Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Tzav

by Rabbi Dovid Green


The following Dvar Torah was paraphrased from a book entitled "Reachings" by Rabbi Yaakov Haber, Director of Jewish Education of the Orthodox Union. "Reachings" will be available shortly from the Project Genesis bookstore: http://books.torah.org/.

There is an interesting midrash concerning this week's parsha. Moshe, in writing down the Torah at G-d's dictation, noticed something strange. Nowhere in the Book of Leviticus in the description of priestly functions up to now is his brother Aharon referred to directly. Repeatedly the instructions referred to "the children of Aharon." Why is this?

According to the midrash, Moshe pleads to G-d on behalf of his brother in the following way; "L-rd, is it possible that you hate the well, but love the water that flows from it?" [Meaning; "How can You hate Aharon by refusing to refer to him, but still love his sons?"] G-d, according to the midrash does not say: "you're being hypersensitive. I'm not annoyed at Aharon!" In fact, He responds: "very well, because of your plea, I shall relent." In the very next verse which begins the parsha it says: "G-d spoke to Moshe saying, command Aharon and his sons thus..." (Levit. 6:1). G-d's annoyance is over!

This is a strange midrash! What is the reason for G-d's annoyance? We know Aharon was a righteous person. If it was the Sin of the Golden Calf, we know that Aharon had already repented for that. Further, G-d Himself had subsequently appointed him High Priest. Why should He so that with one He was annoyed with?

The explanation, I think, is as follows. There is repentance, and there is repentance. One may repent for a sin according to all the rules, and there could still be something missing. That is that the cause of the sin is still intact in his personality, and has not been changed. Maimonides explains that the final step in repentance is to effect a change in one's self that would make him like another person, and not the one who had previously sinned. It means that he has refined himself to such an extent that such behavior is beyond him now.

Perhaps Moshe understood G-d's displeasure with Aharon in the following way. Aharon had indeed gone through all the technicalities of repentance for the Sin of the Golden Calf, and was therefore qualified to be High Priest. Perhaps Aharon had not yet completed this final step, and that was responsible for G-d's continued ire.

How do Aharon's sons compared to the water from the well come into this? Maimonides makes a fascinating comment regarding child-rearing. He says that a child is much more perceptive than we would give him credit for. A child can intuitively understand what his parent's want from him. Even if the parent should say "I want such and such from you," a child will realize if this is not in accordance with the parent's deepest wishes, and act according to his intuitions.

Moshe was saying, in effect: "see how wonderful Aharon's sons are! It must be due to their carrying out the desires of Aharon's deepest nature. That proves that Aharon has carried out the final step of repentance.

Even though G-d knew of Aharon's worthiness, He was not willing to consent to fully accept Aharon. There was still one detail left; Moshe's prayer on Aharon's behalf. Prayer is the bottom line for any endeavor to succeed. Even after everything had been accomplished humanly, there was still the need to pray to G-d on Aharon's behalf.

Moshe's unselfish behavior is an example for us all. He was more concerned for his brother Aharon than even the status he himself was standing to lose. Let's take his example to heart, and may we merit the blessing of "one who prays on another's behalf, and he needs the same thing, is answered first."

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

The Beautiful Accompaniment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Call of the Shofar
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

...And It's All Small Stuff
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

The 'New' of the New Year
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

ArtScroll

A Rosh Hashana Message
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5769

Oh, Brother...
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Yefas Toar: The Exception Proves The Rule
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Favorable Judgement
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Nerve Centre of the Year
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

> Those are the Questions?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

'Sin... Don't Laugh!'
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

Elul: A Month of Preparation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

A Welcome Houseguest
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information