Encounters in Thought

Back to The Forum Archive of previous issues
Yaakov Rosenblatt studied in RJJ (Edison NJ), Mir Yeshiva (Jerusalem), and Beth Medrash Govoha (Lakewood NJ)

Korach, Moshe's first cousin, rebelled against Moshe's appointing Aharon (by divine order) to the position of High Priest (Numbers 16). Korach claimed that all Jews must remain at equal levels of spirituality. There was no room, he said, for one individual to hold a position that seemed more spiritual by nature.

Aharon was chosen by Hashem to serve as High Priest, and Korach and his followers were punished by God for their defiance of His will (Numbers 16:32). It is interesting to note that the letters that comprise Aharon's name are all letters that denote chosenness.

Aharon's name is spelled: Alef, Heh, Raish, Nun.

The first letter, Alef, is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet - which alludes to a foremost, leadership role.

The next three letters, Heh, Raish and Nun, bear numerical values that equal the median of the single, tens and hundred numerals. Heh equals 5 - the center of the single numbers. Nun equals 50 - the center of tens. Raish equals 200 - the center of (Hebrew) alphabet numbers equaling 100 or more (the greatest number is Tav, which equals 400).

Centrality, in Judaism, alludes to chosenness.

  • The land of Israel, tradition says, lies in the center of the world.
  • Jerusalem lies in the center of Israel.
  • The Temple Mount stands at the central point of Jerusalem.

The four letters mentioned above that comprise Aharon's name comprise his identity. Aharon was one who was chosen by God, to take a special, higher and more spiritual role.

(Maharal: Tiferes Yisroel; Chapter 22)

Courtesy of www.JewishAmerica.com

Back to Forum index