Acolytes of an Anonymous Sage (Tetzave)
Avoid popularity if you would have peace. -Abraham Lincoln
A special part of the Tabernacle service was the lighting of the Candelabrum, the Menorah. This special task was charged to Aaron, the first High Priest and to his descendants after him. Not only was Aaron responsible for lighting the Menorah and creating light in the sanctified place, but he also possessed an inner light that shone upon those he interacted with (as did Moses in a much more pronounced and observable way).
Aaron, along with his brother, Moses, are the righteous sages of their generation, as well as role models and inspiration for all future generations. These Tzadikim, these righteous ones, managed to communicate directly with God (Moses more so than Aaron), were beloved by Him and intercede on multiple occasions on behalf of the people of Israel, when God’s wrath is upon them.
The Chidushei Harim on Exodus 27:20 takes the opportunity to embark on an exposition regarding a Tzadik. He quotes a Talmudic dictum that there isn’t a generation that doesn’t have its share of Tzadikim, righteous people at the level of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Furthermore, every person has the capacity to connect somehow with a Tzadik of their generation, even if they don’t know the identity of the Tzadik.
He explains that one of the mechanisms to connect to a Tzadik which can assist in our stronger connection to God, is through the Sabbath. The Sabbath also possesses a special divine light. If a person enters the Sabbath with a sense of trepidation, of awe, of expectancy in the upcoming closer encounter with God, those feelings allow for a greater absorption of the sanctified light of the Sabbath, a light similar to the light that a Tzadik is imbued with and which can radiate onwards to those in his generation.
Somehow, bringing in the Sabbath with the right anticipation connects us to this divine light shared by the Tzadikim of our generation.
May we be able to discern and appreciate the light of Shabbat and come in contact with Tzadikim, whether we or they know so or not.
To all those who’ve completed and to those who’ve started the cycle of learning Tanach (the Hebrew Bible) as part of the 929 program. Mazal Tov!