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Parashat Beha'alotcha - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the portion of Beha'alotcha, the third portion in the Book of Numbers. The first three verses are directed to Aaron, the High Priest, with instructions on how to light the Menorah. Then the Parasha resumes with the laws regarding the Levites and their role in the service in the Tabernacle.

The end of last week's Parasha dealt with the dedication of the Tabernacle, which lasted 12 days, dedicating each day to one of the tribes, as each leader brought his gift on behalf of his tribe. The gift consisted of a silver bowl and silver basin, both filled with choice flour, a gold ladle filled with incense, a bull, a ram, and a one year old lamb. The leader also offered 2 oxen, five rams, five he-goats, and five-yearling lambs.

The famous commentator Rashi asks, why are the instructions to Aaron mentioned here again and follow the gifts of the leaders of the twelve tribes. Rashi gives a beautiful answer which is very relevant to our lives today. He explains that Aaron felt kind of left out and down for not being able to bring a significant gift like all the other leaders. G-d comforts him by telling him that his role in the Tabernacle is much greater than the role of the 12 leaders. Theirs was a one time event - they brought their large gifts and were all done - while Aaron will have the assignment of taking care of the Menorah, the most important symbol, that brings light into the Tabernacle and into the people's lives. His task does not end with one big bang, but it is a contribution that is made day after day.

In our spiritual lives and in our commitment to mitzvot, do we just do one big thing and think that we are done? The three verses directed to Aaron teach us that what we do day in and day out is what is important and will make a lasting impact on our lives, our family and community.

May you be privileged to be like Aaron, who brought light to his people day after day.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram