Ch. 25, v. 2: “V’yikchu li trumoh mei’eis kol ish asher yidvenu libo” – And they shall take for Me a tithe from each person whose heart will donate – Why doesn’t the verse say, “V’yitnu”? The answer is that collectors were appointed to TAKE the donations. Why didn’t the people donate directly to Moshe? The answer is that Hashem wanted donations from “kol ish asher yidvenu libo,” whose heart is eager to donate. If the people were to deal directly with Moshe, by virtue of his powerfully spiritual emanations they might be driven to donate beyond their own magnanimity. (Yaalas Chein)
Ch. 25, v. 4,5: “V’izim, V’oros eilim m’odomim v’oros t’choshim” – And goats, And hides of reddened rams and hides of t’choshim – “Hides of” are mentioned by the rams and “t’choshim,” but not by goats. Why?The Chasam Sofer answers through first raising a question. Why do we not find donations of musical instruments, which were used during the services? The mishnoh at the end of Kinim says that an animal while still alive, emits one sound, that of its voice. When it is dead it emits seven sounds. Its horns are fashioned into two trumpets, its thighbones into two flutes, its hide into a drum, its large intestines into harp strings, and its duodenum into violin strings. If rams are dedicated to the Mishkon, even if earmarked for the structural needs, nevertheless receives the sanctity of an “oloh” sacrifice. (This seems to be a weak point, as this is so only by virtue of a Rabbinic edict.) An “oloh” is totally consumed on the altar. Its body parts can therefore not be fashioned into instruments. A goat cannot be an “oloh.” Even if some of its parts become an offering the parts that can be made into musical instruments remain. Therefore the goats were totally sanctified, and the rams not, only their hides.
It still remains to be explained why by “t’choshim,” a species totally unfit as any type of sacrifice, only their hides are mentioned.
Ch. 25, v. 8: “V’osu li mikdosh v’shochanti b’sochom” – And they shall make for Me a sanctuary and I will rest among them – Mikdosh is singular, so why doesn’t the verse end with “b’sochO”? Rashi on Shmos 38:21 says that the word form Sh-Ch-N, which is the basis for Mishkon, also means collateral, “mashkone.” If ch”v the bnei Yisroel are deserving of retribution, Hashem will take His collateral, i.e. ch”v destroy the Mishkon/Mikdosh. The Ran in his “droshos” says that the Sanctuary, when existent, is the conduit for all blessing from above into our world. When it is taken from us the conduit is the bodies of the righteous of each generation. This is “v’shochanti b’sochom.” When “v’shochanti,” I am forced to take away the Sanctuary, then “b’sochom,” the conduit for blessing is in THEM, the tzadikim. (Nirreh li)
Ch. 25, v. 8: “V’osu li mikdosh v’shochanti b’sochom” – And they shall make for Me a sanctuary and I will rest among them – The Rambam in hilchos beis habchiroh 1:1 cites these words of verse as the source for the mitzvoh to build a Sanctuary for Hashem. However, in hilchos m’lochim 1:2 he cites the verse “l’shichno sid’r’shu uvosso shomoh” (Dvorim 12:5). See the Lechem Mishneh who deals with this. Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch shlit”a in Chochmoh Vodaas answers that there is a basic mitzvoh to build a Sanctuary for Hashem, and this applies even if it were to be built anywhere, for example in the desert, Nov, Givon, or Shiloh. However, the building of the Beis Hamikdosh when there is a king requires his searching out the chosen location on this earth corresponding to the Celestial Beis Hamikdosh, as per the gemara Makos chapter 2. In hilchos beis habchiroh the Rambam tells us the basic law, while in hilchos m’lochim, where he explains that a king should be appointed, then there is the responsibility to build it “l’shichno sid’r’shu,” you should pursue finding the location corresponding to His place of rest.
Ch. 25, v. 10: “Amosayim vocheitzi orko” – Two and a half cubits are its length – Although the ark is physical and has specific dimensions, nevertheless, the gemara Yoma 21b says that if one were to measure the distance from one wall to the other in the Holy of Holies, and likewise measure fro one end of the ark to the facing wall, and from the opposite wall of the ark to the facing wall, he would miraculously have the total distance from wall to wall without the occupying space of the ark. There is an inherent message here about fulfillment of the dictates of the Torah, symbolized by the Tablets in the ark. Some people, in particular those who live in the Diaspora, say that the Torah is relevant only in the Holy Land, where many more of its mitzvos can be fulfilled. There are those, in particular those living in Eretz Yisroel, who say that those who live there have such great merit that they need not bother actually fulfilling the Torah’s mitzvos, and it is binding only upon those living in the Diaspora. Both are wrong! The Torah occupies no measurable space, i.e. the location where one finds himself has no bearing upon the responsibility to fulfill mitzvos (although some mitzvos are indeed Eretz Yisroel requisite). (Chochmoh Vodaas)
Ch. 25, v. 21: “V’el ho’orone ti’tein es ho’eidus asher e’tein eilecho” – And into the ark you shall place the testimony that I will give you – Rashi explains why we need a seeming repetition of verse 16, the command to place the Tablets into the ark. As we know, the second Mikdosh had all the vessels that were present by the first Mikdosh, save the ark. This is because the ark was either taken to Babylonia or hidden in a storage place below the Mikdosh, accessible only through an unknown labyrinth tunnel. Another ark could have been manufactured, but without the Tablets it is meaningless. Since this is a Mikdosh matter, we have a rule that non-compliance with a law invalidates only when the Torah repeats the ruling or uses another term such as “chukoh.” This is why the Torah repeats the need to place the Tablets into the ark. Alternatively, the following words of the next verse, “V’no’adti l’cho shom v’dibarti itcho mei’al hakapo’res mi’bein shnei hakruvim asher al arone ho’eidus,” are a self contained statement, and the last words, “eis kol asher atza’veh os’cho el bnei Yisroel” are a continuum of our verse, “ti’tein es ho’eidus.” The “eidus” is not the Tablets, as they were already mentioned earlier in verse 16. This “eidus” is the Torah Scroll that Moshe will eventually write. The Torah is also called a “testimony” in Dvorim 31:26, “V’hoyoh shom l’EID.” The gemara B.B. 14a says that this Torah Scroll is to be placed either inside the ark or on a protruding ledge on the outside. “V’el ho’orone” means “NEXT TO the ark” in our verse, while in verse 16 “el” means INTO. (Meshech Chochmoh)