The first four pesukim of the Parsha is the theme of the Parsha, the instructions to Aharon of the lighting the Menorah in the Mishkan. Rashi says that when Aharon saw the נשיאים bringing their sacrifices for the חנוכת המשכן, he had a חלישת הדעת in that he nor his שבט contributed. Hashem appeased him and told that his עבודה will be greater than theirs חייך שלך גדולה משלהם. The Ramban says that Hashem comforted Aharon with the future important mitzvah of Chanuka. The last three Aliyas in Parshas נשא, and the first four pesukim and the הפטרה of בהעלותך all speak of חנוכה. It was Aharon’s tikun to be involved in the הסתר, the yidden when they were in a state of concealment, and maybe this was a reason Hashem didn’t speak directly to him. The נשיאים brought their sacrifices during the day, whereas the מנורה was lit at night, in a time of darkness or concealment. The נשיאים brought the קרבנות when the בהמ”ק was קיים, however Chanuka candles are being lit and will be lit till the end of time. Chanuka is so powerful, that it lights up the world of Esav, which represents the month of Teves, and occurs in the second half of the month when the moon wanes(also Esav). Chanuka illuminates the yidden that fell below ten tefachim, and lights up the רשות הרבים, and the yidden that find themselves there. This was the consolation of Hashem to Aharon- בית המקדש=861=מתתיהו=861=חייך שלך גדולה משלהם. Matisyahu, who descends from Aharon, together with the חשמוניים will illuminate the thick darkness of Galus.
From the time of the חטא עץ הדעת, the world was thrown into a state of concealment and darkness referred to as גלות when צרעת has a hold. Because the נחש spoke לשון הרע against Hashem, it developed צרעת, and we see this in its shedding of its skin. In the pasuk concerning צרעת, the Torah is warning a yid not to remove the צרעת, and so uses the term שמירה three times. This hints, as the seforim say, to the three גזירות written at the end of Gemorra כתובות, not to start up with the goyim. The way to remove the צרעת is to remove the main cause, by not speaking לשון הרע, as is learnt from the story of מרים at the end of בהעלותך. Miriam had to leave the Jewish camp, as the pasuk יב:י says והענן סר מעל האהל והנה מרים מצרעת כשלג. This demonstrates that when the שכינה leaves the yidden, צרעת comes. After Shavuos, we leave
Har Sinai, and the שכינה leaves. This is when the צרעת of time began. On Chanuka, the three שבועות of Galus, really do not apply, since Chanuka is a blast of light from the future. By the חטא העגל, all כלל ישראל were affected by צרעת, as it says there כי העם פרוע, where פרוע is also written by צרעת.
We are in the final and most difficult גלות just before משיח comes – גלות ישמעאל=890=בנגע הצרעת, when the world is full of hatred and לשון הרע. The problems of the yidden began in מדבר פארן, the place where ישמעאל resided -פארן has in it ( אדם) פרא. Eldad and מידד prophesized that the entire world will join together with ישמעאל and try to take י”ם away from the yidden-י:ט -מלחמת גוג ומגוג גלות ישמעאל=890=על הצר הצררThis Parsha always comes at the beginning of the summer months, the time that the חטאים of the חטא העגל and the חטא המרגלים took place. However the seforim teach us that this is the time that the yidden could reach an even higher עליה, than any other time-בהעלותך.
On זאת חנוכה, the eighth day of Chanuka, we read these first four pesukim of בהעלותך. This is the day- the eighth day corresponding to ברית מילה. In the time of Chanuka, the Greeks tried to abolish the מצוה of ברית מילה, which distinguishes yidden from goyim – ממ שין יוד חת=868=מילה דוחה צרעת . Bris Mila is a metaphor for לעתיד לבא, when Hashem will remove the צרעת, the גלות from כלל ישראל, and the צרעת will become עצרת. The eighth day of Chanuka corresponds to שמיני עצרת. Aharon is given the potential to remove the צרעת of all the future- Chanuka, is when there are no restrictions of the שלש שבועות, as it says in the pasuk- ויעש כן אהרן אל מול פני המנורה. Aharon lit the Menorah, in a manner that connected all כלל ישראל to לעתיד לבוא which never changes the original light the אור הגנוז, as Rashi says שבחו שלא שנה לעתיד לבוא=553=אל מול פני המנורה. Aharon had to deal with concealment, in a time of great נסיונות, and this עבודה is more precious to Hashem.
