The beginning of Tetzaveh in Shemot 28:3, G-d tells Moshe to speak to the "people whom G-d inspired with knowledge of the heart" to make the garments for Aharon and his sons.

In viewing the language used for the different garments, I noticed that only the ephod is expressed in plural "**they**** shall make. All the other garments, the stones, the chains, etc. are expressed in singular.

Didn't the above cited verse say that the "wise men" should make these items? Why wasn't the plural used for all the garments? What was different about the ephod that only for that the Torah used the plural form?

  • Please please, always quote the original Hebrew text, I have no idea what "they" in Hebrew you're talking about
    – Al Berko
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


Keli Yakar to 28:6 says that only the Ephod and the Aron as well were constructed by the entire nation, since they come to atone for Avodah Zarah (Arachin 16), which the whole nation sinned in at the Ma'aseh Ha'egel. However, for the other garments, as well as the other vessels of the Mishkan, it remains in the singular form (presumably aimed at Moshe).


The Ark contained the Tablets and represents the idea of studying and observing Torah. The word “eifod” (אפד) has the numerical value of 85, which spells the word “peh” (פ=80, ה=5) — “mouth” — and is a hint for Torah Sheba’al Peh — the Oral Torah. With the plural expression, Hashem is alluding to the fact that both the Written and Oral Torah belong to Klal Yisrael. Each and every Jew has a share in it, and no individual can claim ownership of Torah. ((קרבן העני)

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Dmitry and thanks for this first answer. Can I recommend you take the tour to get a sense of how the site works? Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 15:59
  • Would you be able to edit this post to include where you heard this idea from, or indicate us it’s your own?
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 19:42
  • the makor is at the end of the post written in Hebrew Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 12:46

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