Friday, June 24, 2016

The merit of constancy _ Beha'halothcha

The Parsha of Beha'halothcha gets its name from the second verse (in the eighth chapter) בדַּבֵּר אֶל אַהֲרֹן וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ אֶת הַנֵּרֹת אֶל מוּל פְּנֵי הַמְּנוֹרָה יָאִירוּ שִׁבְעַת הַנֵּרוֹת
Rashi explains it this way: 

When you light: Why is the portion dealing with the menorah juxtaposed to the portion dealing with the chieftains? For when Aaron saw the dedication [offerings] of the chieftains, he felt distressed over not joining them in this dedication-neither he nor his tribe. So God said to him, “By your life, yours is greater than theirs, for you will light and prepare the lamps.” - [Tanchuma Beha’alothecha 3]בהעלתך: למה נסמכה פרשת המנורה לפרשת הנשיאים, לפי שכשראה אהרן חנוכת הנשיאים חלשה דעתו, שלא היה עמהם בחנוכה, לא הוא ולא שבטו, אמר לו הקב"ה חייך, שלך גדולה משלהם, 

My grandfather quotes that explanation and asks what was particulalry consolation about the menorah service.  What makes lighting the menorah greater than the offering of the Nesi'im?  How does one assign parituclar values to different mitzovs?

The answer is in the persistet recurrence of the mitzvah.  The offering of the Nesi'im was a one time event. In contrast, the work of lighting the menorah endures for generations. It is because of its recurrent nature that the mitzvah of lighting the menorah has greater merit.

 The principle works the opposite way as well. The halacha is that if someone is ill and requires meat on Shabbos, it is better to shecht and prepare kosher meat than to feed him neveyla without doing the work of preparation. Why do we violate the Shabbos for that? As per the Tanya, the reason is that the violation of eating neveyla is incurred for each olive-sized piece, increasing the number of violations beyond those entailed in preparing kosher meat. The editorial insertion explains it is not the sheer number of lavin but the fact that the same violation would be repeated many times.

Also related to the Shabbos violation is the fulfillment of the mitzvah of milah on Shabbos, for the circumcision is a constant mitzvah in that it is fulfilled throughout a man's life once it is done. that trumps the observance of a single Shabbos

My grandfather then references the Meiri's Beys Habechica on "vehakol lefi rov hama'ase" from the third chapter of Pirkei Avos: to remian constant in good deeds and not to deviate even a single time in action. Working through adhering to the good with constancy brings one to shleimus hamiddos vehamalos. 

Read what my grandfather said about the year per day sentence here: http://divreichaim.blogspot.com/2015/07/crime-and-punishment.html



No comments: