Dvar Torah: Parshat Beha'alotcha
Updated: Jun 16
This week's parsha, Parshat Beha'alotcha, begins by describing Hashem's commandment to Aharon Ha'Kohen to light the menorah in the Mishkan. As the passuk says shortly thereafter, "וַיַּ֤עַשׂ כֵּן֙ אַהֲרֹ֔ן"- and Aharon did as he was commanded. Rashi expounds on this passuk and explains that the passuk is praising Aharon about the fact that he did exactly as Hashem commanded, not even deviating one degree from what he was told.
Now, perhaps for us, listening to Hashem's every word is something to take pride in. However, in this case, we're talking about the High Priest of the Jewish nation! Aharon Ha'kohen was one of the most righteous individuals to ever walk this earth, so it goes without saying that he followed everything Hashem told us! What is the Torah trying to teach us with this seemingly unnecessary passuk?
The Sfat Emet offers a beautiful answer that we can all apply to our everyday lives. He explains that the passuk isn't coming to praise Aharon for what he did, but rather how he did it. Sure, it goes without saying that Aharon would listen to Hashem and go through the physical motions just as he had been commanded. However, Aharon went above and beyond in that he was also able to maintain the same level of enthusiasm each and every time he lit the menorah, whether he was doing it for the first time or for the thousandth.
In this day and age, much of Judaism revolves around repetition. Year by year, we pray the same prayers, celebrate the same holidays, and wrap the same tefillin. Unfortunately, after a while, we often begin to lost our passion for these mitzvot. In this week's parsha, Aharon teachus us that it's not enough to merely "go through the motions." Rather, a person must constantly kindle the fire of enthusiasm that burns inside of them so that it never diminishes.