Drawing Down vs. Drawing Up

April 21, 2017 at 3:42 AM , , ,

“…And it was on the eighth day… And Moshe said, “This is what G-d has commanded that you do, and the glory of G-d will appear to you…” – Vayikra 9:1-6

וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי . . וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה’ תַּעֲשׂוּ וְיֵרָא אֲלֵיכֶם כְּבוֹד ה’ – ויקרא ט, א-ו

The Zohar compares Moshe and Aharon to shushvinin, the ushers who escort a bride and groom to the chupah (see Zohar, Vayikra 53b, et al). In the analogy, Moshe is the escort of the Groom and Aharon is the escort of the bride. The Torah, G-d’s wisdom, was revealed to the world through Moshe, but Aharon “loves people and draws them close to Torah” (Avos 1:12). While Moshe focused on drawing G-d to the Jewish people, Aharon focused on drawing the people toward G-d.

Parashat Shemini
Both of these tasks are integral to the marriage between G-d and the Jewish people, but Aharon’s task is what achieves G-d’s ultimate desire. For the goal of Moshe’s mission to draw G-dly revelation from Above is to inspire and facilitate a Jew’s ascent from below—the focus of Aharon’s work.

This is hinted in the account related in Rashi (Vayikra 1:23) that during the seven days of the Mishkan’s inauguration —when Moshe erected the Mishkan, performed the service in it, and then dismantled it daily— the Shechinah, the Divine Presence, did not rest in it. This caused the Jewish nation to feel humiliated, says Rashi, until Moshe told them, “My brother Aharon is more worthy and important than I. Through his offerings and his service the Shechinah will dwell among you.”

It was specifically Aharon’s service that caused the Shechina to dwell among the Jewish people, to symbolize, that Aharon’s life mission of elevating the Jewish people is what causes G-d’s ultimate delight. This gives even deeper significance to the Mishna’s directive, “Be of the disciples of Aharon …he loves people [lit. creatures,] and draws them to the Torah.”  For in addition to the benefit for those to whom you reach out, by behaving as Aharon did and drawing others to the Torah you will merit that the Shechina will dwell in the work of your hands, as it did in Aharon’s.

—Likkutei Sichos, vol. 7, pp. 298-299

 

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