Click below to print the PDF. Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei Print Version
Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by Dayan Yosef Greenwald
February 4, 2021
I am Hashem your G-d who took you out of the land of Egypt…
Chazal say (Shabbos 88b) that when Klal Yisrael heard the first two dibros directly from Hashem, they were thrown back a distance of 12 mil.
The Moshav Zekeinim Miba’alei HaTosafos asks that the Gemara says that the aseres hadibros were given on Shabbos. While there is a machlokes Tana’im whether the techum limiting walking on Shabbos to 2,000 amos is mid’Oraisa or mid’Rabbanan, most Rishonim agree that the techum of 12 mil is d’Oraisa. If so, how were they able to walk back to Har Sinai on Shabbos?
The Moshav Zekeinim answers that because the Jews were surrounded by the ananei hakavod, the entire area within the clouds was considered within city limits.
The Pri Megadim asks that the entire halacha of reshus harabim is derived from the machanei Yisrael in the midbar, which proves that the ananim were not like walls, because then the camp would have been a reshus hayachid.
One answer offered by the Acharonim is that for an area to be a reshus hayachid, it must be encompassed by sturdy barriers that deem it enclosed. For techumin, however, the area need only be surrounded, so as to define the area as a single place. For the latter purpose, ananim suffice.
We may add that the reason the machaneh is considered one area is because it is designated to be the dwelling place of Hashem in this world. Since the entire area has one exalted purpose, the ananim suffice to unify it vis-à-vis techumin, even if they aren’t enough to make it a reshus hayachid.