Friday, June 1
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 07:00 pm – Mincha
- 07:57 pm – Candle lighting
Saturday, June 2
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 08:55 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 05:00 pm – Ladies’ Torah class
- 06:30 pm – Men’s Derech Hashem class
- 07:30 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 08:50 pm – Ma’ariv
- 09:06 pm – Shabbat Ends
June 3 – 8
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
- 08:00 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 07:00 pm – Friday
- 08:30 pm – Sunday – Thursday
To print this schedule, click here to go directly to the post, and then press ctrl-P (Windows) or cmd-P (Mac) to print it.
Weekly Words of Torah
The Crown of Torah
Insights into Parshat Naso of Mr. David Freilich of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
This weeks parsha starts off with a very innocuous command, wherein Moshe Rabbeinu is commanded to both count and appoint jobs to the Bnei Gershon, one of the three families of the Levi’im. At first glance, it is very understandable why Hashem would command Moshe to first count the Bnei Gershon prior to any of the other families of the Levi’im – Gershon is the eldest son of Levi, gifted with the Bechora, who therefore deserved to be counted first. However, at the end of last week’s parsha, Bamidbar, Moshe Rabbeinu was commanded to count the Bnei Kehat (the second son of Levi) and apportion to them their jobs prior to the command given in our parsha to count and appoint Bnei Gershon their jobs. This is rather strange – why does the Torah depart from its normal method of counting from the Bechor down, and instead count the second and then the first?
The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 6:1), recognizing this problem, explains that the Torah deviated from its normal method as a result of the job the Bnei Kehat were given – that of carrying the klei kodesh (holy vessels of the mishkan), amongst which was the aron. The aron, the single holiest object inside the mishkan and later the bet hamikdash, demanded such a tremendous amount of respect that the Torah changed its order to deal with the aron first, and clarify who would have the merit of carrying it.
The Kli Yakar, in his first piece on the parsha, asks on this answer – why was this sacred task of carrying the aron given to the descendants of Kehat, who wasn’t the firstborn, instead of the descendants of Gershon, who was?
The Kli Yakar answers that the Torah was trying to teach us a lesson – the Torah, the keter (Crown of) Torah, symbolized and encapsulated within the aron, isn’t given solely to bechorim. Rather is freely available to all who work hard enough to obtain it! As the Rambam stated in Hilchot Talmud Torah, 3:1, the keter Torah is “laid, standing, and ready for all [who come to take it]”. Anyone who wants to come and learn can acquire the keter Torah.
The Torah specifically commanded Bnei Kehat, rather than Bnei Gershon, to teach us this lesson. Whoever wants can come and acquire the keter Torah, can carry the aron in their own way, regardless of lineage. If the Torah hadn’t deviated, and had just given the aron to the Bnei Gershon, we may have thought that this was just part of the honor that Gershon, the bechor, was entitled to. Therefore, Hashem went out of His way to hint to us twice (once through His commanding of Bnei Kehat to carry the aron, and then subsequently through His mixing up of the order of the children) the incredible opportunity which lies within in the grasp of all of us, to merit to become the carriers of the Holy aron.
This idea of the availability of the keter Torah isn’t just limited to the Rambam and the Kli Yakar. Rabbeinu Yonah, in his commentary on Avot 4:13 says that the keter Torah, as opposed to the other two crowns described in the mishna there (the crown of the monarchy and the crown of priesthood), is for everyone and “whoever desires to merit must only come and take it”. And further, he explains, the keter Torah is greater than the other two crowns. In fact, even the keter shem tov (crown of a Good Name), the crown described by the mishna to be greater than all other three, can only be gained when it has the base of the keter Torah.
The parsha therefore comes to reassure us that even though most of us, who aren’t kohanim or levi’im and won’t merit to serve in the Bet Hamikdash (speedily, in our days), we can, through enough hard work and perseverance, merit to bear the keter Torah, the greatest of all three crowns in the world!