Two Are Better Than One | A Guest Post

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A guest post by Rabbi Aaron Fink (my father), Dean of Ateres Bais Yaakov on Monsey NY. Part of a weekly Dvar Torah (Torah “Thought”) series.

Parshas Shemini
Tovim Hashnayim Min Ha’Echad

The Parsha commences with the celebration of Aharon and his sons as they ascend into the role of Kohanim for the very first time. Prepared, trained and ready to serve, they offer their first sacrifices filled with excitement and pride. While still atop the Mizbeach, The Posuk says vayisa Aharon es yadav — “Aharon Hakohein lifted up his hands to bless Klal Yisrael”. Filled with excitement and joy he turns toward Bnai Yisrael and blesses them with the words of Birchas Kohanim for the very first time. The climax of this monumental moment was to be when a heavenly fire would ignite the Mizbeach to offer an awesome revelation of the Shechina to all. But as Aharon completed the Bracha, all was silent. Nothing happens.

Rashi explains how Aharon, stunned with disappointment, turned to his brother Moshe and lamented his “unworthiness” to serve. Moshe reassured him and together they approached the Ohel Moed. Inside they offered private prayers. Then, together, the Posuk says, vayeitzu vayivarchu es ha’am — “they went forth and blessed Klal Yisrael”. Immediately the Torah proclaims vayeireh kvod Hashem el kol ha’am— The Shechina was revealed for all to see. What changed to enable the success of this revelation?

‘The Midrash itself provides us a clue. Says the Midrash, this episode is an example of tovim hashnayim min ha’echad — “two are better than one.” It is a reflection of Heinei mah tov umah naim sheves achim gam yachad. Why?

A fundamental maxim of dedicating the Mishkan, is the knowledge that all Jews are interdependent. A Jew is never alone. Moreover, we can never look at ourselves as being complete. We have to continue to learn and to grow from one another other. When Jews function B’achva there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. This is the underlying message of the Chanukas Hamishkan. Aharon Hakohein was the conduit to provide this vivid reminder for us all. Indeed, we must always remember to not “go it alone”. We can take this lesson with us today as we consecrate the Mikdash Me’at of our home, shul or school. With the new month of geula, Nissan, upon the horizon, our sense of Achva must guide us. The number “one” is reserved for Hashem Yisborach alone. Only with the power of 2 can we fully connect to the Shney Luchos Habrius – and IY”H excel bein adam laMakom ubein adam lachaveiro to build the Beis Hamikdash anew, bimhara biyameinu Amen.

  • YC

    What follows does not take away from the your message but ironically it was the appearance of Kavod H’ that killed Aaron’s sons (according to at least one reading).