This week we read the Torah portion of Beha’aloscho. It begins by telling us that “Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, ‘Speak to Aharon and say to him, ‘When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the Menorah.’’” In other words, Hashem commanded that Aharon light the Menorah. Following this, the Torah informs us that “Aharon did so. He lit the lamps toward the face of the Menorah as Hashem commanded Moshe.” Rashi cites the words “Aharon did so” and explains that “This shows Aharon’s virtue. He did not deviate (from G-d’s commands).” Rashi is explaining Aharon’s great virtue; he did exactly as Hashem commanded.
We need to understand Rashi’s words. Why does the Torah need to point out that Aharon followed exactly what Hashem told him to do? Aharon was the High Priest and one of the leaders of the Jewish people. We have seen his righteousness from the beginning. It should be self-evident that he obeyed G-d’s commands!
We can understand this by seeing a deeper understanding of what the Torah is saying. We are taught that there are two different manners in which one can receive a Divine revelation. One is that one feels inspired and strives on his own to come closer to Hashem. The Zohar refers to this as an “awakening from below, which brings an awakening from Above in its wake.” However, there are Divine levels which are beyond a human being’s power to reach. This is given to a person as a gift from Above. The Zohar calls this an “awakening from Above, which brings an awakening from below, from the individual, in its wake.”
Regarding the construction of the Menorah G-d commands that “the Menorah shall be made,” and not, “you shall make the Menorah.” Rashi cites these words and explains that it shall be made “by itself. Since Moshe found it difficult (to form the Menorah), Hashem told him ‘Cast the talent of gold into the fire, and it will be made by itself.’” The building of the Menorah was done by G-d Himself. It transcended what creation could reach on his own. Hence, we might think that the way Aharon lit the Menorah made no difference. Nonetheless, Aharon did not deviate and performed all of his responsibilities precisely as commanded.
One can still ask why the Menorah required Aharon’s involvement altogether. After all, it was beyond our grasp! The explanation is that even when Hashem gives us a spiritual present, He expects us to do everything within our power to deserve it. We must learn from this that as beautiful as it is to rely on G-d, we must do our part as well.
I wish everyone a beautiful Shabbos and healthy summer!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 38, Page 38-39
מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש
חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס
. Our Parshah, Bamidbar 8:1-2.
. Our Parshah, Bamidbar 8:3.
. Parshas Terumah, Shemos 25:31.