.[4]  When it comes to mezonos foods or any foods of the Seven Species of the Land of Israel,[5] there is a dispute amongst the poskim whether or not the brocho acharonah must be recited in the place of the original eating.[6]  Therefore, if one moved from place to place while eating any of these foods or drinking wine, a new brocho should not be made in the new location.[7]  [This, however, should not be done intentionally.  See below.]  Only foods and drinks that are not of the Seven Species would require a new brocho to be recited in the new location.[8]

One Knows in Advance That They Would Like to Leave in the Middle of Their Eating

In almost all situations it is proper not to change one's location (to another building) in the middle of a meal if he wishes to rely on his original brocho (as per the laws discussed above).  If one would like to leave his current location, he should make the appropriate brocho acharonah before leaving and then recite a new brocho rishonah on his food in the new location.[9] 

The only situation in which it is permissible lichatchilah for one to change his location mid-meal[10] and continue eating is as follows:  If one is planning on beginning a bread meal in one location and then leaving and continuing it elsewhere, he must have in mind while reciting hamotzi that this is in fact what he plans to do.  If he made the brocho of hamotzi with this in mind, then it is permissible lichatchilah to leave in the middle and continue eating in the new location without a new brocho.[11]  Regarding brochos, the only additional requirement is that actual bread be eaten in the second location, if he wishes to say birchas hamazon there.[12]  He must, however, wash his hands for netillas yadayim in his new location without reciting the brocho of al netillas yadayim.[13]

Rabbi Rosenstein learns full time in the Kollel and is a frequent contributor to Halacha Encounters.

[1] As for the halachos of making a brocho acharonah in the new place (as opposed to having to return to the first place of eating), see O.C. 184:1-3.
[2] O.C. 184:1-3                     
[3] See O.C. 177:1-5 for foods that would not have been covered by the original hamotzi reagrdless of his change of location.
[4] O.C. 178:4 and Mishna Berura there.
[5] Wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives, dates and pomegranates.
[6] O.C. 184: 3 and M.B. s.k. 12
[7] O.C. 178 M.B. s.k. 45
[8] The same halacha applies even if the person leaves and then returns to his original place of eating, see Rema 178:2.  However, if he was eating or drinking with another person together, if upon his return, the other person is still there, he need not (and indeed may not) recite another brocho to continue eating.
[9] M.B. 178:33
[10] It should be noted that these laws only apply to someone who wants to begin eating in one place and then leave to go elsewhere.  If however, a person is not planning on "beginning to eat" where he is at all, and is instead planning on eating "on the road," the halacha is different.  A traveler has no official k'vius and therefore the first brocho that he makes carries over for the duration of his trip.  So if a person is planning on traveling from one place to another with his food (like taking a coffee in the car or riding a bicycle with a water bottle), eating or drinking from it periodically along the way, he needs to make only one brocho when he begins his trip. [M.B. 178:42]  This first brocho, however, must be made as he is preparing to depart (or, obviously, if he is already on the road).  [Iggeros Moshe O.C. II, 57 and oral ruling from HaGaon Rav Chaim Pinchus Sheinberg shlit"a]  If he made a brocho and began his drinking in one place, and only then prepared for his departure and left, he would need a new brocho in the car. 
[11] M.B. 178:33           
[12] O.C. 184:2.  See M.B. s.k. 8 that only a small amount of bread must be eaten in this new location in order for him to be allowed to bentch there.  See, however, Be'er Heiteiv 4.
[13] M.B. 178:47

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