Vol 2.06 - Chukat Spanish French Audio Video
The connection between the Manna to Moshe, the Clouds of Glory to Aaron, and the Well to Miriam, in Avodat HaAdam, and they all were restored in the merit of Moshe
The Rebbe says:
The Rebbe says:
1. This week’s Torah portion tells us of the passing of Aharon HaKohen (Aaron the High Priest) and Miriam the Prophetess.
2. Our Sages tell us that the three sustaining elements of the Jewish people while they were in the desert were in the merit of their three leading characters- Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our teacher), Aharon HaKohen, and Miriam. The Manna was in the merit of Moshe Rabbeinu, the Clouds of Glory were in the merit of Aharon Hakohen, and the Well of Water was in the merit of Miriam.
Our Sages continue on and say that when Miriam died the Well dried up and when Aharon died the Clouds of Glory disappeared. However they both returned solely in the merit of Moshe Rabbeinu.
As we have mentioned many times before, even though the Torah is Hashem’s (G-d’s) wisdom, the Torah was not named, “Chochmah – Wisdom”, rather, “Torah”, which comes from the word, “Ho’ra’ah – Lesson”. This is because everything in the Torah is a lesson for us in our daily lives.
What is the lesson that we can learn from the abovementioned teaching of our Sages?
4. In order to arrive at our answer the Rebbe now begins discussing and analyzing the Manna, the Clouds of Glory, and the Well of Water, and how this connects to the Torah:
The Manna was the sustaining food of the Jewish people, and food is something which is taken in and becomes part of the person eating it.
This leaves us with the Well of Water. Water is not something which sustains the person; it carries the sustaining food to all the parts of the body.
5. The Rebbe now explains how these three elements are also within the Torah:
As we mentioned above, the word, “Torah”, is from the word, “Ho’ra’ah – Lesson”. This is the aspect of Torah which shows us how to conduct our lives and we must strive to internalize the Torah’s lessons. Moreover, this is the spiritual aspect of the Manna which we physically internalize (as we said earlier).
Also, being that this aspect of the Torah is connected to the inner part of each Jew, and each Jew internalizes things differently, there is consequently differentiation between one Jew and another Jew. For example, certain people, for one reason or another, fulfill their obligation of learning Torah each day by only saying the “Shema”,, while other people must literally learn Torah all day to fulfill their obligation. Indeed, this is just like the physical counterpart of this aspect of Torah- the Manna- which had differentiation among the Jews; for the righteous ones the Manna dropped piping hot on their doorstep, while the average Jew had to walk to the edge of the camp and collect his unprocessed cakes, and the wicked one had to roam far afield to receive his ration of kernels which he then had to grind and bake from scratch.
The second aspect of the Torah is like the Clouds of Glory which protected the Jewish people from any undesirable external elements. Just as the Jewish people traveled through a barren wasteland with mortally dangerous elements, so too this physical world which is full of kelipah and “has no water (G-dliness)” is mortally dangerous and we need the aspect of Torah which is the Clouds of Glory to protect us. The “Clouds of Glory” today is the strength of Mesiras Nefesh (total subjugation to Hashem) that every Jew has, without exception, through his connection to this aspect of the Torah.
Moreover, just like the Clouds of Glory in the desert surrounded every single Jew without exception, even those who brought the idols of Egypt with them into the desert, so too this aspect of the Torah encompasses every single Jew equally, from the greatest to the lowest, and gives them the strength of Mesiras Nefesh needed to withstand the spiritually dangerous elements of the world.
The third aspect of the Torah is the Well of Water. In order for the two abovementioned aspects of the Torah- the Manna and the Clouds of Glory- to reach every single Jew we need the “water” aspect of the Torah. This means that just as water falls from the highest heights to the lowest valleys, so too the Torah came from incredible elevation to this low and coarse world, and this enables every Jew to connect with and get hold of the “Manna” and the “Clouds of Glory” within the Torah. In other words, the aspect of “water” within the Torah means that even though the Torah is such a wondrous wisdom, every single Jew has the power to connect with it by simply saying the words of the Written Torah (even if you don’t know what the words mean at all) and by learning even the most basic meaning of the Oral Torah.
