the Weekly Reading
Beha'alotcha is the 3rd Reading out of 10 in Numbers and it contains 7055 letters, in 1840 words, in 136 verses
Overview: Beha’alotecha opens with the command to Aharon to light the menorah, followed by the inauguration and qualifications of the Levites’ Divine service. Then, G-d’s command to the Jews to observe Passover. Those who were impure through contact with a dead body (and therefore forbidden to offer the Passover sacrifice) were granted another chance to offer the Pascal lamb exactly one month after Passover. This day is known as ‘Pesach Sheni’—second Passover. The next section describes how a cloud resided above the Tabernacle and signaled when the Jews were to journey and when to encamp. The marching order of the tribes in the Jews’ desert journeys is described. At this point, Chovev (a.k.a. Yisro, Moshe’s father-in-law) leaves the Jews and goes back to his homeland to bring his relatives to Judaism. Next, we encounter the famous verse we recite each time we take out the Torah from the ark, about how the ark with tablets would go forth before the Jews during their desert travels. Then, the Jews began complaining about G-d. The first time, G-d punishes them with a fire which consumes many Jews until Moshe prays for the fire to stop. Then, the Jews complain that they miss foods they had in Egypt and about the mannah. To this, G-d promises an over-abundance of meat, but when it comes and the camp is covered with quail, those who complained were punished and died whilst consuming their improper desire. The parsha ends with Miriam speaking slightly negatively of Moshe to their brother, Aharon. Subsequently, they were rebuked by G-d, and Miriam was stricken with tzara’as (“leprosy”). The Jews wait for her to heal and only then journey forward.
An essay from
Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter, director of Ascent
(for a free weekly email subscription, click here)
This week's Torah portion, Beha'alotcha- which means 'when you
raise up', begins with the commandment to Aharon the High Priest to light the
Menorah, the candelabrum holding the oil lamps in the Tabernacle, "tell
When you raise up (beha'alotcha) the candles
The Torah immediately continues with a verse about the making of the Menorah,
"This is how you make the Menorah, a block of gold, from its base
until its flower, one block of gold." Why does the Torah include a verse
about the making of the Menorah when this was already described in depth
in the book of Shmot with all the other vessels and instruments that were used
in the tabernacle?
Why do all the candles have to point to the center? If you need
unity, light one candle. If you want a variety of expressions, have different
candles. Why require all the different candles to point to the center?
And as the verse says, even the Jews that come from the lowest level, from the base, are all part of this one system, are also make out of pure gold. Each of us is Gd's handiwork. No matter how far off one might appear to be.
Gershon Kitover was the brother in law of the Grand Rabbi, Rabbi
Yisroel Baal Shem Tov (Besht in short) as well as an ardent chassid-follower.
When he merited to go up to Israel, to join the Jewish community there, the
Besht instructed him, while on his journey, to stay with a particular
Jew. The Besht described this Jew as, 'truly G-d fearing', on an especially
high spiritual level. As he was told R' Gershon found this person and stayed
with him in his home. He was surprised, even shocked at the types of people
who were the neighbors of this Jew, people with terrible personal traits and
actions that were clearly bad and inappropriate. R' Gershon turned to his host
and asked him, how can you be around people who behave so poorly?
FROM THE SAGES OF KABBALAH ON KabbalaOnline.org
Specifically, for an overview
of the recommended articles in the columns:
To continue, click here.
For a free email subscription to our weekly anthology, click here.