Parshas Chukas | The Kollel Connection
June 26, 2015 – Candle lighting 8:14 pm, Shabbos Ends 9:23 pm
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This week we read Parshas Chukas. In the Parsha we read of the episode of the death of the high priest, Aaron. The Torah tells us that when Aaron died, the entire Jewish people mourned for him (Numbers 20:29). Our Sages explain that the reason the words the entire Jewish people are used, is to include all Jews – even those who may not have appreciated the greatness of other Torah scholars such as Moses. Why did all Jews appreciate what Aaron was – even more so than when Moses passed away? The Sages explain that Aaron was a person who always made peace. Whether it was between a husband and a wife, between siblings, between neighbors, friends,… Aaron found a way to make peace between warring factions. The Sages tell us that when Aaron passed away, his coffin was followed by 80,000 young men, all named Aaron in his honor, all children from homes where the spouses were on the verge of divorce, and Aaron managed to make peace between them.
This is the meaning to the command that the Sages tell us, “Be from the disciples of Aaron, love peace, chase after peace, love people, and bring them close to the Torah” (Ethics of the Fathers)
In sefer Charaidim, the author writes that the reason our Sages told us to be from the disciples of Aaron, was because Aaron made this his way of life. He would take off time from his studies, and travel away to make peace whenever he heard that there was an argument. It’s said that in the city of Tzefas there was a great Sage named Rav Yosef Saragusi who was constantly involved in making peace among families, friends, and even among Gentiles. It is said that in this merit he was given the privilege to see Elijah the prophet. This was such an amazing event, that he was buried in that place where he merited to see Elijah the prophet.
The wording used by our Sages when they tell us to follow in the footsteps of Aaron the priest and to promote peace, is hevai mtalmidav shel Aaron – be from the disciples of Aaron. The commentaries explain that the word hevai – does not really mean “you should be”. Rather, it means “you should become”. The commentaries explain that this is an instruction to each of us. We can never say, “He or she has the temperament for bringing peace. I just can’t do it!!” Our Sages, when they tell us “become” a disciple of Aaron, are telling us that even if today we don’t feel we are yet on that level, each and every one of us has that capacity if we try, to become a person who brings peace in this world. We can be a miniature Aaron, who helps lift people’s lives and promotes peace among our fellow Jews.
Wishing you and your family a Great Shabbos!!!!!!!!
Rabbi Moshe Travitsky
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