Pearls of Rashi: Bamidbar I

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This coming Shabbos, we will read the Torah portion of Bamidbar – meaning “In the Wilderness.” It is always read before Shavuos when we received the Torah[1].

Our Torah portion tells us that[2]These are the descendants of Aharon and Moshe on the day that Hashem spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai.” Rashi cites the words “These are the descendants of Aharon and Moshe” and makes the following comments. “(The Torah says ‘the descendants of Aharon and Moshe,’) yet only the sons of Aharon are mentioned. However, they are considered descendants of Moshe because he taught them Torah. This teaches us that whoever teaches Torah to the son of his fellow man is regarded as if he had begotten him[3].”

Everything in the Torah is precise. This is also true of analogies that the Torah makes use of. This is true of the comparison between teaching Torah and fathering a child. However, it would seem that the two are not entirely alike. A person is only born once, and from that point on, the individual grows and develops. Therefore, it would seem that Rashi (and the Talmud) should have said that “this teaches us that whoever teaches Torah to the son of his fellow man Torah for the first time is regarded as if he had begotten him.” It is at that point that the individual is born. Afterward, he is just developing.

This can be understood with the help of a teaching of the Baal Shem Tov. He taught that creation was not a one-time event; it is an ongoing process. Hashem is creating and re-creating the world every moment[4]. Based on this, the life force of each of us is constantly being created.

We say in the Siddur,[5] “for they (meaning the words of Torah) are our life and the length of our days.” In other words, the life of each of us is dependent upon Torah.

This means that had one not taught “the son of his fellow man” Torah, he would have lacked the renewed life energy he needed to receive at that moment to remain in existence. Hence, he actually “fathered,” brought about the creation of his fellow at that moment.

I wish one and all a good Shabbos! May we all merit receiving the Torah in joy and internalizing all of its holy teachings!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 23, Pages 8 – 16


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


[1]. In fact, this year we read Parshas Bamidbar the day before Shavuos.

[2]. Bamidbar 3:1.

[3]. The source of Rashi’s words is from the Talmud, Sanhedrin 19, b.

[4]. See Shaar Hayichud Ve’emunah Chapter 1 where this is explained at length.

[5]. See the blessing before Shema in the Evening Service.

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