The summer months have long days with hot weather, and so the tests in שמירת עינים are so much greater, than the sister month of טבת, which is in the winter. However when we read Parshas בהעלותך in the חומש, we are visited by the great י”ט of Chanuka. Since the תורה is למעלה מן הזמן, the light of Chanuka is in some way greater than when it’s actually Chanuka in time, and this is why we read the Chanuka הפטרה here. If we
think about it חז”ל could have chosen many other Haftoras, and not repeat the הפטרה of Chanuka- רני ושמחי. As we said Aharon lit the Menorrah, ויעש כן אהרן, in a way that connected the yidden to the future—
תשבי=712= חנוכה כפול 8=712=את האור כי טוב ויבדל=712=ויעש כן אהרן Eliyahu Hanavi is תשבי, who comes to every Bris on the eighth day עצרת=צרעת=760=אליהו מלאך הברית. Eliyahu will usher in the משיח who will rid the world of Galus, of צרעת.
The חשמוניים were מוסר נפש for the mitzvah of ברית מילה, which the Greeks tried to abolish. The חשמוניים descend from Pinchas, who is אליהו.
The Leviim, who were replacing the first born in the עבודה of the בהמ”ק, had to go through a purification process similar to the מצורע. Rashi brings Moshe HaDarshan who says that the first born were involved in the חטא העגל, which is compared to ע”ז. Idol worship is called זבחי מתים. The מצורע is called a מת, as Aharon referred to it in pasuk יב:יב – אל נא תהי כמת . Therefore the Leviim had to shave all their hair as the מצורע must do. The חטא העגל brought Galus, or צרעת, when the זוהמת הנחש came back. Due to Miriam questioning Moshe separating from his wife, the Torah chose here to teach the severity of לשון הרע. Miriam was very great, and given the name פועה in Egypt, implying greatness in speech, and was זוכה to מלכות (by marrying כלב). Malchus is the ספיר of דיבור, as it says in פתח אליהו – מלכות פה. Therefore מרים was judged on a very strict scale for the words she uttered. Miriam represents כלל ישראל, who in Galus are in a state of bitterness מרירות-.
The חידא says that when משה davened to Hashem that Miriam should be cured from her צרעת, and he used the famous words א-ל נא רפא נא לה. Anytime a yid cries out in תפילה the words נא twice, he will be answered. With the זכות of אמונה, the yidden deserve to be saved-נא x 2=102=אמונה.
The ישמעאל -פרא is transformed to רפא, and we are saved from גלות ישמעאל. In the fourth pasuk of בהעלותך the Menorah is described as being one solid piece, representing the אחדות of כלל ישראל. The word מקשה is said twice, and through our אחדות, we will be saved from difficult (קשה) Galus of Yishmael גלות ישמעאל=890=מקשה מקשה—
In the second pasuk, it says אל מול פני המנורה יאירו שבעת הנרות, where the way Rashi describes it, warrants a big question. He says that the Menorah was lit in a way that the wicks were facing the middle, and so
the pasuk should have said יאירו ששת הנרות, as the middle candle is facing upright and the other six are lit facing the middle one. Rashi seems to make the question more difficult by saying that there are three on each side of the middle one, and that the pasuk really means six. The Rambam learns a completely different peshat, in that the Menorah faced east west, and that all the wicks were facing the front of the בהמ”ק. Therefore פני המנורה means the front of the Menorah, facing the ק”ק, and so שבעת הנרות fits in well. The Rashbam, the grandson of Rashi, says that the שבעת הנרות of the Menorah, in the south side had to illuminate the שלחן which was in the north side, which also fits well with the pasuk. Then in pasuk ג, the pasuk says ויעש כן אהרן to which Rashi says להגיד שבחו של אהרן שלא שינה. Why would anyone think that Aharon, one of the seven Ushpizim, would deviate to what he was told by Hashem? The Alshich says that Aharon lit the Menorah down below with the כוונה towards the Menorah העליונה, as Rashi brings a few times that the בהמ”ק down below was adjacent to the בהמ”ק של למעלה. This was a big praise שלא שינה, since the Mishkan was constantly moving from place to place, and Aharon always was מכוון to the Menorah upstairs. Rav Levi Yitzchak MeBerdichov said that if he was commanding to light the Menorah, he would have never made it up the steps. Due to his great excitement, he would have spilled the oil all over. Aharon was praised that he was able to control- לא שינה, his התלהבות. Another idea is that Aharon was just told by the Almighty that his עבודה is greater than the עבודה of the נשיאים, and it didn’t get to his head- לא שינה. He was the same humble Aharon as before, similar to Avraham after preforming the greatest act in history, the עקידה, the pasuk says – וישב אברהם אל נעריו ויקמו וילכו יחדו, as if he was one of the boys. Aharon did not show any difference between the Jews-לא שינה. He was אוהב את הבריאות, where the תניא says that he loved each and every yid, even if their only מעלה was that they are a בריאה.
