February 26, 2021
ADAR 14, 5780
Candlelighting Time 5:31 PM

            Ahron and his sons were installed as the priests for the Mishkan. Special sacrifices were offered on this occasion. A bull was brought as an atonement for Ahron who was involved in the debacle of the Golden Calf. Although normally, a sin offering is not burnt outside the parameters of the Mishkan and its immediate surrounding area, this time it was different. Rashi notes this but does not explain why this particular sin offering differed from others. Nachmonides however expounds upon this point stating that this particular sin offering was similar to that of the High Priest when he sinned. Therefore, in order to align this offering with that of the High Priest, it was burnt outside conforming it to that of the High Priest. Neitziv questions that Ahron’s involvement with the Golden Calf occurred before he became the High Priest so why was it necessary now upon becoming the High Priest to offer that type of sin offering?

            It is important to understand the need for a Mishkan for the nation. After all, Hashem is omnipresent and therefore the necessity of confining His presence to a specific place seems pointless. Rashi’s opinion is that the need for the Mishkan was a development subsequent to the fiasco of the Golden Calf. We did not sever our connection with Hashem, but it was severely handicapped. Therefore, we were no longer entitled to such a close personal relationship but rather it would be in a more communal setting. However, Nachmonides apparently disagrees with Rashi. He states that the purpose of the Mishkan was to recreate on miniature scale the revelation of Hashem that occurred at Mt. Sinai. That intimate encounter was of such significance that the impact needed to remain with us for decades. Therefore, it is somewhat surprising that the sacrifices brought during the Mishkan’s inauguration phrase should focus on the sin of the Golden Calf since it did not relate to the Mishkan’s objective.

            Rav Shlomo Kluger in great length explains that the sacrifices brought at this time were fundamental to lay the groundwork for the Mishkan. In other words, although they may have resembled other offerings, their intent somewhat differed. The Mishkan was a novel initiative for the nation. It was a marvelous new venture that required an emphatic and pristine beginning that would pilot its function and provide it with the momentum to be a central force in the nation. Therefore, it needed to be free of any previous impediments that would conceivably hinder its maiden flight and ongoing operational efficiency. Granted that Ahron had not sinned at the Golden Calf in the position as High Priest, but now he was to assume that prominent rank as the Mishkan’s highest ‘officer’ and it needed to be accomplished in an outstanding fashion. Therefore, the Torah required that his post be assumed with impeccable credentials, without any prior deficiencies. Those sacrifices were significantly essential for this objective. Hence, he brought together with his sons, who certainly were not involved with the Golden Calf at all, they also enjoined him in these offerings. When we associate with Hashem, we must attend to that goal with the highest expectations and most substantial benchmarks possible!


The primary objective of Amalek and therefore Haman a descendant is to destroy our allegiance to Torah. Therefore, when Haman was killed, the nation accepted the Torah again with full willingness realizing that their adversary to Torah had been eliminated.                                      S’FAS EMES