April 2, 2016 – 23 Adar 2
Karen came in to be with our mother. Ate Friday night at the Glenners. Right before Shabbos listened to 50% of Rabbi Efrem Goldberg’s Shiur on this week’s Torah portion. He led me to the first Orach Chaim Hakodesh (OCH).
Rabbi Goldberg explained the following Rashi beautifully: The first Verse in Shimini says:
|וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי קָרָא משֶׁה לְאַהֲרֹן וּלְבָנָיו וּלְזִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
And it was on the eight day, that Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel.
Rashi explains that Moses called the elder of Israel, “to inform them that is was by the express command of God that that Aaron was becoming the High Priest, so that they should not say that he entered of his own accord.” (Medresh Tanchumah)
Rabbi Goldberg explains that Rashi is telling us that process is very important. When you make a major decision or an appointment, you must be cognizant of the politics of the situation, the personalities, and the effects of what you are doing. If transparency is needed, be transparent, play your politics correctly.
Ba’al Haturim (BHT) on Verse 1:
Rabbi Goldberg read and linked the BHT to the Orach Chaim Hakodash. I will attempt to explain both.
The BHT said on the first Verse. “Moshe said, “because I resisted for seven days by the burning bush (when God told Moshe to be the leader and take the Jews out of Egypt) , I only merited to serve as High Priest for seven days.” The attribution listed in the Miikros Gedolus is the Medresh Rabbah 11:6. The Artscroll attempts to explain the BHT using the Medresh. While the Medresh is the source of the idea of the BHT, the BHT is taking the idea in a new direction. Moshe is thinking to himself, on why he (Moshe) only merited to be the High Priest for 7 days. It is one of regret. The BHT is following the same line of reasoning as the Orach Chaim Hakodesh (OCH).
Orach Chaim Hakodesh (OCH):
The OCH brings the Talmud in Megillah, 10b. The Talmud in Megilah 10b says that the first word on Shimini – V’Yehi – translated as “ and it was” – is a word used to reference or foreshadow distress, agony, a bad situation, pain. It says “And it was in the days of Achashverosh” The Jews were in distress during the days of Achashverosh. The Talmud says the V’Yehi of this weeks portion, foreshadows the deaths of Nadav and Avihu. The OCH goes on and gives a Torah lecture on the Talmud in Megillah.
The OCH offers a second explanation of the distress reference in the word V’Yehi.
The OCH says:
“Perhaps the distress is Moshe’s distress, which is mentioned in the verse, (Moshe’s distress is that ) he saw the greatness and the greatness and the greatness of Aaron’s sons .”
Moshe saw that Aaron’s appointment to the High Priesthood was a legacy for his children. Aaron’s children will eternally be High Priests. Moshe’s children would not inherit Moshe’s position and this is what distressed him. In fact Moshe’s own grandson was a priest for idols.
The OCH continues:
Let us learn what the pain of jealousy even from good, what can happen, from the story of the children of Shimon Hatzadik, (brought down in Menachos 109b), and changes what was supposed to happen, that was to be his and his children afterwards.
The Talmud in Menachos details the tragic consequences even when Shimon Hatzadik , who was the High Priest for first 40 years of the Second Temple and was a very holy man, instructs his kids as to who is succeed him, jealousy ensued, and not only did the family of Shimon Hatzadik lose the legacy of High priesthood, there was a calamity of for the Jews people.
The OCH continues:
Because Moshe resisted being the messenger of God in Egypt, God got angry (at Moshe) on that day and (Moshe) lost the priesthood, so when it came the time that the priesthood would go into effect, Moshe was pained that he lost the glory of eternal priesthood, even though Moshe was outstanding in righteousness and humility, every heart has feelings (we are all human) , especially with something so valuable and glorious, perhaps the distress of Moshe is referenced in Numbers 7:1, which describes the dedication and raising of the Mishkan also on this same day of this Parsha, and uses the same word, V’Yehi.” (This way the V’Yehi of Shimini is the distress of the deaths of Nadav and Avihu and Numbers the distress of Moshe).
Lest you think that the story of Shimon Hatzadik does not happen today, that Shimon Hatzadik’s son, Chonyav was evil, and this would not happen today. Look what is happening today at outstanding Torah institutions that were started by holy men. Look at Ponevich, Telz, Satmer, Bobov, and others. The people who built up these organizations were holy men, yet their heirs fight. Nothing destructive that we see has happened, however, there has been a Chilul Hashem. As far as Telz, the Sortzkins left Telshe. The Sorotzkins were not part of the fight because the Patriarch of the family, Reb Zalman Sorotzkin, was a big Zionist. Since he was a Zionist, he felt responsibility for Klal Yisroel and this has seeped into the psyche of his descendants.