Rabbi Yaacov Haber's
for the Week
Moshe was invited, and perhaps, commanded to be the leader of the
Jewish Nation. It was very important to Moshe, however, that before he accepted
his mission as the leader that would lead his people to freedom, to rediscover G-d, and to reinherit the Holy Land, his older brother Aharon
would be comfortable with this.
Let's take a closer look. Moshe was already eighty years old, Aharon was
only three years older. Moshe hadn't seen his brother or heard from him in sixty years. Even during his first twenty years in Egypt Moshe hadn't
grown up with Aharon being the big brother. As a matter of fact, Moshe hardly knew Aharon at all! Yet, to Moshe, Aharon's approval was a deal
breaker. "If my big brother Aharon is happy with this, I go ahead - if not," said Moshe,
"I'm very happy retiring as a shepherd in Midian."
As G-d predicted, not only did Aharon agree, he came out to greet Moshe
in the desert. When Moshe saw his brother, not only was there no jealousy or envy on Aharon's part, there was a deep simcha! Aharon was
actually excited for his eighty-year-old kid brother Moshe. His warm accepting smile
in the desert is just what Moshe was waiting for. It was this smile, Aharon's genuine simcha and
nachas, which encouraged Moshe
to become Moshe. It was Aharon's smile that created the Jewish people. Moshe needed
Why did Moshe need Aharon's smile? He had just received a seven-day
prophecy from G-d himself! He had just witnessed a miraculous burning bush! I can't think of any obligations, halachic or otherwise, that
Moshe had toward his long lost brother. So why was this approval so important?
The answer is that we all need someone to have a little nachas from us. It is
a basic human emotional need that we all have. No matter what our age or our standing in life we yearn for a father, mother, wife, child,
grandchild, friend, Rebbe, talmid - almost anybody - to have nachas and be proud of
us. When someone is having nachas, when someone is b'simcha over our accomplishments we gain the strength to continue. Even a man as
great and as mature as Moshe needed Aharon, his big brother, to smile. He needed the pat on the back from Aharon that says "Not only don't I
mind that G-d appointed you and not me, but I'm happy for you, I'm proud of you,
Moshe." This empowered Moshe. This changed everything.
Why is it so important to be "mesameach a choson veKalla? I remember almost twenty five years ago announcing my wedding engagement to my
friends. How I yearned for their smile, their outburst of song, and how I craved their simcha. At a Jewish wedding there is only one focus:
being happy for the choson and
kalla. That is the purpose of the wedding
party and that is the mitzvah to attend. A wedding is an exercise in
being happy, proud and having nachas from our friends. At a wedding we
all empower the young couple to take on life together. They can get
through the big challenges because we are all rooting for them.
That is why we must go to the plays, performances and siyumim of our
children and grandchildren. That is why we must try to attend every
simcha. Our children need our nachas.
Imagine living in a community where everyone had nachas from each other.
There would be no jealousy, there would be no fights. Everyone's success
would be a source of joy, and in turn our joy would be a source of
Aharon introduced us to a chesed that we can all perform. It doesn't
cost money, it hardly takes any time -- but by having a little nachas
from the people around us we can change their lives.
The Medrash says that Aharon himself didn't realize how important his
smile was; if he had realized it, he would have brought the whole Negina
Orchestra to greet Moshe!
Rabbi Yaacov Haber
Spiritual Leader, Congregation Bais Torah, Monsey NY
Message or Fax (212) 656-1399
"A tree of life for those who embrace it"
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