Beha'alotecha

Beha'alotecha

Beha'alotecha means "prepare the lamps."  In this portion of the scripture, we read of the L-rd instructing Aaron and his sons, through Moses to prepare and to light the lamps of the Menorah.  Now, remember that in the previous parashah, Moses and the leaders of each of the tribes except Levi  was involved in the dedication of the Tent of Meeting.  His brother and his family, upon whom he had depended heavily when dealing with Pharaoh, was left out of this rich awesome ritual.  But now, G-d involves him and his family in what is perhaps the most significant act in the entire setting up process.  The only light that illuminated the Tabernacle was the Menorah, and its light was to be established by Aaron and his sons, the Priests of HaShem. 

In verse 2, the L-rd says, "When you light the lamps."  But the Hebrew is so rich.  it says: ×‘Ö°Ö¼×”Ö·×¢Ö²×"ֹת‏Ö°, which literally means "when you cause to ascend."  Since the flame rises, Scripture describes kindling in terms of ascending.  Aaron was required to kindle the lamp until the flame rose by itself.  So it is that we are to light the place of the Presence of G-d, for we are His Priests in the world today.  But our part is to only strike the flame; the Fire of G-d will ascend by itself.

In chapter 9, we find the people dealing with missing one of G-d's appointed times.  In the case of a person not being able to celebrate the Passover at its correct time, G-d instructs them, though Moses to observe it in the following month.  I know it is a bit of a stretch, but I do see application in this to the Christian practice of celebrating the birth of Messiah in December.  Although He was most certainly born in the fall, probably at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, we have, for centuries observed it two or three months later. n No, I know it is not because we were unable or unclean at the appropriate time, but the Church has certainly been "on a distant road" as the terminology of 9:10 defines this acceptable exception.

Chapter 11, verse 1, in most translations says "When the people complained"or such, but in Hebrew, it reads slightly differently.  It says, "The people took to seeking complaints."  It was as if they were looking everywhere to find something to complain about.  Does this sound like you sometimes?  Well, when this occurred, it was evil in the ears of HaShem and He caused fire to fall and to burn up the edges of the camp.  It seems that it was a problem in the fringe, much as we still see from time to time.

Beginning in verse 16 of this chapter, we see Moses establishing the Sanhedrin.  This 70 plus 1(Moses) -member body has recently been re-established in Israel and foretells of things soon to come.  The Spirit of the L-rd came upon them and they prophesied, but only one time.

Then, in chapter 12 we find the account of Aaron and Miriam speaking against Moses, their brother.  G-d brought judgment to them quickly and even when Moses pleaded with G-d to forgive and to heal his sister of her leprous state, G-d required that she remain outside the community for seven days, according to the Torah's regulation.  You see, dear friends, even when a friend of G-d like Moses intercedes for us, we still must bear the consequences of our sin.  When we repent and confess our sin, G-d is quick to forgive us but we still must bear the consequences.  This is not a lesson that we like to hear nor to teach, but it is evident in the word of G-d and through the lives of His servants throughout history.

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