Accept the Power by Seth Feuerstein-Rudin


When discussing the special laws pertaining to the Kohanim, Hashem commands Moshe to tell Bnei Yisrael, “VeKidashto,” “And you (singular) should sanctify him” (VaYikra 21:8). Shouldn’t the command to those who need to sanctify the Kohanim be in plural, for it is incumbent upon all of Bnei Yisrael to sanctify them? Furthermore, if the Mitzvah is to glorify all Kohanim, why does the Torah command us to sanctify “him,” the singular Kohen, and not “them,” all of the Kohanim?

Our first difficulty can be alleviated by appreciating who the command was being transmitted to, namely Moshe. The command of “VeKidashto” was in fact rather revolutionary, as the obligation to sanctify the Kohanim elevated them to a level higher than Moshe. Therefore, Moshe might have felt some animosity towards the Kohanim for “stealing” his unchallenged superiority. However, with this new order Hashem told Moshe to embrace this command the same way that Aharon, the elder of the two brothers, had accepted Moshe’s ascension to the leadership of Am Yisrael with unbridled happiness years before.

I would like to suggest an answer to our second question as to why the Kohanim, a plural entity, are mentioned in the singular. This singular person clearly refers to Aharon, since Aharon was the original Kohen and, as the Kohen Gadol, the leader of the Kohanim. In this case, while the command seems to relate only to him, Aharon is in fact serving as the representative of the Kohanim, as the commandment applies not only to him, but to all of his descendants as well.

Hashem’s command to Moshe imbues the important message of accepting authority. There is a clear necessity to embrace our friends and the power they may enjoy, even if that grants them the ability to be greater than us. By giving our assistance and putting our support behind them, we can bring them, and hopefully ourselves, to even greater heights.

Careful Thought by Binyamin Segal

Charity for Hashem by Rabbi Ezra Weiner