Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk says והקטיר עליו אהרן קטורת “and Aharon shall burn upon it incense.” The following passuk says ובהעלות אהרן את הנרות “and when Aharon lights the candles.” Since the mitzvah of burning the incense and lighting candles is able to be performed by any Kohen, why does the Torah specifically mention Aharon?

The Ramban suggests that the passuk further on states וכפר אהרון…אחת בשנה “and Aharon shall make atonement… one time a year.” This refers to the avodah on Yom Kippur which only Aharon the Kohen Gadol is eligible to do. Since the passuk speaks about Aharon doing the avodah of Yom Kippur, it also mentions Aharon by the other avodah as well. Another answer is that the passuk is hinting that Aharon should be the first to start the avodah.

I heard another answer from Avi Mori shlita. The Meshach Chachma brings a Midrash: Hashem says to Moshe, “It is not as you thought that Aharon can only enter into the Kodesh HaKadoshim sometimes; rather he can enter whenever he wants in order to do the avodah like the seder of Yom Kippur.” The Gra explains: Aharon can go into the Kodesh Hakodoshim whenever he wants to do the avodah as done on Yom Kippur, but his sons and future Kohanim Gedolim cannot. The reason for this is as the Seforno explains in parshas Emor: the cloud rested over the Mishkan throughout forty years in the Midbar as it says כי ענן על המשכן יומם. Each day in the Midbar was like Yom Kippur, about which it says  כי בענן אראה על הכפרת. Since on Yom Kippur the avodah of the incense and lighting was done by the Kohen Gadol, so too it was fitting for Aharon to do these each day in the Midbar as well.

The Seforno in parshas Pikudei says that the Shechina rested so permanently over the Mishkan that for forty years it never left, other than when Bnei Yisrael would travel. This did not occur in Shilo, nor by the first or second Beis HaMikdash. However the third Beis HaMikdash will be even greater as it says ואני אהיה לה..חומת אש סביב ולכבוד אהיה בתוכם.

May Hashem bring back the hashra’as haShechina with the third Beis HaMikdash speedily in our days.

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