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Behaalotcha - True Leadership

June 23, 2019

 

 

 

Beautiful Reb Shlomo Carlebach teaching on Behaalotcha

 

In Parshat Behaalotcha - Hashem instructs Aharon the High Priest on the proper way to light the Menorah in the Mishkan, the makeshift temple in the desert. The parsha starts off with the word "Bahaalotcha" which roughly means when you make the lights of the Menorah "rise up". Rashi points out that the Torah could have simply said "when you kindle the lights of the Menorah" instead of the strange wording "when you make the lights RISE UP". Rashi says from here we learn that when the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) lights the candles of the Menorah he should do it in a way that the flame of the candle should "rise up" by itself. (כתוב בהדלקתן לשון עליה, שצריך להדליק עד שתהא שלהבת עולה מאליה.) What does it mean that the light should rise up by itself ?

 

The Torah then continues and gives Aharon more details about how to light the Menorah. Afterwards, the Torah says that Aharon did as Hashem instructed, "Va-yaas kayn Aharon" and "Aharon did so" (ויעש כן אהרן).

Rashi says that this verse comes to praise Aharon because "he didn't change" or do anything differently than what Hashem had asked of him. (להגיד שבחו של אהרן שלא שינה)

 

Everyone asks the obvious question. What does Rashi mean that "Aharon didn't change" or deviate from what Hashem had instructed him ? Does anyone actually think that the holy tzaddik Aharon Hakohen would do something different than what Hashem had instructed him ?

 

Reb Shlomo says there's a very deep Torah here.

 

Aharon, the first Kohen Gadol was given the task of kindling the Menorah daily in the Mishkan and also the responsibility to help every Jew, even the most disconnected or wayward, begin a new relationship with Hashem.

The Torah teaches us that if you want to know how Aharon Hakohen brought Hashem's light into this world and how he was able to reach the most downtrodden or spiritually disconnected person and make him shine, the answer was simple. Aharon Hakohen always tried to connect everyone to their own neshama (soul) and he never tried to change them. "Aharon didn't change" anyone, he was not in the business of changing people. Aharon simply let every person know how beautiful they were in the eyes of Hashem and how loved they were "until their light rose up by itself"

 

Reb Shlomo used to say that there are many professional kiruv (outreach) organizations and yeshivote that want to help young jewish kids and they are really very cute and sweet. But some of them want to make all of their students fit into a certain mold. Reb Shlomo said when a teenager came over to him in the House of Love and Prayer in the 60's, "I just wanted him to shine and be the most beautiful Jew that he could be, no matter what type of Jew he wanted to be".

 

Beha’aloscha - Aharon and Miriam’s lashon hara

 

I had this crazy idea

 

Moshe Rabbeinu sent outstanding yidden to Eretz Yisrael to be the spies. Rashi says shlach lecha anashim; G-d told him to send great people. Anashim means great people. There is a way out Kli Yakar. the Kli Yakar says that G-d says to Moshe, ‘if I were you, I’d send women, but I know you will send men’. You see what it is, the women were not at the sin of the golden calf, so their eyes were clear, they would have been to see Eretz Yisrael for real.

 

Now listen to the deepest depths, why were Miriam and Aharon so ‘brogez’ (angry) at Moshe that he wasn’t living with his wife Tzipora, and why do we read about this right before Parshas shlach lecha? It’s the deepest depths ever. Miriam and Aharon saw by clear prophecy that if Moshe Rabbeinu would send women, those women would come back and say that Eretz Yisrael is good, and then Moshe Rabbeinu would go into Eretz Yisrael with the rest of the nation. So the question is, where will Moshe Rabbeinu get twelve women from?  Miriam and Aharon thought that if he would have lived with Tzipora, who also had clear prophecy, she would tell him to send the  women. So ,they were angry at Moshe, saying ‘if you were living with Tzipora, maybe you would have sent women instead of men, and you would have stayed alive’.

 

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