JULY 29-30, 2011 28 TAMUZ 5771
"Then Aharon the Kohen went up to Mount Hor by the mouth of Hashem and died there…in the fifth month on the first of the month." (Bemidbar 33:38)
The passing of Aharon is mentioned in our perashah. This is the only mention in the entire Torah of the date of the passing of a saddik. It took place on Rosh Hodesh Ab, which is next Monday, August 1. It marks the beginning of the Nine Days. Rabbi Shimshon Pincus zt"l explains the reason why Aharon's date of passing is the only one mentioned from all of our ancestors. Aharon was the first Rabbi and teacher of peace. Therefore his passing is a time of deep sorrow and crying for all generations. There is no greater sorrow than the passing of the one who brought peace to the world. It may very well be that the law of the Nine Days, which is the period of time we commemorate the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash, is a result of the passing of Aharon. As we know, the destruction was caused by baseless hatred, which Aharon successfully eliminated.
We need a teacher to teach us the pursuit of peace, the love of peace. The nature of man is to enjoy disputes. It is more exciting; people have the opportunity to strongly express their opinions. Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt"l always used to say that peace is boring. We should love to be bored with peace! Disputes are fun. We need a teacher to teach us how to enjoy and love peace. After we learn to love peace, then we can do actions to pursue peace. We can't pursue it if we don't love it.
A simple parable could drive this point home. Imagine a fire breaks out in a little town. All the people run to help, all the fire engines come and the firemen are heroes. A little boy watches with wide eyes as huge ladders are erected and tons of water are delivered. Even he gets involved and helps to save people. People praise him for his timely help. From then on, he waits for another fire where he can help. He might even toy with the idea to start a fire, G-d forbid. He needs to be taught not to love a fire.
This was the great benefit of Aharon. He taught how to love boring peace, and how to hate exciting disputes. That's why the Torah mentions only the yahrtzeit of Aharon and no other leader. If we can increase our appetite for peace, we can bring back the Bet Hamikdash. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah
"And they traveled from Elim and they encamped by Yam Suf" (Bemidbar 33:10)
Elim hints to the word alimut, which means violence. Yam Suf hints to the word sof, the end. They traveled from the trait of violence. How? By coming to the trait of looking at the end of a person.
Violence induces both actions and words. There is the physical violence of hitting or pushing someone, and there is the verbal violence of shouting at someone or putting him down. Any form of violence not in self-defense is against the principles of the Torah. What is the main cause of violence? Frustration and anger! When you become frustrated or angry, you are likely to lash out at someone. When you remember your true purpose in this world, most things that get other people angry will not affect you very strongly. Also, the more you appreciate life and the more joyous you feel, the less angry you will become. By remembering the end of each person, you will gain a greater appreciation for life. You will value your time and utilize every opportunity for growth. This awareness will keep you far away from any form of violence. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka
As far as you can tell, Joe is a regular, ordinary guy. Although you don't talk to him often, you know that he pretty much comes to work, sits at his desk, and seems to get his job done by the end of the day. Office gossip, company politics, socializing near the coffee machine- these are just not his speed. All things considered, you conclude that Joe works hard but will probably never amount to anything important in the company- or for that matter, in life.
Then you are chosen to cover for Joe when he is suddenly called out of town to assist in a family medical emergency.
Your first revelation is that Joe handles at least double your workload, and that his efforts add untold profits to the company coffers.
Second, you notice files about special projects Joe is working on for the CEO. It is clear that although you do not place much value in Joe's stock, the boss certainly feels quite differently about your co-worker.
You soon become aware of other files, crammed with information about Joe's many philanthropic pursuits. Before long, you are fielding assorted requests for favors, as well as his notes and calls from many different people thanking Joe for his involvement and concern with their problems.
When you add all of this to the fact that Joe has several major family issues to deal with, one conclusion becomes clear; Joe is quite a special guy, and your estimation of his worth was all wrong. (Rabbi Raymond Beyda - One Minute with Yourself)
A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.
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