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Monday, July 8, 2013

Haggai and Standing in Peace (Week 43 contd.)

The quality of this week is “places him [in the path of] peace” (ma’amidoh al hashalom). As previously explained, Aharon HaKohen, whose yahrzeit is today, is very much associated with peace. Hillel states that we should all be students of Aharon, who “loves peace and pursue peace…” As explained in the previous week, the verb “ma’amidoh” is connected to students. This seems also hinted in the lighting of the menorah, in the beginning of the Torah portion of Beha’alotchah, in which Aharon had to “raise” the lights of the Menorah until they could stand on their own. (See Rashi)
This week’s prophet is Haggai. His prophecy is very much connected to the theme of the destruction of the Temple, as well as its rebuilding. His words are also connected to the High Priest (like Aharon) and peace:
1. In the seventh [month], on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet, saying:
2. Say now to Zerubbabel the son of Shaltiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak the High Priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying:          
3. Who among you is left, who saw this house in its former glory? And as you see it now, is it not as nothing in your eyes? 
4. And now, be strong, Zerubbabel, says the Lord; and be strong, Joshua the son of Jehozadak the High Priest; and be strong, all the people of the land, says the Lord. And (for I am with you, says the Lord of Hosts) do      
5. the thing that I set up with you when you left Egypt. And My spirit stands in your midst; fear not.           
6. For so said the Lord of Hosts: [There will rise] another one, and I will shake up the heaven and the earth and the sea and the dry land [for] a little while.           
7. And I will shake up all the nations, and they shall come [with] the precious things of all the nations. And I will fill this House with glory, said the Lord of Hosts.         
8. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the Lord of Hosts.
9. The glory of this last House shall be greater than the first one, said the Lord of Hosts. And in this place I will grant peace, says the Lord of Hosts.
(Chapter 2:1-9)(emphasis added)      

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