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The Torah tells us, "And Aharon did so... facing the Menorah he kindled its lights, just as Hashem had commanded Moshe." (8:3)

Why would the Torah praise Aharon for doing what he is supposed to? And, if it is a point of praise, is that all the Torah can say in praise of Aharon? After all, it doesn't take much to do what you're told… or does it?

The Sfat Emet explains that the first time a person performs a Mitzvah, he has a natural tendency to do it with excitement. But as he repeats the Mitzvah again and again, the excitement begins to fade. The repetition can lead to boredom. Yet at the end of his life, Aharon, who lit the Menorah every single evening for 39 years, was as enthusiastic with lighting the Menorah on his last day as he was on the first. He never changed his attitude. The holy Avodah of Aharon Hakohain was never done out of routine or habit but with a new, fresh excitement every single day.

Rabbi Meir of Premishlan teaches us another great thing about Aharon. Although Aharon was given the lofty position of Kohain Gadol, which brought him very close to the Shechina, his personality did not change. He didn't become arrogant, but remained with the same level of humility. He "loved peace and ran after peace, he loved all people and brought them close to Torah." Aharon never changed his special way of dealing with all people - he remained humble and modest and the lofty crown of Kehunah Gedola that was placed upon his head never changed him even one bit.

There is another lesson in telling us that Aharon did exactly as he was told.

A king once sent his minister to a banquet given by the neighboring king. He ordered the minister not make any bets.

At the banquet, one of the guests introduced himself and in the course of the conversation said, "I know that you have a birthmark on your back."

"That is not true," retorted the minister. "I don't have any birthmarks on my back!"

"How can you deny something which everyone knows about."

"But that is simply not true," the minister answered angrily.

"How about if we made a bet. I will give you 10,000 silver coins if I am wrong!"

Although he was told not to make any bets, the 10,000 coins were very appealing. He thought to himself, "After all, it is a sure bet, for I know that I don't have any birthmarks. I will give the 10,000 silver coins to the king, then for sure he will be happy I didn't listen to him and made the bet."

He removed his shirt showing that he had no birthmarks! The other guest apologized and gave him the 10,000 coins.

Upon returning to his country, he couldn't wait to tell the king of his experience. He gave the king a report of his mission and handed him a bag full of silver coins.

"What is this?" the king wondered. He told him about the bet he made.

"But I told you not to make any bets!" The king retorted angrily.

"Your majesty," replied the minister, "I didn't think you would mind as I knew for sure that I would win the bet and bring you 10,000 silver coins!"

"You fool!" said the king in dismay. "Before I sent you I bet 50,000 silver coins with the king of that country that they would not be able to get you to make a bet. This is why I warned you not to make any bets. What value is your 10,000 coins when I have just lost 50,000 silver coins because of your bet!"

The moral and lesson of the story is that a person must not change any of the commandments of the Torah. Even if it may seem that the changes are for the better. For only Hashem knows the true reasons and effect of the Mitzvot.

Thus, while it may seem that the change is for the better, we may in fact be doing the opposite. Aharon's steady enthusiasm is highlighted by the fact that he never tried to second-guess Hashem's commandment and improve upon it. Instead, he fulfilled this great Mitzvah to the letter of the law.



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