Beha’aloscha

Posted in Bamidbar on Tuesday, 14 June 2011.

“Whenever the Ark set out, Moshe would say…” (10:35)

According to Jewish custom, the above verse is recited by the congregation whenever the Torah scroll is removed from the Ark.   Chasidic thought explains that taking out the Torah scroll is not merely a ceremony, it is a moment when God actually instills His people with the spirit of resilience and dedication required to “take out” the values of the Torah and apply them to one’s everyday life.

And this is the message expressed by reciting the above verse:

“Moshe would say...”—Within every Jew there is a “spark” of Moshe, which is capable of sustaining one’s enthusiasm for the observance of Torah even under the most adverse conditions. The removal of the Torah from the Ark thus awakens this kernel of Jewish identity, to the extent that it starts to speak to us (“Moshe would say”).

“Arise, O God, may your enemies be scattered”—And once the “spark” is awake, it begins to strengthen a person’s observance of Judaism in all areas, both in the growth of positive deeds for God (“Arise, O God”), and the withdrawal from things that are counter­ productive to a Torah lifestyle (“may your enemies be scattered”).*

A further blessing granted by God when the Torah scroll is taken out is that a person should be able to earn a living comfortably. For we are taught that the Ark of the Covenant, represented by the Torah scroll, was buried along with a container of manna (Shemos 16:32-33), and the manna represents how God provides sustenance for the Jewish people without their having to make much effort. So, when we take out the Torah scroll, God not only empowers us to serve Him better, He also blesses us that we should earn a living comfortably, enabling the mitzvos to be per­ formed free from worry and concern.

(Based on Sefer Hasichos 5751, vol. 1, p. 381; and note 24 ibid.)

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