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    Hidden light – B’ha’alot’cha

    Instructed how to kindle the lamps, Aaron obeyed implicitly: Vaya’as ken Aharon, “And Aaron did thus” (Num. 5:3).

    Rashi thinks this was a big deal: L’haggid shiv’cho shel Aharon, shelo shinnah – “the verse is a praise of Aaron who did not deviate”.

    The Malbim in his commentary focusses on the word ken, “thus”. He says that in the Creation story God gave a series of instructions which were followed by the words, vay’hi khen – “and it was thus”, with the exception of the creation of light.

    The original light was too bright for the world to tolerate, say the sages, so God hid it for a future generation and replaced it with a different, lesser light.

    What Aaron did by kindling the lights in the sanctuary was to bring into being a type and degree of light that pleased the Almighty so much that He allowed the missing ken to be introduced into the text.

    The blessing that the sanctuary brought Israel was both physical and spiritual. Spiritually it permitted the people of Israel to experience the illumination that enters one’s life when one stands in the presence of the Divine.

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