Illuminations #121, Sivan 5777, Parshat Behaalotacha

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Illuminations #121, Sivan 5777, Parshat Behaalotacha


Torah Gems

Parshat Behaalotcha concludes with the incident of Miriam speaking Loshon Hara about Moshe, when she discovered that Mosh had separated from his wife, Tziporah. Miriam told Aharon about this, and together they criticized their brother: Does Hashem only speak to Moshe? Does He not speak to us as well other prophets?

They failed to realize the distinction of Moshe as unparalleled prophet. The Rambam (Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah 7:6) describes the difference between Moshe and the other prophets. While all other prophets received the message in a dream, Moshe was awake and standing. Moshe’s prophecy came directly from Hashem as two humans speak to each other. Other prophets were approached by angels with a message in the form of a parable or riddle which the prophet needed to interpret. All other prophets would be engulfed in terror during the prophecy while Moshe received it calmly.

Rav Pam cites numerous encounters where he witnessed an element of this error: Young rabbanim conversing with venerated sages as equals; students at the start of their learning career feeling like they can challenge elder rabbanim; and finally, boyhood peers of accomplished rabbanim being unable to come to terms with the fact that their friends have risen to heights beyond their own.

Parsha Pearls

Bamidbar 12, 13

During the incident where Miriam the great prophetess spoke harshly concerning her brother Moshe, we find a relevant lesson.  Miriam was stricken with Tzaraas for having spoken against Moshe. Not only did Moshe refrain from becoming angry with her for her negative talk about him, he even prayed for her recovery. The Posuk testifies, “And Moshe cried out to Hashem saying, ‘Please Hashem, heal [Miriam], I beseech you.’”

From here we learn that even if someone has wronged you, and is being punished for the act, you should do all you can to assist them

(Ralbag as explained by R’ Pliskin)

Glimpses of Greatness

For Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld there was no such thing as an insignificant conversation with a Yid.

There was a young painter who was struggling with his Yiddishkeit. Reb Shlomo hired him to paint the entire house. One of Reb Shlomo’s close talmidim noticed the job and commented that the painter did not seem particularly adept at his profession. “No,” Reb Shlomo agreed, “but what do I care how he paints when we can influence his nitzchius, his eternal life? Like this, he is here all day, we drink coffee together, we chat, we have a bond…does the paint really make a difference?”

Halacha Weekly

Q. If a shidduch does not work is it permitted to suggest a relative as a shidduch? [II-10-264]

A. Once a shidduch between a young man and young lady has been broken off,  is there any concern about a shidduch with a sibling of the first shidduch? Pitchei Teshuva (Even Haezer 15-15, R. Avraham Tzvi Eisenstat Z”L) writes that a man should not marry the relative of his shidduch after the shidduch has been broken. Chavatzelet HaSharon (Even Haezer 21, R. Moshe Alshich Z”L)  explains that sisters of a shidduch are prohibited like other relatives in order that they not fall into the hands of contemplating sin. This is because the original shidduch will be accustomed to come to his house and she is [to become ] the relative of his [potential] wife.

As regards the question if there is a concern for priority in the order of shidduchim made amongst children who are siblings, Orchot Rabeinu (4 Amud 240-35, R. Yaakov Yisrael KanievskyZ”L, The Steipler Gaon) says that it is permitted to make a shidduch with a younger brother before the older.  Likewise, there is no concern to marry the younger daughter before an older  son. Regarding parents marrying off two children, one after the other,  Orchot  Rabeinu (ot 60) writes that one needs to separate the weddings of two children so they are not less than two full months apart.