Your Name is Dear
"And I assigned the Leviim to Aharon and his sons from among the Bnei Yisrael (Children of Israel) to perform the service of the Bnei Yisrael in the Tent of Meeting and to provide atonement for the Bnei Yisrael, so that there will not be a plague among the Bnei Yisrael when the Bnei Yisrael approach the Sanctuary" (Bamidbar 8:19). This verse is unique in all of the Torah. The words "Bnei Yisrael" are repeated five times in one verse! Why? Rabbeinu Bechaye relates a parable from the Medrash Tanchuma.
A man once sent his young son away to school to learn. Later, he came to the school to inquire about the welfare of his son. "Did my son eat? Did my son drink? Did my son sleep? Did my son go to class? Did my son come back from class?" With every question he mentioned his son. Why? Because he loved him so much. So it is with us. Hashem mentions our name five times in this verse to show His great love for the Bnei Yisrael.
The Mishkan is also mentioned five times in the Torah. This too shows that it was dear to Hashem. Why does the number five show love? It corresponds to the five books of the Torah. This Torah was used to create the world, as the verse states, "B'hebaram" (Bereshis 2:4). The Medrash Rabba darshens, "With ‘heh' it (the world) was created." The letter "heh" is also the number five, showing that the world was created with the five books of the Torah. The only nation worthy of receiving this Torah is the Children of Israel. Similarly, we exist only to keep its mitzvos.
This idea is also expressed in Pirkei Avos (3:18) in the name of Rebbe Akiva. (The Children of) Israel are dear (to Hashem); they are called Hashem's children. . . He gave them His precious vessel. As an extra sign of His love, He informed them that He gave them His precious vessel, with which He created the world. As it says, "For I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah" (Mishlei 4:2).
Kinderlach . . .
Hashem loves us. He mentions our name over and over again. He entrusted His precious possession, the Torah, with His favorite children, Bnei Yisrael. Only we are capable of keeping the Torah and sustaining Hashem's world. Let us live up to our greatness and not disappoint Him.
"Yes, gentlemen please step forward and present your claims."
The first man nervously approached the Moshe Rabbeinu. He would present his case first. Then his opponent would make his claim. Moshe Rabbeinu would then decide. This was the legal system here during the forty years of wandering in the desert.
"This is my wagon. He stole it from me"
The second man countered.
"Absolutely not. It is my wagon. I bought it from you."
Moshe Rabbeinu pondered the claims for a moment.
"I see. Do either of you have any proof?"
Both men reluctantly answered.
"Then we will wait until tomorrow and Hashem will show us who is right."
Every night, the miraculous food called mun (manna) fell in the desert. The Jewish people did not have to work at all for their food. It came to them straight from Heaven. However, not everyone received it in the same way. The tsaddikim (completely righteous people), received their mun right by their doorsteps, baked cakes ready to eat. The beinonim (those who were neither completely righteous nor completely evil) had to gather their mun and bake it into cakes. The reshaim (evil people) had lots of work to do. They had to travel far to get their mun, then they had to grind it, knead it, and bake it. That night, after the claimants had approached Moshe Rabbeinu, the mun fell by the home of the first man and not by the home of the second man. They returned to Moshe Rabbeinu the next day.
"The mun fell by my house today."
"That is Hashem's sign that you are the rightful owner of the wagon."
Kinderlach . . .
The Gemora (Yuma 75a) relates several incidents like this one, where the mun revealed necessary information about people. In those days, a person did not have to guess whether he was right or wrong. The mun was his judge. What about judgment in our times? Are we doing the right thing or not? How will we know? Today we do not have the mun to decide for us. However, we do have parents and Rabbis. Hashem gives them special siyata dishmaya (Heavenly assistance) to make the right decisions. Yehoshua Ben Prachiya said (Pirkei Avos 1:6), "Appoint a Rav for yourself." When we have a Rav, we can ask him all of our questions. He will then guide us along the right path.
What was a great feat of strength performed by Aharon? (8:11)
On what occasions were the chatzotzrot (trumpets) blown? (10:1- 10)
Which notes were blown? (Rashi 10:5,7)
How many Clouds of Glory escorted the Bnei Yisrael and where were they located? (Rashi 10:34)
Why did they request meat? They had flocks of sheep and cattle! (Rashi 11:1,4)
Did they have to work hard to collect the mun? (Rashi 11:8)
What merit did the 70 Elders have? (Rashi 11:16)
How much slav (quail) did the lazy people gather? (11:32 and Rashi)
How many days was Miriam outside the camp? (12:15)
Kinder Torah Copyright 2004 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
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