“If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing” – flying ace Chuck Yeager.
Once a week I have a Torah study session with my oldest daughter, where we learn the portion of the week. Before we started this week I told her that the beginning of the portion is one of my favorites. In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion Beha’alotcha, we read that Aaron the High Priest is charged with the daily lighting of the Menorah.
Let’s set the scene. Aaron hasn’t had it so great since the exodus from Egypt. He played a major role in the sin of the golden calf, and then his two eldest sons were killed for bringing a “strange” fire. Then he sees the princes bringing their offerings in the dedication of the Tabernacle and he is left out.
Rashi explains the connection of the end of last week’s portion dealing with the princes bringing their offerings to this week’s beginning, “Because when Aaron saw the inauguration of the princes, he felt badly about it, for neither he nor his tribe was with them in the inauguration. The Holy One Blessed is He, said to him, ‘By your life! Your role is greater than theirs, for you kindle and prepare the lamps.’” (Rashi on Bamidbar 8:2) What a sense of relief. He is still in the good graces of the Lord.
The obvious question is: Why isn’t his tribe’s consolation that Aaron gets to do everything? The Ramban (Nachmanides) asks this very question. Why didn’t God console him by saying that he gets to offer the twice daily offering of the incense, and/or he gets to enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur?
He suggests “that the consolation offered to Aaron was not the fact that the High Priest would kindle the Menorah daily during the duration of the Temple Service. Rather, the consolation was that the Menorah would be kindled in all generations as a result of the heroism of Aaron’s descendants, the Hashmonean Priests. In other words, the consolation alludes to the Chanukah Menorah that will continue to be lit, even subsequent to the suspension of the Temple Service.
Rabbi Yissocher Frand writes: “The sacrifices of the Princes were offered with great pomp and circumstance, but they were a one-time affair, and it was only for the Mishkan [Tabernacle]. The Mishkan was eventually put away and the whole dedication ceremony had no permanent impact. Aaron’s kindling of the Menorah was not only for now, [and] not only for later, but for eternity.”
LATER IN the summer we read about the revelation of who will replace Moses as leader of the nation. As I have written previously, it would seem that the leading candidates to inherit the leadership position would either be one of the sons of Moses or Pinchas. The former because often leadership is passed from father to son and the latter as it says, “Pinchas, son of Elazar, son of Aharon the Kohen, turned back my wrath from upon the Children of Israel, when he zealously avenged Me among them, so I did not consume the Children of Israel in My vengeance. Therefore say: Behold! I give him my covenant of peace.” (Bamidbar, 25:11-12).
Such a bold and heroic action would certainly put him in the running for leadership, and the nation would get behind him as they were saved from death by his zealousness. But in a surprise move, Joshua the servant of Moses is chosen. I once heard Rabbi Shalom Gold, speaking at a grandson’s bar mitzvah, asking what quality Joshua possessed that merited his being chosen to lead? He answered that if you look at the juxtaposition of verses, immediately after his being chosen we have the section that deals with the daily offering in the Temple, the Tamid. One lamb was offered in the morning and a second one in the afternoon. He said it’s the day-in-day-out commitment that is important in leadership, not a one-time heroic event.
Following and trusting the process
FINANCIAL SUCCESS is about following and trusting the process. Living within your means, saving and investing are the time-tested methods to achieve financial security. Slow and steady portfolio growth over the long haul makes all the difference.
I’ve written before about a friend who during the go-go days of hi-tech in the late ‘90’s decided that he was going to put all his hard-earned money into Nokia stock, and become a millionaire. Well, he made it to almost $800,000, the bubble burst, and 23 years later it’s still 90% lower. Don’t think you will be the one to outsmart and short-circuit the process.
Sit down and define your goals and needs, and then invest with an allocation that will help you achieve them. Don’t get caught up in trying to time the stock market; instead buy good quality assets and hold them. From time to time, re-assess those goals and make sure your investments are still aligned to meet them.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.
Aaron Katsman is the author of Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing. He can be reached at www.gpsinvestor.com; firstname.lastname@example.org