Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

Category

Back to Home -> Beha'alosecha ->


שטו העם ולקטו וטחנו בריחים או דכו במדוכה ובשלו בפרור ועשו אותו עוגות

The people would stroll and gather it, and grind it in a mill or pound it in a mortar and cook it in a pot or make it into cakes. (11:8)

Three expressions in the text address the “delivery” of the manna. In Sefer Bamidbar (11:9), “When the dew descended upon the lamp at night, the manna would descend upon it.” In Sefer Shemos (16:4), “The people went out to collect it.” Last (Bamidbar 11:8), “The people would stroll and gather it.” We derive from here that, for some, it descended at their front door. Others were compelled to leave the camp and gather it. Last, were those who had to stroll far out of the environs of the camp in  order to gather their daily portions. Likewise, we find three…

Continue Reading

ומבן חמשים שנה ישוב מצבא העבודה... ושרת את אחיו... לשמור משמרת.

From fifty years of age, he shall withdraw from the legion of work… He shall minister with his brethren… to safeguard the charge. (8:25,26).

The Levi “retires” at age fifty from bearing the holy vessels on his shoulders. He continues to function in all their Levite services, such as singing, closing the Temple gates and loading the wagons. The Torah writes: V’sheireis es echav, “He shall minister with his brethren”. This refers to giving them wise counsel. The Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (5:24) teaches Ben chamishim l’eitzah, “The man of fifty is capable for counsel.” Rav Ovadiah Bartenura explains that this (fifty-year function) is derived from the Leviim who no longer did any “heavy” labor once they reached fifty years of age. They ministered…

Continue Reading

בהעלתך את הנרות

When you kindle the lamps. (8:2)

Rashi explains the term, be’haalosecha, in its literal sense: “When you raise up (the lamps).” The Torah should have used the word b’hadlikcha, which means when you kindle. Rashi offers two explanations which, on the surface, appear unrelated to one another: A) You should light the lamps until the flame rises up by itself (she’t’hei shalheves oleh mei’eileha); B) You should stand on a step (footstool) situated in front of the Menorah. Therefore, “raise up” either means to cause the flame to ascend, or to raise himself up to stand over the Menorah. The Mizrachi (quoted by Sifsei Chachamim) says…

Continue Reading

בהעלתך את הנרות

When you kindle the lamps. (8:2)

Rashi addresses the juxtaposition of the parshah of the Menorah upon the conclusion of the previous parsha, which details the korbanos, offerings, of the Nesiim for the chanukas ha’Mizbayach. When Aharon took note of the involvement of the Nesiim in the dedication of the Mizbayach, he became chagrined that neither he nor any members of his tribe, Shevet Levi, had been included. We must remember that envy is not  a word that could ever apply to someone of the caliber of Aharon HaKohen. His spiritual stature obviated any possibility of attributing such a  term to him. He was not jealous;…

Continue Reading

כי תאמר אלי שאהו בחיקך כאשר ישא האמן את הינק

That You say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a suckling.” (11:12)

Moshe Rabbeinu implied with his words that if he were indeed their (Klal Yisrael’s) father, he would have an obligation to somehow carry on alone. The Chafetz Chaim, zl, derives from here that the buck stops at the parents. No parent may shirk his/her ultimate responsibility and turn from his/her children – regardless of personal difficulties or the (at times) difficult nature of the child. Horav Chaim Shmuelevitz, zl, gleaned from here that Moshe had the capacity to “carry” the entire nation. Obviously, this is a metaphor for his ability to care for and be sensitive to the needs of…

Continue Reading

שטו העם ולקטו וטחנו ברחים... ועשו אתו עגות והיה טעמו כטעם לשד השמן

The people would roam and gather it, and grind it in a mill… or make it into cakes and it tasted like the taste of dough kneaded with oil. (11:8)

Chazal (Yoma 75a) teach that the manna had within it a multiplicity of tastes, allowing the individual to experience any taste he wanted. It had no name until the first Shabbos it descended upon the camp. They called it Manna among themselves, a name which implies hachanah, preparation, for all foods; any taste could be experienced by eating it.  When on the sixth day/Erev Shabbos, however, a double portion fell, they called it Manna/man, because the mem and nun, two letters which comprise the word manna, are spelled out in double letters: mem = mem, mem: nun, nun (Kli Yakar)….

Continue Reading

לכה אתנו והטבנו לך כי ד' דבר טוב על ישראל

Go with us and we shall treat you well, for Hashem has spoken good for Yisrael. (10:29)

Moshe Rabbeinu asked his father-in-law, Yisro, to join the nation in its journey to Eretz Yisrael. “We will treat you well,” Moshe says. “Because Hashem has spoken good (He will provide us with His beneficence: you, too, will benefit.) The term diber tov, spoken good, is found in only one other place in Tanach. In Megillas Esther (7:9), when Charvonah tells Achashveirosh that the tree which Haman ha’rasha had prepared for Mordechai — asher diber tov al ha’Melech, “who spoke good for the king” — is standing in Haman’s house (and why not put it to good use?). The Agra…

Continue Reading

בהעלותך את הנרות

When you bring up/kindle the lamps. (8:2)

Rashi cites Chazal who derive from the word b’haalosecha, which is connected to alah, go up, that there was an elevation before the Menorah in the Bais HaMikdash.  The Kohen would ascend those steps in order to kindle the lamps. I once heard a profound homiletic rendering of this Chazal. Not only was it incumbent upon the Kohen to cause the lights of the lamps to rise, but he also had to rise up one step, to elevate himself spiritually as he kindled the lights. Many wonderful people illuminate society by kindling lights, but they do not necessarily elevate themselves…

Continue Reading

ויהי בנסוע הארון

When the Aron would travel. (10:35)

The well-known pesukim, which are recited when the Torah is removed from the Aron Kodesh, are placed in our parsha and are separated from the rest of the parsha by two inverted nuns. Chazal (Shabbos 115b) teach, “Hashem placed a symbol before and following these pesukim in order to underscore that this is not the rightful place for these pesukim to be recorded in the Torah.” The more appropriate place is in Parashas Bamidbar where the Torah records the nation’s masaos, journeys. Why were they placed here? Chazal explain that the Torah seeks to differentiate the first puranios, punishments, from…

Continue Reading

ויהי העם כמתאוננים רע באזני ד' וישמע ד'

And the nation was complaining; and it was bad to Hashem’s ears. And Hashem heard. (11:1)

Simply, the pasuk teaches that the Bnei Yisrael complained, moaning about the long journey through the wilderness which was forced upon them. They were not happy about it, and their complaints reached Hashem’s “ears.” This led to Hashem’s punitive response to their complaining. The Chasam Sofer offers an alternative approach to these pesukim. Understandably, describing Hashem in anthropocentric terms – such as eyes, ears, hands – is purely figurative, since Hashem has no physical form. The nation (at this point) believed in the figurative “eyes” of Hashem, accepting that He sees everything. They also accepted the figurative “hand” of Hashem,…

Continue Reading

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

You have Successfully Subscribed!