On Love and Truth

The concluding Aliyah of the entire Torah, which we read on Simchat Torah, narrates the death of Moses. The Torah states: “And the children of Israel wept for Moses” (Deuteronomy 34:8). Rashi notices that when Aaron died, the Torah implies that the national mourning following the death of Aaron was even more encompassing then the national mourning following the death of Moses. The Torah states that when Aaron died, the ENTIRE house of Israel (“Kol Beit Yisrael: Numbers 20:20”) wept for him. Why is it that the Torah seems to imply that the emotional devastation following the death of Aaron was even more intense and encompassing than after Moses’s death?

Rashi argues that it was because Aaron, as a man of the people, was more accessible to them. They loved him dearly. Aaron worked incessantly to bring more Shalom and harmony between spouses and friends. Moses was greater than life. He was the greatest spiritual genius who ever lived. Who can relate to such a monumental figure? Moses was revered and admired. Aaron was loved. In our relationship with God we should strive to emulate the reverence, intensity and spiritual fervor of Moses, and in our relationships with people we should strive to be a source of peace, harmony and friendship, like Aaron.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Sessler

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