Dedicated By Irving Bauman
לזכר נשמת אבי
הרב משה אהרן בן ר ישראל חיים באהמאן
הרב משה אהרן בן ר ישראל חיים באהמאן
לזכר נשמתHarav Hagaon Rav Nosson Ben Hagaon Rav Yakov Kamenetsky
In this week's parsha, Bahaloscha, it tells us how Aaron was commanded to light the menorah. This is one of the ways Aaron lit up the souls of the Jewish people. And we see that Aaron was committed to lighting up Jewish souls, as we read in Pirkei Avos, "Be from the students of Aaron, love peace and pursue peace, love the creations and bring them close to the Torah."
This is a call to every Jewish person, to have an effect on his or her fellow Jew, first, by bringing peace amongst them, and second, bringing them closer to the Torah.
And we learn from Aaron how to go about it. He didn't wait for the people to come to him, rather he "pursued" them, and he even went to the lowest denomination of the Jewish people, the ones whose only redeeming factor is that they were Hashem's "creations." He also didn't water down the Torah to fit their lifestyle, rather he brought them "closer to the Torah."
How do you bring them closer? Through igniting their neshamas. The spark is always there, but it's sometimes hidden, and it is our job to uncover it and turn it into a flame.
We could learn from our parsha how to go about it. The verse says, "(Bahaloscha) When you will kindle the lamps," however the literal translation is, "When you will raise the lamps" And as Rashi explains, that he should light it until the flame stands on its own. Meaning that we should ignite the Jewish person's neshama until it burns bright on its own.
There are three laws that pertain to lighting the menorah in the Temple. First, the actual lighting can be done by any denomination of Jew, Kohen, Levi or Yisrael. Second, setting up the lamps with the oil and the wick, can only be done by a Kohen. Third, it can only be lit in the Heichal, AKA the Holy.
These three ideas can be applied to igniting the souls of the Jewish people.
First, it can be done by any Jew, therefore it's incumbent upon each and every one of us to do the work of igniting the souls of our brothers and sisters, the Jewish people.
Second, what you use to light them, can only be prepared by a Kohen. In other words, not everyone is in the position to decide what is the proper way to go about igniting souls, that has to be set by a Kohen.
What is a Kohen? It is one who has no desire and no bias of his own, "Hashem is his portion," he is so in sync with Hashem, that his only desire is what Hashem wants. This is the type of person that can tell us how to go about it. Once he tells us how, then everyone could go about doing it.
Third, it can only be lit in the Heichal. The Mishnah tells us, "There are ten levels of holiness," the holiest was the Holy of Holies, then came the Heichal, the Holy. And if the lamps were lit in a lower place than the Heichal, it wasn't a kosher lighting.
This refers to the standards one keeps throughout the process of igniting souls. You may ask: There are other Jews, that much less is expected of them, why do you hold me to such a high standard?
The answer. Every one of us has a specific purpose and mission from Hashem. And if you see that you are capable of keeping to a higher standard, it is a sign that it is what Hashem wants of you. And if you are not keeping to the standard that Hashem wants of you, then you are not doing His will.
To explain. There is wisdom and there is will. Wisdom can be divided, you can understand a little or a lot of what is being taught, but when it comes to will, there is no dividing it, you either do it or not, if you only do half, you haven't done the will.
The same as it is when it comes to people, that every person is different, and therefore, Hashem has different expectations of every person, so too, every generation is different and has different expectations. We can't compare ourselves to the great people of past generations, but we must realize the charge of our generation. In the past, the inner Torah (Chassidus) wasn't revealed, but now that it is revealed, it's proof that Hashem wants us to embrace it and make them part of our daily study. Learning it will surely enhance our study of the revealed Torah (Mishnah, Talmud, Halacha, etc.).
I have the merit to be the Rebbe's emissary, to do the work of igniting souls. He laid out the plan, and we follow it. In all my years as his shliach, I have never seen a Yid light up more than when I was teaching him or her Chassidus. Parsha, Mishnah, Talmud, Halacha, etc. are all good, it's part of the flame, but not the brightest part, the inner Torah is the brightest part of the flame.
May we merit to see the coming of Moshiach, which will come when the wellsprings of the inner Torah will spread out. As the neshama of Moshiach told the Baal Shem Tov, when he asked, "When will the master come?" He responded, "When your wellsprings (meaning chassidus) will spread out." May he come soon.