I hope that everyone had a wonderful Pesach!
Aharon HaKohen (Aaron) gets inaugurated in this week's parasha. He is at first very hesitant, and he needs the courage of his brother Moshe (Moses) to in fact assume his role, because he feels unworthy of such a lofty position as high priest.
The Vilna Gaon offers a fascinating thought related to this, which teaches an important lesson as well.
The Talmud says that a person should have an eighth of an eighth of gaavah, pride. The Gaon asks, what does this mean? For example, why not just say 1/64th?
To answer this, he directs us to our parasha, which is named Shmini - eighth. The eighth verse in this parasha (the eighth of the eighth!) is the verse where Aharon is told not to be so humble!
A person needs to know who he is, and when others (or even he himself) needs him, that is not the time to be unassuming. Aharon was truly humble, but when he was needed, he was able to step up and do what he had to. May we all have the clarity of thought to know when we must be humble and when we need to use the gifts we have been given.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
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Rabbi Naftali Karp
Every week Rabbi Karp sends out thoughts about the weekly Torah portion. Enjoy!