B’ha’a’lot’cha 5779-2019

“Giving Our Disciples A Firm Grounding”
(Revised and updated from B’ha’a’lot’cha 5760-2000)

Because the Torah employs the unusual expression, “B’ha’a’lot’cha,” when you raise up and kindle the candelabra, our rabbis learn that the priests were to light each new candle in the Menorah until the flame of the new candle was able to rise on its own. This unusual expression is meant to serve as a message to teachers and mentors who are instructed to train and encourage their disciples to stand on their own feet, providing them with multiple educational and religious experiences, in order for them to emerge as healthy disciples, rather than mere sycophants.

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5775-2015

“Hubris Revisited”

Despite reaching the highest level of spirituality, Aaron, the High Priest of Israel, did not allow success to go to his head, remaining the same modest person that he was before his distinguished appointment to the High Priesthood.

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Tetzaveh 5773-2013

"The Centrality of Light"

Why does the commandment of lighting the candles appear at the beginning of this week’s parasha, rather than after the completion of the building of the Mishkan and the placement of the utensils?

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Terumah 5768-2008

"The Museum within the Tabernacle"

The Torah tells us that three items were stored in the Tabernacle for future generations, a flask of manna, some anointing oil, and the staff of Aaron that blossomed. The Talmud and the Midrashim add that the garments of the High Priest and the priest who led the Israelites in battle as well as the gifts from the Philistines when the Ark was returned were stored there as well. What purpose do these items serve?

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Tetzaveh 5763-2003

"The Primacy of Jewish Education"

In contrast to the voluntary contributions that were made to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the donation of pure olive oil for the candelabra was obligatory. The rabbis say that the light of the candelabra represents wisdom and Jewish education. When it comes to the light of Jewish education, donors have no choice. The People of Israel are expected to keep the menorah, the light of wisdom, of holiness and of Jewish education burning brightly!

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