The Rambam (Hilchos Bee’as Mikdash Perek 9,7) writes that the kindling of the Menorah in the Beis Hamikdash was kosher even if it was done by a non Kohen. Why is this din applicable only to the lighting of the Menorah and not found by other avodos in the Mikdash such as, changing the Lechem Hapanim, or bringing up the incense?
The Sefer Milchemes Yehudah answers with the interpretation of the Chidushei Harim on the first passuk ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל ויקחו אליך שמן זית זך that the word תצוה means to join and have devaikus with. Moshe was commanded by Hashem to unify himself with Klal Yisrael and that they should be davuk to him. Why specifically at this mitzvah of lighting the Menorah did Hashem deem this unification so significant? The answer is that the lights of the Menorah symbolized a very deep declaration from Hashem as the gemarrah (Shabbos 22b) states עדות היא לבאי עולם שהשכינה שורה בישראל. There was no other purpose of lighting the Menorah aside that it should serve as a constant testimony that the Presence of Hashem dwells within Yisrael. For the נר מערבי the western light never went out and miraculously remained lit.
This is such a great precious mitzvah to take part of that Hashem wanted all Yisrael to be partners in it. In order for this to happen they had to have deveikus and become one with Moshe Rabbeinu. This is what the passuk means when it says ויקחו אליך they should take themselves to you and through you they will have a portion in the mitzvah. This is the meaning of ואתה תצוה that you should gather Yisrael together as one with you. Through this unity which included Yisrael into the mitzvah, a regular Yid non Kohen was permitted to light the Menorah as if he was a Kohen. This is hinted in the words ויקחו אליך which is gematria כהן .
We find a similar attachment of Klal Yisrel to Moshe Rabbeinu at Keriyas Yam Suf. We say in the beracha of Emes Vemunah at Tefilas Arvis בוקע ים לפני משה זה אלי ענו . At Keriyas Suf Yisrael proclaimed זה אלי this is my G=d. why was this passuk chosen out of every other passuk in the Shira? Secondly why is the sea described as splitting before Moshe and not Bhei Yisrael? The Sifsei Tzaddik answers that the Sea really split before Moshe and his merit. Since Bnei Yisrael were unified with Moshe and davuk to him at that time they were fitting to have the Sea divide for them as well. The special madraigah of נבואה that Moshe possessed above all other נביאים is the madraigah of זה דבר ה’ overכה אמר ה’ . The term זה describes a clearer vision of prophecy in contrast to כה . yet here at Keriyas Yam Suf the entire nation of Yisrael sang with this clarity of vision of Moshe Rabbeinu as the passuk attests to by saying זה אלי ענו . The reason why Yisrael merited to this, was because they tightly bonded with their Rebbi Moshe and were therefore able to glean from his lofty madraigos. Through their deveikus to him they merited to be part of lighting the Menorah.
As I write this Torah here in Eretz Yisrael Moshe Rabbeinu’s yarzheit has begun. The gemarrah relates that when the lots fell out on Moshe Rabbeinu’s yarzheit Haman was overjoyed realizing that this is a bad omen for Klal Yisrael. What he didn’t realize is that Moshe Rabbeinu not only died on this date but was also born on it as well, which is a good omen. The Yaaros Dvash asks two questions on the gamarrah’s statement. The order of Moshe Rabbeinu’s life should have been he was born on the 7th of Adar, and he died on the same day. The gemmarrah reverses it by saying that Haman did not know that he died on that day and he was also born on it? Secondly, just because he was born on that day does not transform his death on that day into a good omen. The later fact still remains that he died on that day which was a bad omen for Klal YIsrael?
The Yaaros Dvash answers that the “Moshe being born on that same day” statement is referring to the rebirth of Moshe after he was already niftar. That on the same day he died he was reborn in the way that his neshamah connects to Talmidei Chachamim, and enlightens those who diligently learn Torah enabling them to interpret its true meanings. Therefore in essence Moshe Rabbeinu never ever died but continues to teach Am Yisrael the holy teachings of the Torah.
According to the Yaaros Devash we can understand another Chazal. At theחטא of the Aigel Moshe Rabbeinu told Hashem to erase him from the sefer Torah. This request of Moshe’s was fulfilled in Parshas Tezaveh. Why in this particular parsha? We can say that it usually falls out during the week of his yarzheit. In a deeper way we can say according to the Baal Haturim who writes that there are 101 pessukim in the parsha of Tetzaveh which are the hidden letters of משה which are מ-מ ש-ין ה-א. So even if his revealed name was erased his hidden name nevertheless is still in the parsha. What is the significance of his hidden name being still intact in this parsha. it is to teach us like explained by the Yaaros Devash that even though Moshe Rabbeinu passed away on the 7th of Adar, his hidden neshamah is still alive and well and comes to Yidden who toil in Torah to elucidate to them its hidden secrets.
This brings us full circle back to the Menorah. The Menorah symbolizes the Oral Law. We can now say that this is the reason why it was so important that all of Am Yisrael should have a part in the Menorah through Moshe Rabbeinu. For it is Moshe’s neshamah who comes to the Yid who toils in Torah to direct him in attaining the real pshat, derush, remez and sod of our precious Torah. The inner letters of the word אליך (which symbolize Yisrael’s bonding to Moshe) is לף מד וד ף which is gematriah 244 the same gematriah as גמרא. It is these inner letters which symbolize the neshamah of Moshe Rabbeinu that connects to the Yid who toils over the גמרא to bring him elucidation and deeper understanding heightening his relationship with Hashem. Especially, if he learns 101 times as Chazal recommend (Chagigah 9b) for 101 is the hidden letters of Moshe Rabbeinu’s name and is the total amount of pessukim in Parshas Tetzaveh. For the individual who puts his neshamah into the learning reviewing the subject 101 times, Moshe Rabbeinu comes with his neshamah to reveal to him the deeper clarity in what he is learning.
One of our great Baalei Avodah of over two hundred years ago wrote that residing in every limb of the Yid is an aspect of negation and bittul of Moshe Rabbeinu. We merited such from Matan Torah when Moshe ingrained this bittul in everyone. According to the amount a Yid possesses of this negation so too is his proportion of deveikus to Hashem. Our Rebbi still lives on and nurtures us in every possible way. May his neshamah have an Aliyah.
Gut Shabbos Rav Brazil
Very nice insightful article –
One Gamatria is a bit problematic “This is hinted in the words ויקחו אליך which is gematria כהן”.
ויקחו אליך = 191
כהן = 75
One resolution to embody the spirit of the message would be כהן או לא כהן
which totals 188 and using the principle of Im HaTevot (adding the number of words) bringing the total to 192 which is considered equivalent to 191,