Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

Moshe said to Aharon: “Come near to the Mizbayach…and provide atonement for yourself and for the people.” (9:7)

Download PDF

Aharon HaKohen was selected to represent Klal Yisrael to provide atonement for himself and the people. Why was Aharon chosen to represent Klal Yisrael? What unique quality did he manifest that made him worthy of being Kohen Gadol? The Targum Yonasan cited by Horav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Shlita, in his sefer, Aleinu Le’Shabeiach, on Parashas Ki Sisa writes that Moshe Rabbeinu, in his hesped, eulogy, for Aharon HaKohen cried out, “Woe is me for you, Aharon, my brother, were the pillar of prayer of Klal Yisrael.”

The Netziv, z.l., questions Moshe’s description of Aharon as Klal Yisrael’s “pillar of prayer.” Was not Moshe the one who constantly entreated Hashem on behalf of the Jewish People? Let us just look back at their history and we will see that it was Moshe, not Aharon, who should be characterized as the Amuda d’tzelusa d’ Yisrael: There was the Yam Suf, followed by the manna, the quail and countless incidents during their forty-year sojourn in  the desert. Each and every time, it was Moshe who prayed and interceded on their behalf – not Aharon. Why then is Aharon crowned as the Jewish People’s great “supplicator”?

To explain this, the Netziv distinguishes between two foci of prayer: One focus is prayer for great miracles, for the rendering of the supernatural, such as was the case at the Red Sea, the manna, and all the miraculous events that occurred in the desert. A second focus is prayer for the everyday, mundane life – necessities such as health, livelihood, success in raising children and harmony between husband and wife. Every individual has his own “peckel,” personal baggage, his own list of requests, which bother him. They may not be important in the overall scheme of things, but, to this person, they are everything!

Many assume that the most significant power of prayer is the prayer one makes for wondrous miracles. It is not. It is the prayer uttered on behalf of the “little guy,” the common Jew, the housewife, the teenager in need. The daily prayers expressing Klal Yisrael’s needs – that is what counts.

Each and every Jew deals with personal challenge in his own individual way. To some, making a livelihood is the most important obstacle to overcome. To others, it is the health and welfare, both physical and spiritual, of their children, that plays a significant role. Yet, to others, it is shidduchim, seeing to it that their child marry the appropriate mate and be happy. There is health, both physical and emotional, which weighs heavily  on the minds of some. This was Aharon’s function, his area of expertise, the magnet that drew every Jew to him. What better basis for his very selection  as the people’s representative?

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

You have Successfully Subscribed!