Vertluch: Parshas Shemini/Pa​rah


“And Moshe said, “This is the thing that Hashem has commanded; do [it], and the glory of the Lord will appear to you.” (Vayikro 9; 6)
From the pasuk it is not clear what exactly Moshe was commanding klal Yisroel to do. The Ohr Hachaim hakadosh brings down a Toras Kohanim that interprets the instruction to mean that Moshe spoke to klal Yisroel and told them as follows: ‘remove the yetzer hara from your hearts and everyone shall to be united to serve Hashem; we have to commit ourselves to serve Hashem united as one and if we accomplish this then Hashem will dwell amongst us.’ 
It seems that Moshe was inculcating into klal Yisroel and warning them that they need to be elevated to a higher level prior to inaugurating the Mishkan. However, it’s still not clear why, right now, he was telling them this. Why did Moshe feel it necessary to give them this chizuk, or warning, now, that they need to serve Hashem on a loftier level?
If we look later in the parsha (10; 4) after the untimely death of Nadav and Avihu, Moshe tells Mishael and Eltzafan to go in to the Mishkan to retrieve their cousin’s bodies. The Toras Kohanim notes that from here we see that kohanim can’t be metameh to a corpse. Yet, there are obvious questions with this. Firstly, we clearly have a pasuk later (21; 1) that states a kohen can’t be metameh to a dead person. If so then this pasuk seems superfluous. Secondly, we know that only the kohen gadol can’t be metameh to anyone but a kohen hedyot can be metameh to his seven relatives (mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter and wife). In this instance the deceased were they’re brothers, why couldn’t Elazar and Issomor be metameh to them?
The Da’as Zekainim answers that the pasuk that says that the kohanim may be metameh to their relatives is talking about on a regular mundane day. But, on the day that they were anointed and received the kedusha of being kohanim, they could not be metameh to anyone. The reason was because on that day they had the status of a kohen gadol! The day was so holy for them that they had special and unique sets of guidelines they needed to follow to ensure that they started off their new way of life correctly. 
We learn from this that there are special segulos and a chashivus [and appreciation] that a person has to have and understand when he embarks on a new spiritual journey. Just like the kohanim hedyotim on the day they received their chinuch had the status of a kohen gadol so too a person who starts on a path has to assume he will be traveling there for a while. One must realize the importance of starting off properly. Chinuch is the concept of a new beginning…..just as we see by the kohanim.
As a person embarks on a new journey the first step he takes has to be with the right foot. We must ensure that the beginnings are started appropriately. Similar to the kohen who was elevated to the status of a kohen gadol on the day of his embarkment into the kehuna, klal Yisroel had to understand that the first day of doing the avodah in the Mishkan would be setting the tone for the future days of service in the Mishkan. They needed the extra warning to make sure everything was done properly and with purity. They had to rid themselves of all bad thoughts and all evil. This first day had to be special so the remaining days would stay good. If the first day would be poor who knows what the future would have brought……
Whether a person is raising children, starting a new seder, buying a new house, opening a new business, etc…-one must make sure that their first actions are solid. Before one starts, they should stop for a moment and realize they are about to lay the foundation of their future down and they must make sure it’s strong and firm. The entire future will be based on this basis and one has to be able to lean on it as a source of support. For if not, who knows what may become of the journey… 


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