When Aharon was given the mitzvah of lighting the Menorah daily, a seemingly redundant statement is made in the Torah, it says that Aharon did as he was commanded, “as Hashem had commanded Moshe” (Bamidbar 8:3).
In his commentary, Rashi explains להגיד שבחו של אהרן שלא שינה
“This is stated to tell the praise of Aharon in that he did not deviate.”
The purpose of mentioning that Aharon followed the commandment precisely is to extol his virtue of not deviating. The obvious question is, why would we expect Aharon, the Kohen Gadol – high priest and the brother of Moshe, to deviate from his instructions? Isn’t it a given that he would fulfill his role faithfully?
Rabbi Frand shares a beautiful insight in the name of Rabbi Mordechai Leiner, also known as “The Ishbitzer” (Poland, 1801-1854). Rabbi Leiner suggests that the word “shenah” in Rashi’s comment, which translates as “deviate,” can also be understood as not repeating. In other words, Aharon never performed the same act twice. Each time he lit the Menorah, he approached it with a fresh perspective and a new intention, bringing a unique experience to the ritual.
This concept is highlighted at the end of last week’s Parsha – Nasso. There, the Torah meticulously repeats the offerings of each nasi (prince) twelve times, even though they were identical to the previous day’s offerings. This repetition teaches us that despite the sameness of the offerings, each nasi had a distinct kavanah and individual intention when presenting his offering.
This idea resonates with our understanding that each person thinks in their own unique way. We acknowledge that different individuals have diverse perspectives and approaches. However, what truly stands out is a single person’s ability to perform the same task repeatedly to maintain a fresh and unique kavanah each time. This is the praiseworthy attribute of Aharon haKohen, the High Priest.
Aharon’s approach to lighting the Menorah exemplifies the importance of infusing our actions with renewed intention and mindfulness. It teaches us that even in our daily routines or recurring tasks, we have the capacity to infuse them with a fresh perspective, making each experience meaningful and purposeful, elevating our everyday experiences and transforming them into opportunities for growth and spiritual connection.
Rabbi Shlomo Gabay