The Torah Portion of Beha'alotcha
Excerpted and Translated from the the Teachings of Rabbi Gershon Steinberg ztz"l
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben Chaim ztz"l
Why was the passage about the Menorah placed after the passage about the Princes?
Because when Aharon saw the inauguration of the Princes he felt mentally weakened because neither he nor his tribe participated in it. Then the Holy One Blessed Be He said to him, by your life "yours is greater than theirs, because you light and prepare the candles" (from Rashi) The Ramban says that this comes to hint to us that the Chashmonaim will be descended from him, and they will establish the Mitzvah of lighting the candles of Chanukah, and that is what is meant by "yours is greater than theirs" .
Rashi says "yours is greater than theirs because you light and prepare the candles" .
It has been asked, didn't it need to say "because you prepare and light", since the preparation of the candles is before the lighting? Another question is, how did the Holy One Blessed Be comfort him by saying that, so that afterwards he no longer felt mentally weakened? The answer is, that there are rare Mitzvot such as the redemption of a first-born mule, and the like, and that when people do those Mitzvot they feel great enthusiasm, because they are not frequently performed, but for a Mitzvah which is performed on a regular basis there is not so much enthusiasm. And this is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended when He said to him "yours is greater than theirs" : that you will light the Menorah regularly, and even so it will be with great enthusiasm. Therefore it is written "light and prepare" because that indicates the continuity "light and prepare, light and prepare" without stopping. (from Kol Yehuda)
"Toward the face of the Menorah they will cast light" (Bamidbar 8:2)
It is written in the Zohar, that the face of a man is similar to the Menorah. The 6 branches correspond to the 2 ears, the 2 eyes, the 2 nostrils, and the mouth, which is most important, corresponds to the "face of the Menorah" (Bamidbar 8:2). One needs to sanctify all of these parts of one's face, and then he will cast light upon the Torah with great success, and that is what is meant by the verse: "towards the face of the Menorah they will cast light" (Bamidbar 8:2)
"But a man who is pure and was not on the road" (Bamidbar 9:13)
There are those who explain, that if someone wants to be pure, then he should not be on the road, he should not wander around outside and he should guard his eyes.
"According to the word of Hashem they would camp, and according to the word of Hashem they would journey" (Bamidbar 9:23)
The Chida says, that we always need to mention the name of Hashem, at every place and in every matter that we turn to: Baruch Hashem (Bless Hashem), May Hashem be merciful, If Hashem wills it, etc., and we learn this from the verse: "according to the word of Hashem they would camp, and according to the word of Hashem they would journey" (Bamidbar 9:23)
"And when the Ark would journey... And when it rested, he would say..." (Bamidbar 10:35 - 10:36)
Regarding these two verses, the Sages say that they have 85 words and that they constitute a separate Chumash (book of the Torah) by themselves. And these two verses are surrounded by a pair of symbols that look like a backwards Hebrew letter "Nun", in order to make an interruption between one passage which deals with a bad event and another. The first bad event is: "And they journeyed from the mountain of Hashem" (Bamidbar 10:33), like a young child who is running away from school. The second bad event is the incident of the Mitonenim: "And the people were as murmurers speaking evil" (Bamidbar 11:1). And why is the Hebrew letter Nun backwards? The Ba'al HaTurim says that the Sages say that this is not the appropriate place for these verses, but rather 50 sections prior to that (since the numerical Gematria value of the Hebrew letter Nun is 50), before the verse "And the Tent of Meeting will journey..." (Bamidbar 2:17). And the Sages say that in the Future to Come these verses will move backwards 50 sections. (from Shabbat 116)
"And the man Moshe was very humble, more than any other person" (Bamidbar 12:3)
It has been asked, why isn't this written in the Torah Portion of Shemot, because also there the humility of Moshe is shown when he said "Who am I" (Shemot 3:11), "I am not a man of words" (Shemot 4:10), and "Please send by the hand of whomever you will send" (Shemot 4:13)? The explanation is that here in this passage, his humility is shown after they hurt him when they said about him "that he had taken a Cushite woman" (Bamidbar 12:1). This is a greater proof of his humility.
Moshe prayed for Miriam "Please G-d, heal her now" (Bamidbar 12:13)
In this verse the Hebrew word "Na" appears twice. Why? The Daat Zekainim says the translation into Aramaic explains the first "Na" as a language of request ("Please" ), and the second "Na" is translated as "now" . There are those that explain that a request which includes the word "Na" two times is a great Segula (that is, it is very effective method) for a prayer to be accepted. The word "Na" also occurs twice in the prayer "Please Hashem Save Now" (Tehillim 118:25, which we say during the Hallel).
The Sages say that four categories (of sinners) don't receive the face of the Shechina (Divine Presence).
These have the initial letters of Chashmal (the Hebrew letters Chet Shin Mem Lamed). Chet stands for Chaneifim (flatterers) , Shin stands for Shakranim (liars), Mem stands for Mesaprai Lashon Hara (speakers of Lashon Hara - derogatory speech), and Lamed stands for Laitzanim (scoffers). The Gr"a says that these four groups of sinners are the four legs of the throne of the chariot of impurity. And the Raishit Chachma writes, that he heard in the name of the Kabbalists that corresponding to these four groups of sinners are the four impure animals, the Shafan (rock badger) , the Arnevet (rabbit), the Gamal (camel), and the Chazir (pig). And in correspondence to these there are four Klipot (husks of impurity) in the upper realms to raise up the act of the sinner and punish him in Gehinnom. In addition he wrote that he heard that someone who sinned and was a member of one of the aforementioned four categories, in the future he will be reincarnated as one of these four impure animals, each one in the animal that is hinted at and related to the particular type of sin which he did.
The Torah Portion of Beha'alotcha has 136 verses, 3 positive commandments and 2 negative commandments. Haftora: "Rani v'simchi" (Zecharia 2)Pirkei Avot, Chapter 3 (second cycle).
May you all have a light-filled and happy Shabbat.
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772