ZOHAR PARSHAS CHUKAT
MATOK MIDVASH (Page 342-343)
[This weeks Parsha speaks of the death of Aharon the Kohein, brother of Moshe and Miriam. Aharon died on the first day of Av in the fortieth year of the Israelites journeying in the desert. He was 123 years old. Moses was commanded by G-d to ascend
And Moses did just as G-d commanded. And they went up to
And it asks, “What is the reason that it was necessary for Moses to remove the garments of Aharon and not that Aharon removed them himself?” And it answers, “But it is rather since Moses placed the garments on Aharon at the time that Aharon arose to the priesthood.” This is what is written, “And Moses placed the garments on Aharon.” And it is written, (Vayikra 8:7) “And he placed upon him the Ketonet [Tunic], and he girded him with the Avnet [girdle/sash], and he dressed him with the Me’il [robe] and he placed upon him the Ephod and girded him with the Cheshev HaEphod [belt of the Ephod] and adorned him with it,” and therefore now Moses removed and stripped off the garments that he had given him, and the Holy One Blessed be He removed from him what He had given him, i.e. his soul. And both of them removed everything from Aharon. And Moses removed what was external, and the Holy One Blessed be He removed what was internal, and not until Moses had removed and stripped off the garments of Aharon, did the Holy One Blessed be He remove and did not take from him his soul. Happy is the portion of Moses, that the Holy One Blessed be He suspended the death of Aharon upon the removal of his garments [by Moses].
And it said, “Happy is the portion of the righteous, that the Holy One Blessed be He desires their honor”, and therefore, the Holy One Blessed be He prepared for Aharon a bed and a candle of gold that He lit, and He took from what was his and his reward, i.e. from the reward of the Menorah [candle] that he [Aharon] lit twice each day. And afterwards, He closed the mouth of the cave, and they – Moses and Elazar descended from the mountain. (From here, there is a proof to the opinion of the Rambam – Hilchot Temidin 3:12, that the lighting of the Menorah was twice each day.)
Rabbi Yehuda said, “The mouth of the cave was open, and all of Israel saw Aharon dead, and the candle of the Menorah was alight in front of him,” and further, “His bed went out from cave and entered, in order that all of Israel would see that Aharon had died, and the bed was similar to the supernal bed that he would unify each day, and one cloud stood above the bed, in the merit of the cloud of incense that he would burn every day, and then all of Israel would know that Aharon had died. And further, they saw that the Clouds of Glory left the Jewish people – that they were in the merit of Aharon. This is what is written, “And the entire nation saw that Aharon had died.” And all of the House of Israel cried for Aharon for thirty days. And already this has been explained by our Rabbis (Rosh Hashanah 3a), and therefore all the House of Israel wept for Aharon – men, women and children, as it says, “And all the House of Israel wept for Aharon for thirty days,” for he was the beloved of all of them, as Rashi explains, since Aharon pursued peace and imposed love between those who argued and between man and wife.
NOTES TO SIGNS USED IN FORMATTING:
Bold print: Original Zohar
Ordinary text: Matok Midvash
[Square brackets]: ELIYAHU ben PINCHAS
(Round brackets): Either the source being quoted e.g. Proverbs etc., or alternatively used to quote the kabbalistic language as discussed in Matok Midvash. The Matok Midvash formats the Nigleh side of things in an ordinary print, and the Nistar terminology in Rashi script. I’ve therefore put the Rashi script – the Nistar terminology in round brackets.