Before the sad
stuff begins, it is the greatest of
And Moshe and
Aharon went [in]to the Tent of Meeting
and [then] they went outside and blessed
the people, and the glory of Ad-noy
appeared to the entire people. A
fire came forth from before Ad-noy and
consumed what was on the altar; .. All
the people saw and they raised their
voices in praise ..
But a few
moments earlier, Aharon appears
reticent, needing a boost from Moshe:
Moshe said to
Aharon: "Approach the altar and perform
[the services of] your sin-offering and
your burnt-offering and atone on your
[own] behalf and on behalf of the
people; .. just as Ad-noy commanded."
reveals Aharon's hesitation:
ashamed and afraid to approach [due to
the sin of the Golden Calf].
Moshe said to him: Why are you ashamed?
[It was] for this that you were chosen
In two words,
Moshe has turned Aharon around!
It is hard to
grasp why. Was Aharon in need of a
simple pep talk? [Aharon - YOU can do
it!!]. We fail to see how Moshe has
removed Aharon's sense of embarrassment?
If indeed Aharon's reticence stems from
his role in Golden Calf episode, how do
Moshe's words change anything?
to explain the change. Two Chassidic
explanations penetrate a Litvishe soul:
Both veer from
simply interpreting lekach
prospectively (for this task), and opt
for the causative; Lekach - It
is for this very reason that you
have been chosen.
feeling of fear and embarrassment is why
you have been chosen
- for the greatest sacrifice to Hashem
is the broken heart.
Aharon, had you felt a sense of
confidence and entitlement, you would
not be worthy of being the Kohen Gadol
of Klal Yisrael. [Reb Elimelech of
Lizhensk, Besht al HaTorah]
Blazer [later known as R. Itzele
Peterburger] was pushed by R. Yisrael
Salanter to St. Petersburg to accept the
major Rabbinic position in Czarist
Russia. To put it mildly, St. Petersburg
was not Vilna and R. Itzele was
therefore extremely hesitant and
protested that as a young man, he did
not feel ready for the position. R.
Yisrael responded: "and whom should I
recommend - someone who feels that he is
leader walks in without hubris and
possesses a sense of authentic humility
- critical traits of real leadership
that requires one to quickly recognize
one's mistakes and to regroup. How many
lives and wars have been lost by the
ego's blinding light!
source of your embarrassment is why you
[not I] have been chosen. [Maor
dissecting why Shaul ultimately failed
where David succeeded, the Rabbis make a
penetrating comment: [Yoma 22b]
Rab Judah said
in the name of Samuel: Why did the
kingdom of Saul not endure? Because no
reproach rested on him, for R. Johanan
had said in the name of R. Simeon b.
Jehozadak: One should not appoint any
one administrator of a community, unless
he carries a basket of vermin on his
back, so that if he became arrogant, one
could tell him: Turn around!
because Shaul was so past-perfect, he
had no coping mechanism to handle
failure; thus he was unable to properly
integrate Shmuel's rebuke. David, who
came from a controversial union
and withstood much personal attack
ultimately accepts Natan's rebuke [in
the Batsheva story] and engages in a
swift and full teshuva.
our parsha begins, it is the eight day.
For seven days, Moshe walks in and out
of the Mishkan, performing as the Kohen
Gadol and is unable to evince the
Shechina. In rabbinic terminology,
Moshe wore a white cloak with no
stains. On some level, Klal Yisrae's
shechina requires one who understands
and can relate to their imperfections
capacity as Kohen Galdol is to represent
and understand his community,
[particularly in the context of
atonement] understood from whence they
came, precisely because of his failure.,
says to Aharon
You, not I
have been chosen, because your
experience allows you to relate to Klal
Yisrael with greater understanding and
As we become
real with our shortcomings, may they
become platforms for our growth and
Good Shabbos - Asher Brander
 It is beyond our
scope to understand Aharon's
role in the Golden Calf other
than to simply state that on his
heilege level, there was
something inappropriate that
 Cf. Tehillim 51 -
Zivchei Elokim Ruach Nishbara
- A broken spirit is an
ultimate sacrifice to the Lord.
 On two levels. -
His mother Nitzevet was accused
of committing adultery and he
descended from Ruth.
Further Aharon represents a
model of return: a real picture
of a great person who slipped
and came back.
 Cf. Also Rosh Al
HaTorah [Bereishis 38,16] where
he explains why the Tamar-Yehuda
union happened in the murky
manner it did precisely so that
it could withstand
A freilichen, a kasheren, a zeisen
Pesach - L'shana Haba'ah b'yerushalayim
- Good Shabbos