Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shemini

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand. 

The first pasuk of this week's parsha (Vayikra 9:1) mentions that on the eighth day, Moshe called Aharon and his sons and all the elders of Israel. We know that this occurred after the seven days of miluim which are recounted in Parshas Tzav when Moshe acted as the Kohain Gadol.

R' Frand quoted the Alshich who notes that during the first seven days of the miluim when Moshe acted as the Kohain Gadol, the Schechinah did not appear and the flame did not come down onto the altar.

The Alshich asks the obvious question - why did the Shechinah not come down while Moshe was acting as the Kohain Gadol? He answers that this was middah k'neged middah - Moshe turned Hashem down for seven days when Hashem asked Moshe to take the Jews out of Egypt. Even though Moshe did this out of humility, Hashem says to Moshe - since you did not want to do what I asked you for seven days - then for the seven days that you are acting as Kohain Gadol, I won't come as well.

R' Frand noted that there is a Ba'al HaTurim who notes that the beginning of this week's parsha took place on Rosh Chodesh Nissan and that the reason that Moshe got to serve as Kohain Gadol for seven days was because Moshe refused to serve as leader for seven days.

R' Frand quoted R' Simcha Zissel Brodie who explains that this is an example of Hashem's divine justice. In general, if a person is jailed by a mortal judge, it is imperfect as it punishes him and his family. But if Hashem acts towards a person - there is a divine element. Moshe refused to lead and there was something noble and something that was punishable. Moshe refused because of humility and he was rewarded because of that - he was allowed to serve as Kohain Gadol for seven days. But even though it was done for noble reasons, it still was a rejection of Hashem, who then said to Moshe - if you don't want to come with me, then I don't want to go with you.

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