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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  PARASHAT BEHAALOTCHA  
 
Responsibility to Others
By Rabbi Chaim Lobel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

(Numbers; Chapter 8, Verse 18) “Then I gave the Levites to be presented to Aaron and his sons from among the Children of Israel to perform the service of the Children of Israel in the Tent of Meeting (Tabernacle) and to provide atonement for the Children of Israel, and there shall not be a plague among the Children of Israel when the Children of Israel approach the Sanctuary.”
 
This verse specifies that only Aaron's sons from the tribe of Levi can represent the Children of Israel, in service to G-d, within the Tabernacle. The Children of Israel may not approach the Sanctuary lest they be struck with the plague of death.
 
Rashi comments, “The 'Children of Israel' are mentioned five times in this verse to make known their dearness to G-d. Five times in accordance with the number of the five books of the Torah.”
 
The Gur Aryeh asks, “Why does the verse find it necessary, when warning the Jewish nation, to show the dearness of Israel?  The verse not only prohibits a non-Levite from approaching the sanctuary but also reminds the Levites to protect the Sanctuary from uninvited visitors. G-d forbid an Israelite should come near and die. G-d forbid, a Jew, who is as important as the five books of the Torah, should be stricken with death. The death of a Jew is equivalent to a Torah scroll being burnt.” 
 
Each Israelite had a personal responsibility to stay away from the Holy Sanctuary, but each Levite had the additional responsibility to prevent the Israelites from trespassing. The Torah commands the Levite to actively prevent an Israelite from bringing death upon himself. Just as we would not idly watch a Torah being burn, neither could we allow another Jew to be harmed. .
 
It is our duty and responsibility to protect and worry about every Jew. G-d forbid we should ever think otherwise.

 

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Chaim Lobel is the Rabbi of Young Israel of Aberdeen, Congregation Bet Tefilah, Aberdeen, NJ. http://www.yiaberdeen.com/index.html

 
   
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