38:8ל״ח:ח׳
1 א

במראת הצבאת. בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיוּ בְיָדָן מַרְאוֹת שֶׁרוֹאוֹת בָּהֶן כְּשֶׁהֵן מִתְקַשְּׁטוֹת, וְאַף אוֹתָן לֹא עִכְּבוּ מִלְּהָבִיא לְנִדְבַת הַמִּשְׁכָּן, וְהָיָה מוֹאֵס מֹשֶׁה בָּהֶן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעֲשׂוּיִם לְיֵצֶר הָרָע, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּבָּ"ה קַבֵּל, כִּי אֵלּוּ חֲבִיבִין עָלַי מִן הַכֹּל, שֶׁעַל יְדֵיהֶם הֶעֱמִידוּ הַנָּשִׁים צְבָאוֹת רַבּוֹת בְּמִצְרַיִם; כְּשֶׁהָיוּ בַעְלֵיהֶם יְגֵעִים בַּעֲבוֹדַת פֶּרֶךְ, הָיוּ הוֹלְכוֹת וּמוֹלִיכוֹת לָהֶם מַאֲכָל וּמִשְׁתֶּה, וּמַאֲכִילוֹת אוֹתָם וְנוֹטְלוֹת הַמַּרְאוֹת, וְכָל אַחַת רוֹאָה עַצְמָהּ עִם בַּעְלָהּ בַּמַּרְאָה, וּמְשַׁדַּלְתּוֹ בִדְבָרִים, לוֹמַר אֲנִי נָאָה מִמְּךָ, וּמִתּוֹךְ כָּךְ מְבִיאוֹת לְבַעְלֵיהֶן לִידֵי תַאֲוָה וְנִזְקָקוֹת לָהֶם וּמִתְעַבְּרוֹת וְיוֹלְדוֹת שָׁם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר תַּחַת הַתַּפּוּחַ עוֹרַרְתִּיךָ (שיר השירים ח'), וְזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּמַרְאֹת הַצּוֹבְאוֹת. וְנַעֲשָׂה הַכִּיּוֹר מֵהֶם, שֶׁהוּא לָשׂוּם שָׁלוֹם בֵּין אִישׁ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ – לְהַשְׁקוֹת מִמַּיִם שֶׁבְּתוֹכוֹ לְמִי שֶׁקִּנֵּא לָהּ בַּעְלָהּ וְנִסְתְּרָה; וְתֵדַע לְךָ שֶׁהֵן מַרְאוֹת מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר וּנְחֹשֶׁת הַתְּנוּפָה שִׁבְעִים כִּכָּר וְגוֹ', וַיַּעַשׂ בָּהּ וְגוֹמֵר, וְכִיּוֹר וְכַנּוֹ לֹא הֻזְכְּרוּ שָׁם, לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה נְחֹשֶׁת שֶׁל כִּיּוֹר מִנְּחֹשֶׁת הַתְּנוּפָה, כָּךְ דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא, וְכֵן תִּרְגֵּם אֻנְקְלוֹס בְּמֶחְזְיָת נְשַׁיָא וְהוּא תַרְגּוּם שֶׁל מַרְאוֹת, מירוריי"ש בְּלַעַז. וְכֵן מָצִינוּ וְהַגִּלְיוֹנִים (ישעיה ג') – מְתַרְגְּמִינָן מֶחְזְיָתָא:

במראת הצבאת OF THE MIRRORS OF THE WOMEN CROWDING — The Israelitish women possessed mirrors of copper into which they used to look when they adorned themselves. Even these did they not hesitate to bring as a contribution towards the Tabernacle. Now Moses was about to reject them since they were made to pander to their vanity, but the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “Accept them; these are dearer to Me than all the other contributions, because through them the women reared those huge hosts in Egypt!” For when their husbands were tired through the crushing labour they used to bring them food and drink and induced them to eat. Then they would take the mirrors, and each gazed at herself in her mirror together with her husband, saying endearingly to him, “See, I am handsomer than you!” Thus they awakened their husbands’ affection and subsequently became the mothers of many children, at it is said, (Song 8:5) “I awakened thy love under the apple-tree”, (referring to the fields where the men worked). This is what it refers to when it states, מראות הצבאת “the mirrors of the women who reared the hosts (צבאות)” (Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei 9). And it was for this reason that the laver was made of them (the mirrors) — because it served the purpose of promoting peace between man and wife viz., by giving of its waters to be drunk by a woman whose husband had shown himself jealous of her and who nevertheless had associated with another (cf. Numbers ch. V) thus affording her an opportunity to prove her innocence (cf. Sotah 15b). You may know that the מראות mentioned in the text were really mirrors (and that the word does not mean visions, or appearance, etc.), for it is said, (v. 29) “And the copper of the wave-offering was seventy talents etc. … and therewith he made [the sockets etc.]” — the laver, however, and its base are not mentioned there amongst the articles made from that copper; hence you may learn that the copper of which the laver was made was not a part of the copper of the weave-offering, which is the only copper mentioned as having been contributed by the people. Thus did R. Tanchuma 2:11:9 explain the term מראת הצבאת. And so does Onkelos also render it: במחזית נשיא, and this first word is the Targum translation of מראות, in the sense of mireors in old French, for we find that for the word (Isaiah 3:23) “And the גליונים”, which are mirrors, we have in the Targum the same word מחזיתא.

2 ב

אשר צבאו. לְהָבִיא נִדְבָתָן:

אשר צבאו [THE WOMEN] WHO CAME IN CROWDS to bring their contribution.