News From Ramaz

TORAT MS: PARASHAT SHEMINI
Posted 03/28/2019 03:54PM

By Ezra A. (Grade 6)

At the beginning of the parasha, it says, "ויהי ביום השמיני קרא משה לאהרון ולבניו ולזיקני ישראל" and then Moshe says to Aharon, "קח לך עגל בן בקר לחטאת ועיל לעולה תמימים". Moshe wants Aharon to bring all of these sacrifices and gives him a list of what he needs to do. After, he tells him everything, it says: "ויאמר משה אל אהרון קרב אל המיזבח ועשה את חטאתך". Why does Moshe add this extra request of Aharon to approach to the מיזבח? Rashi says that Aharon was embarrassed and was afraid to approach the מיזבח because of the golden calf. In fact, this is one of the first things that we read in the parasha. When it says to take for yourself a calf, it is for a כפרה of the other golden calf that he had a part in. So here he is bringing a calf in order to get a כפרה (say sorry) for the bad golden calf. The golden calf was not only devastating with regards to the horrible nature of the crime, but was also devastating for the eternal punishment of the Jews. Our rabbis tell us that when they got the Torah, Bnei Yisrael got many rewards, even the reversal of the very concept of death in the world. They turned back the clock to before the moment of the sin with the tree of knowledge. So they had achieved unbelievable levels. Then, after the sin of the golden calf, everything came crashing down.

Now Hashem says to Moshe and Aharon, here is your כפרה. Bring the calf on the מיזבח. Aharon is afraid, after all of the commandments he is sitting back and is hesitant. Then Moshe tells him "למה אתה בוש", why are you embarrassed? "לכך ניבחרת", for this you were chosen. The words לכך ניבחרת are tricky. The point that Moshe was trying to give was that there are stages of the way a person feels or should feel after they do something wrong. The first stage is to not deny or push away those feelings. When someone does something and you tell them, their first reaction is that it's not their fault. They do everything they can to push away this guilt that they have. It hurts to admit that they've done something wrong. Aharon feels embarrassed; Moshe says, "that's great!" It's great that you feel bad about what you did and you're taking ownership of your actions, however, now it's time to bring the sacrifice. Moshe is not asking "why are you embarrassed?" He is really asking, "why are you letting this stop you from approaching the alter"? A leader is someone who is capable of owning his or her mistakes and moving forward; that is why you were chosen for this job. Aharon's job was to bring these sacrifices on the altar. So too each and every one of us has a job -- whether it's a mother, a father, a rabbi, a lawyer, etc . In every scenario, when a person has done something wrong and shirks from his or her responsibilities because they are embarrassed, they need someone like Moshe to grab them by the shoulders and say that it's okay. If you think that you can never make a mistake, then you aren't an effective person at your job. All of you were chosen to have these jobs because you know and understand that when you make mistakes, it's time to own them and feel that you can do better. Every human makes mistakes because that's who we are, but as Moshe said to Aharon, don't let that stop you from continuing. שבת שלום


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