This weeks דבר תורה is לזכות רפואה שלימה ל-אברהם בייניש בן גאלדה שפרינצה.
ולאה בת חנה
And לזכר נשמת ר’ אברהם בן שמחה זצ”ל
ר’ חיים בן ר’ צבי ארי-ה זצ”ל
ור’ יחיאל יהודה בן ר’ אברהם מרדכי הכהן זצ”ל
This weeks dvar is dedicated as a zechus refuah sheleima for Eliyahu Mordechai ben Shaindel. Please have him in mind in your tefilos.
This week’s parsha begins with the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah. The gemarah in Yoma (24b) states that the lighting of the Menorah can be done by a zar –a non kohen. A kohen is not needed to kindle the Menorah. The tosfos yeshanim asks, if this is so why does the pasuk say ‘speak to Aharon and tell him, when you light the Menorah’. Why did the Torah not address the entire klal Yisroel and why specifically to Aharon?
A second question posed is that as soon as Hashem tells Moshe what to convey to Aharon the pasuk says (8:3) ‘And Aharon did just so’; rashi comments that it means to tell us that Aharon did exactly what he was told and didn’t alter an iota . The question is how can chazal forecast that for the rest of his life Aharon didn’t change and wouldn’t change a thing. After someone’s death one could say that, but when he’s alive? How can one be certain for the future? How did chazal know?
A third question to ponder is that rashi brings a well known medrash that says Aharon was upset that neither he nor his shevet were included in the chanukas hanisi’im. Hashem tells him not to worry because his ultimate role is much greater than theirs. What type of soothing answer is that he will light the Menorah? We just established from the gemarah in Yoma that even a non kohen can light the Menorah!
The Meshech Chochma answers that you’re right, the lighting of the Menorah can be done by a non kohen but the first time it was being lit it had to be done davka by Aharon. The reason being that there is a special element to be mechanech the Menorah and for that we need a kohen not a zar.
Let us take this concept a step further, what is the difference that we find between the chinuch, the first time, and all the other times we light the Menorah? Why are there two different requirements-one by the first time we ever light the Menorah and second by all the rest of the times we light it? We don’t usually find this idea by any other mitzvah?
The Menorah symbolizes Torah; the gemarah in bava metziah (85b) recounts a famous story involving Rav Chiya. The great Amorah Rav Chiya said to Rav Chanina I can make it, that Torah would never be forgotten from klal Yisroel. I would go and sow flax. Then from the grown flax I would weave nets and with those nets I would trap deer. I would then take the deer meat and I would feed the orphans from it. After that, I would prepare parchment from the deer skin and I would write on it the five parshiyos of the Torah. I would then go to a (poor) village where there were no teachers and I would pick five boys. I would teach each of these boys one sefer of chumash. Then I would take another six boys and I would teach each of them one seder of mishnayos. I would tell ALL eleven boys that each of them should teach their neighbor what they have acquired and ultimately they would all teach each other what I taught them and at the end of the day all eleven boys would know the entire chumash and mishnayos. And in this way, said Rav Chiya, I can assure you that Torah would never be forgotten from klal Yisroel. And the gemarah comments on this ‘how great are the deeds of Chiya’.
This gemarah begs for some interpretation, how could Rav Chiya be so confident? Also why did he go through all these extra activities?
The Netziv answers, Rav Chiya wanted to make sure that he would succeed and that the Torah would be pure and stay forever! He felt that the only way the Torah would stay in these children is if it’s done in the purest way possible; and he wanted to make sure it would be!
The pasuk in parshas Shoftim (17:18) says that a Jewish king has a mitzvah to write a sefer Torah before the kohanim and the levi’im. Why does it have to be in front of the kohanim and levi’im? The Netziv remarks that since the point of the mitzvah is for the king to read it to the people and try to influence them, if you really want the words of Torah to penetrate it has to come from kedusha otherwise it won’t last.
The difference between the chinuch of the Menorah and all the rest of the lightings is for this yesod. You’re about to perform the mitzvah that symbolizes Torah and we want to show that the initial mitzvah has to be done by the purest person in order for it to last; especially the Menorah which symbolizes the Torah. In order to do so, you need the kohen to perform the first light to show how important the preparation for Torah is.
Any davar shebikdusha only has the ability to penetrate according to what a person puts into it; the amount of preparation and time one invests in it. You have to prepare yourself to be a vessel worthy of being a recipient for the Torah. If a person has no appreciation for Torah or for Shabbos it won’t have an effect on him.
That’s why the Menorah is different and everything had to be setup and initially lit by the kohen, who was a talmid chochom, in order for it to have its proper effect and be done on the highest level possible.
A person wants his tefilah to be more meaningful? The essence of Shabbos to have meaning for him? He has to prepare for it. How does he daven? Does he run in late and leave early? Does he do the same for Shabbos? How can it have its effect on you if you don’t prepare for it? A person has to make himself worthy of being a recipient; he has to show an importance for it-show that it means something for you. You want the beracha of Shabbos? It all depends on your preparation.
May we all be zoche to work on ourselves to be worthy of being such recipients.
VERTLUCH.COM would like to wish the following people a very special Mazel Tov:
Rabbi & Mrs. Beinish Mandel on the engagement of their daughter…may she be zoche to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel
Shlomo Schwed on his engagement…may he be zoche to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel
Mr. & Mrs. Yerachmiel Gewirtzman upon the birth of a baby boy.
Mr. & Mrs. Mordy Bistritzky upon the birth of a baby boy.
May we continue to share in each others simchos.
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