Another point that לא שינה is such a שבח, teaches us that the עבודה of a yid should be constant every moment of his life, and his eating or any other “mundane act” or a tefilla during the month of אב, should really be done with the same התלהבות as his davening on יה”כ. A yid is constantly climbing towards Hashem. This message is especially pertinent now, when there is this ירידה of זמן, and we have to fight the obstacles and keep climbing, and as we already mentioned, the עליה could be even greater. The lighting of the Menorah was done על פי תורה with no שינוים –as written in פסוק ג –חמשה חומשי תורה=1328=אל מול פני המנורה העלה
Aharon lit the Menorah in a way that lit up the חוץ, the רה”ר, and below ten tefachim. Aharon was ten amos tall, and lit the Menorah that was three amos high. Aharon climbed up the steps and then came down to light the Menorah. Aharon came down to ignite the lowest נשמות – לא שינה. The Menorah represents תורה שבעל פה -TBP. Our sins evokes Hashem’s anger, and so we need more Torah as a tikun, as is written in Mishle- ברוב חכמה רוב כעס. The Menorah represents that there was a ירידה. In the first Rashi, he says מדליק ומטיב את הנרות, where we see the הדלקה before the הטבה. Really the cleaning of the wicks should come before the lighting of the מנורה. This touches on a fundamental מחלוקת on whether סור מרע- הטבה comes before עשה טוב -הדלקה or vice versa. The Maggid in the name of the בעל שם טוב says that in the later generations, עשה טוב has to precede the סור מרע. Yaacov Avinu also held this way, and so placed his right hand on אפרים –כי הפרני אלקים בארץ עניי a לשון of פרו ורבו, representing עשה טוב, as opposed to יוסף who held that מנשה- כי נשני אלקים את כל עמלי, (forgetting) representing סור מרע, comes first.
The last three Aliyas in Parshas נשא, the first four pesukim in בהעלותך and the Haftora of בהעלותך, all are concerning Chanuka, which seforim say is a blast of light of ימות המשיח. Shavuos is connected to Chanuka. Sivan is the third month from Nisan, and Kislev is the third month from Tishrei כסליו=126=סיון . In both י”ט, there is a revelation of Torah, and in both there is a minhag to eat dairy. Torah is compared to many liquids- water, oil, wine, honey and milk. The Gemorra says that of all these liquids, milk is the purest. The highest is oil- Chanuka, which represents the hidden Torah. We light the Chanuka candles below ten tefachim, and Hashem came down to Har Sinai to give us the Torah – נר חנוכה=339=יום הבכורים. Chanuka candles are lit at night, on the left side, and facing the public domain, all being associated with Esav. Chanuka enters into the dark month of Teves, also a month under the influence of Esav. The sister month of Teves in the winter, is Tamuz in the summer where in both months there is a fast day commemorating the חורבן. Entering these months is a ירידה in זמן, but the purpose isעליה וציונו להדליק נר חנכה=680=ירדה לצורך עליה. Again the message to us, is not to be affected by the ירידה, as we could reach higher levels because of the ירידה.
The yidden are compared to the olive, in that the more it’s crushed the
more pure oil is extracted. The תלמוד בבליwas written in גלות and under duress. כלל ישראל, when they travelled, they took the משכן with them, which is a message to us that wherever we find ourselves we must make a receptacle for the שכינה to dwell. This is the desire of the Almighty, to make a דירה בתחתונים. This fits well with the Ari Hakodesh saying that the month of Sivan is זבולין and not יששכר, which one would logically think. Zevulin teaches us that whatever and wherever we find ourselves, we must elevate our surroundings and bring the שכינה there, like כלל ישראל erecting the Mishkan in each one of the forty two stations.
