Beha’alotach 5777- Don’t Let Power Change You

In this week’s Parsha, Aharon the Kohein Gadol-High Priest is instructed in the procedure of kindling the Menorah in the Beis Hamikdash which was a daily part of the service. The verse then recounts, “And Aharon did so…” The Sages explain, “This is to inform us of the praiseworthiness of Aharon; that he did not change (anything).”
Let us consider this puzzling statement. Aharon was only second to Moshe his brother who was the leader of the Jews and was the first one deemed worthy of being appointed the High Priest! Is this considered complimentary the fact that he didn’t veer from his instructions regarding the service of the Menorah?!
Our Rabbis explain that there is a more profound way of understanding. Aharon performed this service for 40 whole years until his passing at the age of 123. The natural tendency of most people is that although they begin an important and exciting task with alacrity and enthusiasm, eventually that excitement wears off and it becomes stale. Our Sages are commenting on the great devotion and zeal of Aharon that even after all these years he performed this service without any change or dilution of enthusiasm for this Mitzvah as he realized the importance and unique opportunity of serving Hashem. When something is real to a person he retains his commitment and freshness regardless of how many times he has performed this task.
We may be inspired by this example that when it comes to meaningful such as performing Mitzvos, coming close to G-d or revitalizing important and wholesome relationships, we should never feel as if this is “yesterday’s news” rather we should retain our original enthusiasm and commitment which we displayed when it was still new to us.

By Rabbi Sharaga Thav
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