Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Princes - You Are a Part of Them

When Moshe Rabbeinu completed erecting the Mishkan (the Tabernacle), the tribes wanted to take part in it in some way. They chose to do so by offering their very own unique offerings. For more on the offerings see Numbers 7:1-88 and the last verse 89 of Parshat Nasso. 

Since it was on the first day of Nissan that the Mishkan was erected and the first offering was offered by the leader of the tribe of Yehuda - Nachshon ben Aminadav, it is brought in Halacha that everybody should recite section in Torah dealing with the offering for the first day then - and thereafter the offerings offered on all the other days until the 12th day when the final offering - offered by the leader of the tribe of Naphtali - Achira ben Einan. An additional day is added for the tribe of Levi on the 13th of Nissan.

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (107:1) states:

כל חודש ניסן אין אומרים תחנון ולא צדוק הדין ואין אומרים צדקתך בשבת במנחה, נוהגין מראש חודש ואילך לקרות בכל יום פרשת הנשיא שהקריב בו ביום, וביום שלשה עשר קורין פרשת בהעלתך עד כן עשה את המנורה שהוא נגד שבטו של לוי

"For the entire month of Nissan, we do not recite Tachanun or Tzidduk HaDin. We don't recite Tzidkatecha on Shabbat at Mincha time. From Rosh Chodesh and onwards, we are accustomed to recite on every day the section of the prince who brought his offering on that particular day. On the 13th day we recite Parshat BeHa'alotecha until 'Ken asa et hamenora' which corresponds to the tribe of Levi."

What is fascinating to note is that each of the offerings from the different tribes is exactly the same! Yet the Torah goes into extremely great depth to highlight the offering they offered! The Torah is not one to include any additional words - and so the inclusion of each particular tribe's offering highlights just how important it was. The Torah could indeed have simply indicated that each prince gave the same offering as the first prince did!

The Torah comes to teach us the value of every person - and even when it appears that he may be doing the same thing as another. Nevertheless because the person is who he is, everything about the way he gives of himself will be highly different from how another gives of himself! In addition - one can never know the true motives behind why another does what they do - and even this is sufficient to make him stand out from the crowd - even when it seems to all watching that he is doing nothing more than what the others are!

Every year, we have the good fortune to be able to recite these verses discussing the offerings, from the first day of Nissan until the 13th day. We have the opportunity to remind ourselves that whatever we do in our Divine service, when we do it for the sake of Hashem - that even if it looks similar (and in fact exactly the same!) as another person's service, it is in fact quite different. We are all princes (princesses)! To Hashem it is valued on an individual level. Each person's service - is just as great as another's - when done with the right motives - even if nobody else knows why it should be valued so highly!

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