Parashat Emor begins, “VaYomer Hashem El Moshe Emor El HaKohanim Benei Aharon VeAmarta Aleihem LeNefesh Lo Yitama BeAmav,” “And Hashem said to Moshe: Speak to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let none of you defile himself for a dead person among his people” (VaYikra 21:1). The Midrash Rabbah explains that in this Pasuk, the future of Kelal Yisrael is revealed to Moshe Rabbeinu through a prism. Moshe is shown that there will be good people, bad people, smart people, and leaders; and that the king of Israel, the great King Shaul, will die by the sword. Moshe asks in bewilderment, “How could such an amazing king die by the sword?” Hashem tells Moshe, “go and ask the Kohanim.”
Let's analyze the story of King Shaul to have a better understanding of this confusing way to learn this Pasuk.
When David HaMelech was running away from King Shaul, he took refuge in Nov (Shmuel I 21:2). The people of Nov opened their hearts and homes to David, and gave him food, clothing, and shelter. How were they repaid? When King Shaul found out about the townspeople’s assisting a “fugitive,” he killed 80 of the town’s Kohanim. He had no right to do this, yet he carried it out anyway.
When Shaul was instructed by Hashem to kill every single man, woman, and child from the nation of Amaleik, he actually spared the most evil of the nation – Agag, the king of Amaleik (15:8-9)! Here, he was given a job to kill every Amaleiki, yet he did not carry it out. Shmuel HaNavi ended up doing the job of the king later on, by once and for all killing Agag, but not before a descendant of Agag was conceived.
Hashem must have understood from Shaul’s actions that he was inconsistent – he killed innocent Jews for no reason and spared the life of a Rasha when he wasn't allowed to do so. When Hashem saw this, He decided that Shaul no longer deserved the kingship. From here we can learn that in order for Hashem to be happy with us, we must be consistent.
Recently I approached HaRav Moshe Meir Weiss Shlit'a with an intense and lingering question about life that had been bothering me for quite a while. I asked, “Rebbi, I feel that life is moving too fast and that life is short and I want to feel accomplished, but I'm not feeling much true accomplishment. I want to make my days on Earth feel long and accomplished and not short and brief fleeting moments.”
Quick to answer, Rabbi Weiss explained: “Consistency. Consistency is key to accomplishment and reaching great levels. That's why we have Mishnah Yomi and Daf Yomi, to motivate us to learn and grow on a consistent basis!”
After these very meaningful words of Chizuk were given to me, I decided to participate in the “Daf Yomi.” After all, the only way to grow is to instill into oneself a habit, and to be consistent!
As my late uncle who passed away 10 years ago at the young age of 19 once said: “Life is short; don't waste time!