By Rabbi Raymond Beyda
The Parasha opens with the command to Aharon the Kohen to light the
Menorah daily in the Tabernacle. The verse then states [Va-ya'as Ken
Aharon] that Aharon did exactly as G-d commanded. Rashi explains that the
verse intends to inform us of the praise of Aharon in that ["Lo Shina"]-
he did not change; he did exactly as G-d commanded. The glaring question
addressed by many commentaries is, "Would we expect anything different
from the holy Kohen? Wouldn't we expect that he would perform the task as
best he could to give pleasure to his maker?"
One answer is that the words ''He did not change" do not refer to
Aharon's behavior. What the Torah is addressing is Aharon's personality.
Although he was given such a great honor and holy task to perform on a
daily basis --"Lo Shina"-- he did not change--he remained humble and
subservient to G-d!
A second approach is that when a person does something exciting or
important for the first time, they do it with great enthusiasm. As time
goes on and they repeat the job every day, the glitter fades and they
perform the task without any gusto, practically by rote. Aharon lit the
holy candelabra every day for 39 years and yet every single day--"Lo
Shina"-- he did not change from the level of excitement and dedication he
felt on day one! We should learn from his approach to do our daily Misvot
with enthusiasm and a high level of devotion to G-d.
Another way to measure the greatness of Aharon's performance is
learned from an incident that took place in Halab [Aleppo, Syria]. The
head of the Jewish court, Rabbi Shelomo Laniado blew the shofar for many
years. When he became older and no longer had the strength to blow
properly he instructed his son Rabbi Gabriel Laniado to lead the High Holy
Day services and to blow the shofar. After the services were completed
several of the leaders of the congregation came to Hacham Shelomo and
reported to him that his son erred slightly in his blowing. Rabbi Laniado
called his son in and asked for an explanation for his failure. Rabbi
Ephraim explained,Ē When I read the prayer preceding the shofar blowing
and I read the words--"and send your angels who are appointed to carry the
shofar blasts to Heaven--" suddenly two angels flew in front of me and I
became frightened and made the mistake."
"You invited them and then when they came you became frightened?"
scolded the elder Rabbi.
We learn from here the great praise in --"He did not change".
Aharon entered the Holy of Holies, the place where his son's Nadab and
Abihu were consumed by fire, and he felt great sorrow mixed with awesome
fear--yet Aharon was cool and unshaken. He did his job and did not err.
This is the praise of the true servant of G-d! [Based on Rabbi Ovadiah
Yosef Shlit"a as quoted in Torat Ha-Parasha].
Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.