Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Beha’aloscho I

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This week’s Parshah, Beha’aloscho, tells us that Hashem told Moshe to[1] “Speak to Aharon and say to him, ‘When you light the candles, the seven candles shall cast their light toward the face of the Menorah.'” Rashi cites the words from the verse “when you light” and explains them as follows. “Why is the portion of the Torah which deals with lighting the Menorah juxtaposed to the portion dealing with the princes of each tribe? Because when Aharon saw the dedications of the princes, he felt distressed over not joining them in this dedication; neither he nor his tribe. So, Hashem said to him, ‘By your life, yours is greater than theirs. You will light and prepare the lamps.'”

The spiritual candles of the Menorah are Jewish souls[2]. This is keeping with the words of Scripture[3] that “man’s soul is the Lord’s lamp.” The unification of all Jewish souls is called the Menorah. The seven lamps of the Menorah are parallel to the seven levels of G-dly service. Aharon’s job is to light the spiritual Menorah. He draws down Divine vitality into every soul. In this manner, he lifts each Jew. He brings each of us to love G-d.

That is the deeper reason that when Aharon saw that “when Aharon saw the dedications of the princes, he felt distressed.” These dedications were a one-time occurrence. He thought that the same might be true of the Menorah. That would mean that he would not be there for those Jews who require extra inspiration. He found the thought that the dedication of the “Menorah – Souls” would only take place once very upsetting. If that were the case, it would only help those who left Egypt and received the Torah, who were already on a higher spiritual level.

Therefore, Hashem told him that “by your life, yours is greater than theirs. You will light and prepare the lamps.” Hashem was telling him that he could spiritually be a positive influence on all Jews throughout all generations “by his life.” By the source of all life, the essence of G-d, which transcends time and space, would not limit him to one time or even one generation. He will continue lighting the souls of each of us throughout all time.

I wish one and all a Good Shabbos and a healthy summer!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 18, Pages 92 ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. Our Parshah, Bamidbar 8:2.

[2]. See Likkutei Torah at the beginning of our Torah portion.

[3]. Mishlei 20:27.

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