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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Bemidbar: Parashat Behaalotecha: Without a Clue


The five-year old picked up the toy, even though it was 8:30PM, a full hour after his bedtime. The father stood in daunting fashion over he son, stubbornly telling the son that he was not allowed to play right now. The five-year old continues to play, despite the warnings of his father.

We can guess the end of this story. The father takes away the toy, the child screams, and is taken to bed. Little did the son know that the father wanted him in bed on time because they were waking up early and going on a long trip to a grand theme park.

Hashem knows what we need even though we have no clue.

In parashat Behaalotecha, we have two examples of how Hashem cares for individuals when even the slightest chance exists that they many be offended. Rashi explains the juxtaposition of the verses regarding the sacrifices of the Nesiim (Princes) to the verses regarding the Menorah: Aharon, having not been a part of the sacirifices for the dedication of the Mishkan, felt "left out". Hashem immediately chose this moment to command Moshe to tell Aharon about his specific misvah, to prepare, light and clean the nerot (lighting vessels) in the Menorah. This way Aharon again felt connected to Hashem.

In chapter 8 verse 19, we read the following:

"Of all Bnei Yisrael, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the Tent of Meeting on behalf of Bnei Yisrael and to make atonement for Bnei Yisrael so that no plague will strike Bnei Yisrael when Bnei Yisrael goes near the sanctuary."

In this verse we see "Bnei Yisrael" mentioned 5 times. And though many rabbis explain this repetition to show how Hashem loves the nation, we must understand why the Torah shows this love through repetition specifically in this verse in our parasha.

It is explained that after the Leviim were chosen over the first-borns to work in the Mishkan, Hashem sought to stress his love for the entire nation, even though there was a transition of power. The first-borns were as loved as the Leviim, and this is why the verse here is full of the repetition of the nation's name.

We already have Hashem's love and devotion to us. We have to ask ourselves if we are truly worthy of this love. We must challenge ourselves, even during the summer time, to be worthy of this love. With all commuting and logistical nightmares the summer time may be, we have to find a way to not falter in our religiosity- attending minyanim regularly, learning in a set class at least a couple of times a week, and guarding ourselves and our families from non-Jewish ideals.
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