בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ
Behaalotcha/When You Kindle
Numbers 8:1-12:16

       B’ha alotcha has several translations, ‘When You Kindle’, ‘When You Set Up’, ‘When You Step Up’ and begins with the instructions for the seven lamps which are to cast their light in front of the lampstand. Psalm 139:7-12 speaks of the spirit and the light of God, never ending, never dulling even in the dark, just as the light of the lampstands were never ending. Psalm 139:11-12 ‘If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me;12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.’
    Chapter Eight continues with the consecration of the Levites as they themselves become the wave offering. They also become the holy firstborn unto Elohim. ‘Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the Lord. 14 In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.15 “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting.16 They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman. 17 Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself. 18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel. ‘
     Chapter Nine gives instructions for the Passover when a person is unclean. In Numbers 9:14 God is clear that His statues are for all and not to be debated. Fast forward to Yeshua, and He becomes the Passover. Yeshua’s lineage, His teaching, His grace and love are for all, just as His death was for all. This is in conjunction with Numbers 9:14; the Passover is a statue for all, to be carried out the same for every person that comes under the guidance of the Torah. Yeshua’s death cannot be regulated according to man. ‘A foreigner residing among you is also to celebrate the Lord’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.’ Numbers 9:14.
    One – Echad. One Torah, Exodus 12:49. One right ruling, Leviticus 24:22. One Torah and statutes, Numbers 15:15. All in One, Galatians 3:28. One flock under One Shepherd, John 10:16. ‘I and My Father are One’ John 10:30.  Analytically and logically speaking, how could there be two separate teachings from One God?
    In Numbers 11 Moses becomes distraught and it seems to be the lowest point in his life, for he begs The Lord in verse 15 to kill him. Numbers 11:14-15 ‘14 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”
     Even though it was the people that were giving him grief, Moses turns to God, equating his despair directly on God. ‘If You treat me like this…’   But what was the difference between the role of Moses in Exodus and Numbers? In Exodus, the problems were so large that only God could solve it. God sent signs and wonders, the 10 plagues, He divides the sea, He sends manna from heaven, and water from The Rock. When a problem arose, God gives Moses the solution, God does the solution. In Numbers however, Moses has the chore of getting the people to change. They have gone through the Exodus, reached Sinai, and made a covenant with God, and are on their way to the Promised Land. Moses’ role is now different. He has to get the people to change, to take responsibility, to learn to do things for themselves while trusting in God, instead of relying on God to do things for them. But he realizes that they haven’t changed at all, for they are still complaining about the food, just like they did before Mount Sinai, before their covenant with God, before they themselves had built the sanctuary, which was their first amazing undertaking together.
     This is an unconventional role, not expected by Moses.   Is it foresighted by any of us? It seems that we are fine when God solves all the problems for us, but when the responsibility is upon our shoulders, it is easy to shrink and wonder. But the Psalmist has the cure in Psalm 121. ‘Where does my help come from? It comes from The Lord.’
     This parsha ends with the lashon ha’ra from Miriam and Aaron in regards to the Ethiopian woman that Moses married. Numbers 12 begins with the complaining and the statement that ‘the Lord heard it…’  He calls the three out and asks Miriam and Aaron why they' weren’t afraid' to speak against Moses? That’s an interesting question that God posed to them. So, why aren’t we afraid to speak against someone that is clearly appointed by God to serve God? Do we not fear the consequences? Maybe it wasn’t just that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, but that they weren’t afraid to speak against him, they had no fear/awe/Yirah of God, therefore being haughty, thinking they were on an equal playing ground with God, they could speak how they wanted.
   Behaalotcha ends with the leprosy of Miriam, the waiting of the people to move and finally the moving of the camp of the Israelites.
    We are, we were and we will be likened to the children of Israel. In our light that shines, in our murmuring, in our complaining, gossiping, in our obedience of One Torah, one right-ruling and One God, and of course His love. It is because we have such a merciful God, whose loving-kindness is never-ending, that we are allowed the full grace that He offers.
     May you be richly blessed as you study B’ha alotcha!
Rabbi Jay