Before מתן תורה a דבר גשמי could not have been elevated to a דבר רוחני. One of the חידושים of מתן תורה was the union of שמים and ארץ, the purpose being to bring שמים, the שכינה to every place on the ארץ. The Rashbam held that the Menorah had to illuminate the שלחן, which is interpreted as the spiritual -מנורה has to bring light and elevate the physical -שלחן, and transform it into רוחניות. There is no שלחן w/o the מנורה, and no מנורה w/o the שלחן. A yid has a נשמה and a גוף, and each has its unique function, but the goal is that the body does the נשמה’s bidding.
In בהעלותך יא:ג it says the yidden fell into a state of התאוו תאוה. How could this דור הדעה, with משה רבינו as their Rebbi, after eating the holy מן, fall so low that they’re demanding hotdogs and hambergers? The seforim explain that their intention was that they felt that they weren’t being tested by eating the מן, and so they wanted meat in order to be involved with the gashmios, with the intention to elevate it. However even with their lofty intentions, since this was not Hashem’s will, it was wrong and sinful. This happened after the yidden left Har Sinai, which serves as a big lesson for us now, when we are also leaving the ימי שבועות.
The Alshich says that Boaz and Ruth were married and conceived עובד on יז בתמוז. The first לוחות were broken on this date, but this was the day that the seed of משיח was planted – וישי הוליד את דוד. On יז בתמוז, we would have entered into the עולם התיקון, if it was not for the חטא העגל. In pasuk ח:יט, there is mentioned בני ישראל five times. Rashi says that this shows how precious the yidden are in Hashem’s eyes, the five times representing the חמשה חומשי תורה, which is an obvious connection to Shavuos. Likewise the number seven is a main theme in בהעלותך. The Parsha begins with the Menorah, which had seven branches -קנים, and ends with כלל ישראל waiting seven days for Miriam to be healed from
her צרעת. The sefarim say that the pesukim of ויהי בנסעה ארן is considered a separate חומש, making the total number of חומשים- seven – (במדבר consisting of three).
Miriam began prophesizing at age six, when she told her father Amram that the future savior of כלל ישראל –Moshe, would be born through him and Yocheved. Amrad had separated from his wife, due to the evil decree of Pharoh, however he remarried her after Miriam’s prophesy. After Moshe was three months old, and when his parents couldn’t hide him anymore, they put him in a waterproof basket in the Nile. Miriam was in the bushes watching, and was totally confident that Moshe would be safe, and her prophesy fulfilled שמות ב:ד –ותתצב אחותו מרחוק, even though the chances of his survival were farfetched -מרחוק. Since Miriam waited with confidence for Moshe’s rescue, she was rewarded that all of כלל ישראל waited for her for seven days before travelling toward the much anticipated א”י. From Amram heeding the prophesy of his six year old daughter there came about וילך איש מבית לוי leading to the redeemer being born. From the וילך איש מבית לחם יהודה also came the redeemer- דוד משיחא. Miriam was זוכה to מלכות for her מסירת נפש in not killing the Jewish babies. She married כלב who was from יהודה ( really דוד comes from the brother of כלב).
As we already mentioned, Miriam was called פועה, as she spoke gently- pooed the baby, and also the word נביאה comes from ניב meaning to speak. Someone else wouldn’t have been judged as strictly as Miriam in being afflicted with צרעת, but Miriam’s essence was speech, and so she was judged harshly. Her big mistake was she didn’t realize how much greater Moshe’s level of prophesy was. As soon as Moshe was placed in the Nile, the stargazers told Pharoh that the future redeemer had drowned. What they didn’t see was that Moshe died because of water-
מי מריבה and not in it. Miriam died and the באר מרים ceased to exist. There are two opinions when Moshe was taken out of the Nile. One was on כא ניסן, which fell in a leap year, to answer the question of the three months before Moshe was put in the Nile (2 ½ months). The other opinion was Shavuos which in time, is three months after ז אדר. The first date of כא ניסן, was שביעי של פסח, the date that מצרים posed no physical threat, and מרים was זוכה to sing אז ישיר, whereas Shavuos was the date that they posed no spiritual threat. The day, according to this opinion, that Moshe nursed from יוחבד was Shavuos, as he would not nurse from any Egyptian woman. Torah is so holy that the mouth that taught
כלל ישראל Torah could not nurse from a goyish woman.
