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Beha'aloscha Question 1

Weekly Parsha Questions

Beha'aloscha Question 1

Yechiel Shaffer

At the start of Parshas Beha’alotcha the Torah describes Aharon HaKohen’s daily lighting of the Menorah:

במדבר פרשת בהעלותך פרק ח

ב) דַּבֵּר אֶל־אַהֲרֹן וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ אֶת־הַנֵּרֹת אֶל־מוּל פְּנֵי הַמְּנוֹרָה יָאִירוּ שִׁבְעַת הַנֵּרוֹת

2Speak to Aaron and say to him: “When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall cast their light toward the face of the menorah.”

The word בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ is unusual to use in describing the lighting of the Menorah. Why does the Torah specifically use that word? 

According to the commentary, Panim Yafos, the word בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ is related to the steps Aharon HaKohen had to climb to reach the wicks of the Menorah. Quoting the Halacha that Aharon was not permitted to raise his hands above the Tzitz (crown bearing the name of God) which rested on his head, stairs were required for the lighting of the Menorah which was very tall. 

Who lit the Menorah after Aharon HaKohen passed? How does the reason for the stairs at the base of the Menorah transform from a spiritual restriction (no reaching above the Tzitz) to a physical restriction (how is one supposed to reach the Menorah?).

How does this offer two perspectives on the concept of ‘Aliyah’ (root of בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ)?