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5 Facts About Parshat Behaalotecha that You (Maybe) Didn’t Know

Published on Wednesday May 30th, 2018

Discover and learn every week, "5 Facts" written on the weekly Parshah that you can share at your Shabbos table.


וְזֶ֨ה מַעֲשֵׂ֤ה הַמְּנֹרָה֙ מִקְשָׁ֣ה זָהָ֔ב עַד־יְרֵכָ֥הּ עַד־פִּרְחָ֖הּ מִקְשָׁ֣ה הִ֑וא כַּמַּרְאֶ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר הֶרְאָ֤ה יְהוָה֙ אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֔ה כֵּ֥ן עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הַמְּנֹרָֽה׃ (8:4)

Now this is how the lampstand was made: it was hammered work of gold, hammered from base to petal. According to the pattern that the LORD had shown Moses, so was the lampstand made.

1.     Must the Menorah be made of a single solid piece??

The repeated teachings regarding the construction of the menorah teach us that the menorah only needed to be of a single solid piece if it was made of gold. If, however, the Menorah had to be made of some other material, as it was during the time of the Chashmonaim when it was made from wood, then it could be made of many pieces that are fused together.

(Ramban, Menachot 28b, Sifri)


וְהִקְרַבְתָּ֥ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֖ם לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וְסָמְכ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־יְדֵיהֶ֖ם עַל־הַלְוִיִּֽם׃ (8:10)

And bring the Levites forward before the LORD. Let the Israelites lay their hands upon the Levites.

2.     How did Moshe and Aaron “wave” the Leviim?

The waving was done in the same manner as one shakes the 4 species on Sukkot.


3.     How did Moshe and Aaron “wave” the Leviim?

There were 2 wavings of the Leviim: First Aaron waved them  as a way of confirming  their appointment when they officially replaced the First Borns. Later, Moshe did the same, to confirm their new role  as the Priests’ assistants.

Moshe and Aharon were miraculously able to lift 22,000 Leviim and perform all the wavings in a single day.  

(Malbim, Vayikra Rabbah 26:9, Bachya)


זֹ֖את אֲשֶׁ֣ר לַלְוִיִּ֑ם מִבֶּן֩ חָמֵ֨שׁ וְעֶשְׂרִ֤ים שָׁנָה֙ וָמַ֔עְלָה יָבוֹא֙ לִצְבֹ֣א צָבָ֔א בַּעֲבֹדַ֖ת אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד׃ (8:24)

This is the rule for the Levites. From twenty-five years of age up they shall participate in the work force in the service of the Tent of Meeting;

4.     What lesson did the Sages learn from the Leviim training process?

When the  Leviim reached the age of 25, they underwent a 5 year training process, beginning to serve once they turned 30. From here the the Sages learn that if one doesn’t see success after 5 years of study one will likely never see success. According to some authorities, the 5 year training period was  a rabbinical enactment.

(Rashi, Bachya, Ramban)


וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר יְהוָ֣ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֣ה בְמִדְבַּר־סִ֠ינַי בַּשָּׁנָ֨ה הַשֵּׁנִ֜ית לְצֵאתָ֨ם מֵאֶ֧רֶץ מִצְרַ֛יִם בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הָרִאשׁ֖וֹן לֵאמֹֽר׃ (9:1)

The LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, on the first new moon of the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, saying:

5.     How many “Korban Pessach” were offered throughout their 40 years journey?

The Pessach sacrifice that was offered the year after leaving Egypt was the only Pessach sacrifice that was offered throughout the 40 years in the desert.

This Pesach offering was only brought because they were explicitly commanded to offer it as the requirement to bring an annual Pesach offering only took effect upon entering Eretz Israel.

So too, the Pesach offering could only be brought by one who is circumcised and circumcisions were not done during the 40 years in the desert because it was dangerous to do so.  

(Rashi, Tos. Kiddushin 37b, Yebamot 71b)

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