Maintaining Excitement - בהעלותך

Thursday, 8 June, 2023 - 11:33 pm

Maintaining Excitement

Beginnings are exciting. Starting a family, enrolling in a new school, starting a business, or embarking on a new project, generates passion and enthusiasm. The challenge, of course, is how to maintain that same excitement and passion on an ongoing basis. This, explains the Rebbe, is the inner meaning of a discussion between G-d and Aaron as described in the beginning of our Parsha.

The Torah states: 

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Speak to Aaron and say to him: "When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the menorah." (Numbers 8:1-2)

Rashi, quoting the Midrash, explains:

When you light: Why is the portion dealing with the menorah juxtaposed to the portion dealing with the chieftains? For when Aaron saw the dedication [offerings] of the chieftains, he felt distressed over not joining them in this dedication - neither he nor his tribe. So G-d said to him, "By your life, yours is greater than theirs, for you will light and prepare the lamps." 

At first glance, this Midrash is puzzling. Why did Aaron regret that he was not included in the offerings brought on the day of the inauguration of the tabernacle? Why wasn't Aaron satisfied with his more prominent role in the Temple? And, in what way is Aaron's lighting of the menorah greater than the inauguration offerings of the princes?

The princes’ offerings at the inauguration represent the additional excitement and passion that is granted from above at the beginning of a new journey. Aaron was distressed, for it was his task to inspire the Jewish people in their ongoing service of G-d, on a day-to-day basis, once the initial excitement had evaporated. Aaron wondered: "How can I generate within the Jewish people that same thrill and joy that the princes’ had during their inauguration? "

G-d responds, "By your life, yours is greater than theirs." Aaron, as well as the Aaron within each one of us, achieves a far more remarkable accomplishment. Aaron can tap into the essence of our soul, unleashing a reservoir of life and passion. Aaron inspires us to approach every day and every task with the same excitement as if it is the first time we are engaging in this activity. Whether you are educating your child or dealing with a tedious task on your to-do list, you can turn deep within yourself, reconnect to the reservoir of life in your inner soul and infuse the seemingly mundane activity which you are facing at the moment, with delight, excitement, and enthusiasm.

Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe, Lekutei Sichos 18 Behaaloscha 1 


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