Category Archives: Baholosehca

Parshas BeHolosecha

The Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to Aharon and say to him: “When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the menorah.” (Bamidbar 8/1-2)

In three places the Torah mentions the lighting of the menoro; in Parshas Tetzaveh (Shemos 27/20), in Parshas Emor (Vayikro 24/2) and in the beginning of our parsha.

In all three places the Torah does not use the straightforward simple word “lehadlik” which means to light but the Torah refers to the lighting as “Lehaalos” which literally means “to make rise”. 

Zera Shimshon points out that Rashi is bothered by the usage of “lehaalos” instead of the simpler “lehadlik” but gives a slightly different explanation in all three places! 

In Tetzaveh, Rashi simply explains that it comes to teach us that the Kohen lights until the flame rises from the candle by itself. 

In Emor Rashi doesn’t explain anything.

And in our parsha, Rashi gives two explanations. “When you light: Heb. בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ, lit., when you cause to rise. Since the flame rises, the Torah describes kindling in terms of rising. (This teaches us that) He is required to light the lamp until the flame rises by itself . Chazal also learn from here that there was a step in front of the menorah, on which the kohan stood to prepare [the lamps].”

Zera Shimshon explains the reason that Rashi changed in each place.

In Tetzaveh, which is the first place where it is mentioned, Rashi was bothered by the unusual way the Torah describes lighting the Menorah. (laalos instead of lehadlik). He concluded that it is to teach us that the Kohan has to keep kindling until the fire rises itself.

In Emor, Rashi doesn’t write anything because, as  Rashi himself explains there, that parsha is only repeating what it already said in Tetzaveh. (Rashi explains that in Tetzaveh the Torah writes what will be and in Emor it wrote what happened). 

Rashi in our parsha, backed down from his initial premise that “lehadlik” is a better choice of words than “lehaalos“. Since in all three places the Torah uses the same term, Rashi reasoned that maybe this is the proper term to use.

Rashi however was bothered here by a different question; what does the Torah teach us by the term “and during YOUR lighting of the candles… “. Why is it written in the possessive form and not simply “when the candles are lit…”.

He gives two answers to this question. The first one; that it is referring to the halacha that he mentioned previously, that the Kohan has be keep on lighting until the candle burns by itself (therefore it is considered like YOUR, the kohan’s lighting).

The second one is that the term “to rise” does not refer to the flame of the candles on the Menorah but it is referring to the Kohan who has to go up a few stairs to light the Menorah.
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