This is another reason for the minhag of eating dairy on Shavuos. The Menorah symbolized TBP, and out of Miriam came מלכות, which also represents TBP. David comes from רות who was רואו, who satiated Hashem with שירות ותשבחות, and also represents TBP. The מגילת רות has פה =85 pesukim, the last word being דוד. There is a mishne that if a yid finds a יריעה that has 85 words in it, it is מטמא את הידים. The Gemmora in Shabbos says that one may save aספר from a fire on Shabbos, if it has 85 pesukim in it like in ויהי בנסע הארן. In pesukim י:לה לו there are 85 words. Chanuka is the 85th day of the year. The בעל הטורים says that these two pesukim of ויהי בנסעה ארן are a separate Parsha and the twelve words in the pasuk ויהי בנסעה ארן here are the same number as the last פסוק in Chumash. The number of words in the second pasuk ובנחה יאמר are seven- the same as the first pasuk in Chumash – בראשית ברא .. And so these two pesukim sort of encompass the entire Torah.
Parshas נשא ends withהעדת מעל הכפרת אשר על ארן where the ארון represents TBC, and Parshas בהעלותך begins with the Menorah which represents TBP- חמשה חומשי תורה=1328=אל מול פני המנורה העלה נרתיה The center candle of the Menorah represents the TBC, and the other six- TBP, teaching us that תורה שבעל פה is rooted and based on תורה שבכתב. These two Parshios will bring us to the Geula- ממ שין יוד חית=878=נשא בהעלתך.
The number of pesukim in Parshas בהעלותך is 136, and the סימן chosen by חז”ל is מהללאל, meaning we praise (Hashem). The only similar סימן in Chumash is after חנוכה in Parshas ויגש, where the סימן given for the 106 pesukim there, is יהללאל. The message is clear. After Chanuka, we enter into the long and dark nights of טבת, and so the ולהלל להודות of Chanuka should be continued with the same intensity. Similarly here, where we have experienced an עליה of זמן every two weeks from טו בשבת until Shavuos. Now we are entering a ירידה in זמן,- the pogroms of תח ותט on כ סיון, and the months of תמוז and אב, when there was so much חורבן.
It’s obviously not a coincidence that this ירידה is taking place also in our Parsha. In pasuk י:יא the ענן or the שכינה is lifted from above the Mishkan, and כלל ישראל is leaving Har Sinai (the same time we are leaving(שבועות על פי יה-וה יחננו ועל פי יה-וה יסעו-.
This is the time now that many yidden are planning trips- making plans to travel. Unfortunately, many feel that now is the time to enjoy and have fun, and be lax in our service of Hashem, and when Elul comes, they’ll do teshuva. This is not the proper attitude at all. During this time, we can reach higher heights, because of the tests involved. Maybe we can say that this is another peshat of להגיד שבחו של אהרן שלא שנה, that serving Hashem at a picnic at some park during the summer months, has to be with the same intensity and devotion as serving Hashem on יה”כ. The fact that we read this Parsha now and not some other time is because בהעלותך belongs here. The Torah is the blueprint and guideline of both time and place. Despite the ירידה in time, the lesson for us is בהעלותך, to constantly climb to higher levels. This could be hinted by the backward נון in the two pesukim of ויהי בנסע הארן, where until Shavuos we were climbing the mountain, aiming to reach the summit, the שער הנון on Shavuos. Now we are on the other side, the backward נון, descending the mountain. The message is like after Chanuka, that we must continue to praise and thank Hashem with great joy- מהללאל, and make the ירידה of זמן into an עליה, as the name and essence of our Parsha intimates-בהעלותך .
חייך שלך גדולה משלהם has a big message to all yidden living in these last generations. It was said by many tzadikim in previous generations, that any small act in עבודת ה” in a time of great darkness like now, is very great in Hashem’s eyes. שלך – the washing our hands in the morning, putting on tallis and tefilim, in our generation, is גדולה- more חשוב than משלהם -in previous generations. This is and should be a great חיזוק for us.