The Flower of Life by Moshe Rapps


In this week’s Sedra, Korach, the Torah talks about how Hashem proved the greatness of Aharon.  Hashem commanded that each Tribe of Israel appoint a leader and each leader shall take a staff and inscribe his name on it.  These twelve staffs, Aharon’s name being on the staff of Shevet Levi, were put into the Mishkan.  The very next day, Moshe saw that the staff of Aharon had miraculously blossomed, as it says, “Vehenei Parach Mateh Aharon, Vayotzei Perach, Vayatzetz Tzitz, Vayigmol Shekeidim,” which means, “the staff of Aharon had blossomed; it brought forth a blossom, it sprouted a bud and it bore almonds.”  The obvious question arises: Why did the Torah have to state three ways that the staff of Aharon blossomed, one should have been enough, especially since one sprouting alone was a tremendous miracle?

 Chizkuni, commenting on the Pasuk, says that the phrase “Vayotzei Perach” alludes to the Pirchei Kehuna that would eventually sprout from Aharon, the phrase “Vayatzetz Tzitz” alludes to the Tzitz Hazahav, the golden headband the Kohen Gadol would wear, and the phrase “Vayigmol Shekeidim” hints to the word Shoked, which means zealous or passionate.  Kohanim are often described as Zerizim, or zealous in their service to Hashem.  All of these phrases refer to the future of Aharon’s children, the Kohanim.

My cousin, Uri Schechter, said the following.  The three phrases can be applied to the way man lives his life.  In the early stages of his life he is no more than budding flower, much like the Pirchei Kehuna.  As he matures, he learns more Torah and impresses his teachers and parents, just like Bnai Yisrael were impressed by the Tzitz of the Kohen Gadol.  And in his later stage of life, when he has mastered all of the Torah, he emerges as a ripe almond. 

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