04 August 2016

Rosh Chodesh Av –Some Facts about Aharon HaKohein

In Honor of the Yahrzeit of Aharon HaKohein


Father: Amram.
Mother: Yocheved.
Wife: Elisheva.
Sons: Avihu, Itamar, Elazar and Nadav.
Brother: Moshe Rabeinu.
Sister: Miriam the Prophetess.
Grandfathers: Kehat (paternal), Levi (Maternal).

"Hor Hahar" – Aharon's mountain grave




Aharon was born in 2365 when the children of Israel were in exile in Egypt and was from the tribe of Levi. He married the daughter of Amidanav. 

"He was in Egypt and prophesized to them that in the future G-d would redeem Israel" (Exodus Rabbah 5:10), 'Moshe would say, until I was appointed, my brother Aharon prophesized to them in Egypt for 80 years' (Exodus Rabbah 3:16). He greeted his brother (Moshe Rabeinu) when he returned to redeem Israel from Egypt and therefore merited wearing the Urim V'Tumim (Exodus Rabbah 3:17). At G-d's command, he accompanied Moshe and served as his spokesman for Israel before Pharaoh, king of Egypt because Moshe suffered from a speech impediment.

'These plagues [on Egypt] three [were performed] by Aharon and three by Moshe and three by the Holy One, blessed be He, and one by everyone – Blood, frogs and lice that were on land, by Aharon' (Exodus Rabbah 12:4).

He was chosen to be the first Cohen in Israel, and from then on his prodigy continue to be the Cohanim of the Jewish People – 'The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moshe: Tempt him with things because he flees from position of authority… show him respect among Israel so that they see him entering the High Priesthood today' (Midrash Tanchuma "Tzav", 10:11). 'When Moshe poured the anointing oil on Aharon's head, he flinched and fell backward, saying, Oy, I might be guilty of stealing some of the anointing oil' (Leviticus Rabbah 3:6). On the 23rd of Adar they began anointing the Tabernacle and its vessels (Sifri Naso 44). 'For the entire seven day 'miluim' work, Moshe served in the Tabernacle and the shechina was not served by him, until Aharon came and used the clothing of the High Priesthood, and the shechina was served by him' (Sifra Shmini 1). 'When the Levites waved 22 thousand, he waved in one day. How did they wave, back and forth, up and down – he was extremely strong' (Leviticus Rabbah 26:9).

When Moshe was delayed in coming down the mountain, and Chur was killed, 'they asked to build an altar with him but he didn't let them. He said to them: Let me alone and I will build it myself, because it isn't respectful if anyone else builds it. Aharon intended to delay things' (Exodus Rabbah 41:7). 'When they brought the nose-rings, Aharon turned his eyes to Heavan and said… You know all of the thoughts that I am having against my will' (Midrash Tanchuma Tisa 19), 'and Moshe assumed that Aharon partnered with them and he was angry with him. The Holy One, blessed be He said to him: Moshe, I know that Aharon's intentions were good' (Exodus Rabbah 37:2).

'When the sons of Aharon [Nadav and Avihu] died, he said to him, Aharon my brother, your sons only died to sanctify the name of the Holy One, blessed be He… he remained silent and was rewarded' (Bab. Talmud Zevachim 115B).

He was known as a kind person who 'loved peace and pursued peace, loved his fellow man and brought them closer to Torah' (Ethics of the Fathers 1:12) – He never said to any man or woman "you sinned" (Sifra Shmini 1), 'would go from door to door and would teach anyone who didn't know the Shma and prayer, and anyone who did not enter into the body of Torah, he would teach' (Tana D'Bei Eliahu Rabba). 

'When Moshe spoke he would lean over to hear in awe and it was like he heard directly from the Holy One, blessed be He' (Mechilta Bo, 3). 'He told to Moshe, you want to kill me, my sons, because they offered a regular fire to the Holy One, blessed be He, were burned, and you say, "take the poker". If I take holy fire outside, I die or will be burned. Moshe said to him, go and quickly do it, since because you are anointed, they die. When Aharon heard this he said to him, I am worthy to die for Israel' (Yalkut Shimoni "Tzav" 514). Thanks to him, Israel merited the pillar of cloud and the clouds of glory which accompanied them in the desert.

Aharon was sorry together with Miriam (Bab. Talmud Shabbat 97a).

In the year 2488 'The Holy One blessed be He, said to Moshe, Do me a favor and tell Aharon about the death that I am ashamed to mention to him. What did Moshe do? He woke up for the morning prayers and went to Aharon and starting calling him Aharon my brother. He immediately came down to him, told him why he got up early and come to him today. Moshe said to him, something from the Torah was difficult for me and it kept me up the entire night, so that is why I got up early and came to you. Aharon asked him what was bothering him? Moshe said to him that he didn't know, but I do know that it is in Sefer Breishit. They took out the book and started reading, and when they reached the creation of man, Moshe said, what does one say to man who brought death into the world? Aharon answered: Moshe, my brother, you wouldn't say that we don't accept G-d's decree? He answered, and I, who controlled the ministering Angels, and you who stopped the Angel of death, is this not our end? 

Until he mentioned the day of death, they immediately felt that Aharon's bones died. Aharon said, perhaps this is for me? Moshe answered in the affirmative. Israel immediate saw that his height was reduced. He said to Aharon, do you accept death? Aharon answered yes. Moshe said, let us go up the mountain. When they went up a cave opened up and they found a heavenly made staff, and Aharon would remove one vessel and Elazar [his son] put it on and he was enwrapped in fog. The Shechina immediately came down and kissed him. The Holy One blessed be He said to him, get out of here. Once they left, the cave was sealed up and Moshe and Elazar descended' (Yalkut Shimoni "Chukat" 764). 'Once Aharon died, the clouds of glory dissipated' (Targum Yonatan Bamidbar 20:29).

'There were six [people] the Angel of Death did not control – Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon and Miriam… seven people were not affected by maggots and worms – Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Miriam and Benyamin Ben Yaakov' (Bab. Talmud Baba Batra 17a).

Aharon will be one of the first to be revived from the dead during the redemption and will come together with his brother (Moshe Rabbeinu) to meet the Davidic Messiah and begin the work of the Temple, speedily in our days, Amen.



Source: MyTzadik

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