Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Beha'aloscha

The following is a brief summary of some of 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.

In Bamidbar 8:3, the Torah writes that Aharon kindled the lamps of the Menorah as Hashem  had commanded Moshe. Rashi explains that this was written as praise to Aharon in that he was not "Shina" from what Moshe commanded. [Yes, I did not translate that word on purpose].

The basic explanation of Rashi's p'shat is that Aharon was praised for not changing what Moshe commanded. But the meforshim are bothered by Rashi's explanation. Why should Aharon be praised for not disobeying Moshe's command? Was there a thought that Aharon would not follow the command?

The Sfas Emes explains Rashi, stating that if a person does something 1,000 times he could and usually would lose enthusiasm for his acts. However, for Aharon, each and every time he had the same energy and enthusiasm as the day that he was commanded to light for the first time. Thus he did not "change" from the first lighting.

R' Frand also quoted the Izbizur Rebbi [sp?] who explains the word "Shina" as "repeat". He clarified that Aharon lit the lamps every day, but each time he had a different set of kavanos, and did not repeat the act with the same rote thoughts. R' Frand tied this into the famous question as to why the Torah repeats the sacrifices of each nasi in Parshas Nasso. He explained that the Torah did not just write "ibid" because each nasi had his own set of kavanos when he brought his sacrifice - thus each one needed to be mentioned separately. 

R' Frand next spoke on Bamidbar 9:1-5 which discusses the Pesach sacrifice brought in the second year that the Jews were travelling in the desert. The Torah writes in Bamidbar 9:1 that the sacrifice was brought in the first month of the second year after the Jews left Egypt. 

R' Frand observed that this was in contrast to Bamidbar 1:1 which took place in the second month of the second year after the Jews left Egypt. Thus the sefer Bamidbar actually began with an event which was later in time. Rashi comments that this an example of the concept of Ein Mukdam - there is no specific chronological order. Rashi further states that this is mentioned later in Bamidbar (as opposed to being the beginning of the sefer) because it is a g'nai to the Jews - it casts them in a negative light because this Pesach in year 2 was the last time a Korban Pesach was brought by the Jews before they entered Israel.

The Maharal asks on this Rashi - but why is that a negative statement about the Jews? They did not bring the sacrifice because Hashem told them not to bring it again until they were in the land of Israel!

The Maharal first answered by citing Tosafos who explain that it is a g'nai for the Jewish people because it was their sinning by crying out for the meraglim which caused the Jews to be unable to enter Israel until year 40. Had they not sinned, they would have not missed a year of sacrifice. The Maharal comments on Tosafos' answer that if a person is patur - relieved from an obligation to do a mitzva, it is still a negative that he cannot fulfill it.

The Chiddushei HaRim has a slightly different answer to the same question. He first observed that in the same perek is the story of the people who were tamei because they were carrying Joseph's bier, but still wanted to bring a Karban Pesach (Bamidbar 9:6-13). They complained that they had not done anything wrong, but could not bring the sacrifice, using the language "Lama N'gara" - why should we be diminished? 

The Chiddushei HaRim explains that the Jews had a similar potential complaint - they could have asked for a "work around" or another exception which would allow them to bring the sacrifice. But they did not complain or seek another way to bring the Karban Pesach. Instead, they were satisfied with living without the Karban Pesach, and this was a g'nai for them.

R' Frand gave the example of a person who comes home from shul on the second day of Sukkos and sees its raining. He could jump and say "OK, I am relieved from eating in the Sukkah" and then eat in the house. Or he could wait to see if the rain will break because he would rather be in the Sukkah.

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