Indeed, this is just like physical water which brings the food to all the parts of the body (as we mentioned earlier).
6. Based on the above understanding of the Manna, the Clouds of Glory, and the Well of Water, the Rebbe now explains the connection of each of these things to the person whose merit brought them down (Moshe and the Manna, Aharon and the Clouds of Glory, and Miriam and the Well):
The connection between Moshe and the Manna: Our Sages tell us that when Moshe Rabbeinu was a shepherd for his father-in-law in Midian he would give the smaller sheep lighter softer grass and he would give the bigger sheep heavier harder grass. This is because fodder (food) goes inside the animal and therefore must be fitting for that specific animal’s needs (just like we explained earlier regarding the Manna which was food and therefore had to fit each person). Moreover, this is what being a shepherd demands; you must treat every case according to the specific needs of the situation. So too with the Jewish people, Moshe Rabbeinu was their trusted shepherd who treated each Jew according to his needs and, and therefore the Manna fell in the merit of Moshe because the idea of Manna is about fitting each Jew according to his needs and connecting to his Etzem (core being).
The connection between Aharon and the Clouds of Glory: Our Sages tell us that Aharon Hakohen “loved the creations and brought them close to the Torah”.
When examining this statement we must wonder why our Sages use the term “creations” and not the more usual word- “people”?
The Alter Rebbe explains that our Sages are hinting to us that even people who had no qualities other than the fact that they were creations of Hashem, still, Aharon loved them. And this is why the Torah tells us that, “The entire house of Israel wept for Aharon for thirty days” after his passing, which it doesn’t say about any other leader of Israel! Therefore, the Clouds of Glory, which equally surrounded every Jew, big or small, were in the merit of Aharon HaKohen who equally loved every single Jew no matter what no matter whom.
The connection between Miriam and the Well of Water: Our Sages tell us that the midwife whom the Torah calls “Pu’ah” was indeed Miriam, and even when Pharaoh threatened the Jewish midwives with death unless they killed the Jewish male babies, Miriam (and her mother Yocheved/Shifrah) brazenly ignored this decree and continued to safely deliver the Jewish babies. Our Sages continue and say that this whole generation of children who Miriam put her life on the line for ended being the first ones to recognize Hashem’s presence when He revealed
7. Before getting to the lesson for each of us, the Rebbe explains why the Clouds of Glory and the Well of Water returned in the merit of Moshe Rabbeinu:
From all of the above it is easily understood why the Clouds of Glory departed when Aharon HaKohen passed away and why there was no more Well of Water after Miriam passed away. However, we must still explain why they returned solely in the merit of Moshe Rabbeinu:
From the fact that the Clouds of Glory and the Well of Water did indeed return in the merit of Moshe Rabbeinu, we see that Moshe Rabbeinu must have added new services to Hashem to bring them back down to the world. He must have taken upon himself the services of Aharon and Miriam (which we just explained) in this time of need. And this is the sign of a true shepherd of Israel; even though his mission was to teach the princes of Israel how to guide the Jewish people and it was not befitting his honor to teach Aleph Beis (the Hebrew alphabet) to simpletons, when the need arose because Aharon and Miriam passed away, Moshe didn’t make calculations and say, “This isn’t my work”; he went and did what the Jewish people needed to be done.
Our Sages tell us that every single Jew has a spark of Moshe Rabbeinu within him. Therefore, we have to try and emulate the ways of Moshe Rabbeinu and see to it that when the Clouds of Glory and the Well of Water are missing and the Jewish people find themselves in a dangerous desert of snakes and scorpions, we must return these life savers to them and bring them closer to their Father in Heaven. We cannot make calculations as to whether this is our thing or not because this is a case of saving a Jewish life (Pikuach Nefesh) and the Halachah (Jewish law) is that one must desecrate Shabbos (the Sabbath) to save the life of another Jew, even if it is not an absolute certainty that the Jew will die if he is not taken care of right now, and even if you will only prolong his life by desecrating the Shabbos. And when you bring another Jew closer to Hashem, Hashem will bring you and your family closer to Him and give you all that you need.
Translated and adapted by Shalom Goldberg. Taken from Likutei Sichos volume two.
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