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Aleph Beta Reacts
Video 5 of 7
Tamar Katz: Hi everybody.
Rivky Stern: David Block, who is of course the regular host of Aleph Beta Reacts, actually is not here this week because he actually recorded this week's Parsha video. If you haven't watched it yet, I definitely urge you to go check it out, it is excellent. Tamar, do you want to explain what this week's Parsha video was about?
Tamar Katz: In this week's Parsha video David goes through the process of inaugurating the priests for the Tabernacle. As he delineates how the inauguration goes, he hints to us that the process that we're hearing is something we've heard before. As I was listening actually I guessed early on that the process that he was paralleling was the process of the Metzora, of somebody who gets leprosy and all the rituals that that involves.
Rivky Stern: It's pretty impressive actually that you were able to guess that, because when I was listening the first time I had no idea where he was going.
Tamar Katz: Well thank you. I guess for some weird reason the Metzora seems like it's on my mind because I actually brought it up in last week's reaction video, so maybe that's why. I'm not sure. But yes, as I was listening to the video I thought, oh yeah, this is definitely the Metzora, he's definitely paralleling the priests' inauguration with the process of the Metzora. But then he brings up some weird rituals like putting blood on the ear, thumb and toe of the priest, and then I'm like, I've never heard this before, this is a weird ritual, maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's not the Metzora that David is talking about.
Rivky Stern: I think that's an interesting point, that happens to me a lot. Rabbi Fohrman or someone else will bring up a story and I'll think to myself, I don't remember that ever happening, and then I'll look and it's actually there. Something like blood on the toe and blood on the ear, I would think that I would remember that, but when David points it out not only was I shocked that I had no memory of this at all, I was shocked that I didn't remember the other story in which this happens. You were able to make the comparison even though the individual details were not something that you remembered?
Tamar Katz: Yeah, I mean I think he goes through about eight parallels, so maybe I recognized like six out of eight. Unfortunately, David does not explain this weird blood concept, we'll have to ask him, maybe he'll enlighten us in the future.
But another thing that I was trying to guess where David was going, I'm like, oh he's for sure going to say this next, and he didn't, so those are some things that I thought I would bring up with you Rivky, and see what you thought about it?
Rivky Stern: Go for it. I'm excited.
Tamar Katz: So David's alluding to the fact that it seems like the priests are atoning for something and it's interesting because he parallels the Metzora - well it's pretty obvious what the Metzora is atoning for…
Rivky Stern: Right.
Tamar Katz: They spoke badly about somebody, they did something wrong and they have to go through a purification process to atone for their wrongdoings. But David asks, what did the priests do wrong? They're just being inaugurated, why is there this parallel?
So the way David explains it is that the sin in the garden is a sin that caused us to need a Mishkan, a Tabernacle, in the first place. Because in the Garden of Eden we were able to talk to G-d face to face, but now that we're removed from the garden we need a new way of connecting and communicating with G-d. That's what the priests are there for in the Tabernacle.
Rivky Stern: We probably shouldn't be shocked that David has picked up on Rabbi Fohrman's seeing the Garden of Eden in every story of Tanach.
Tamar Katz: Yeah, I should have saw that one coming I guess.
Rivky Stern: We've all been influenced, we now see it everywhere.
So Tamar, you saw something different when you were listening to the parallels? What were you thinking about the Kohanim?
Tamar Katz: Yes, so I thought that David was for sure going to say something about arrogance. I thought he was going to say that the priests may think that they're better than everyone else and that's why they need to atone because of that possible thought or possible future thought that might come with this new responsibility they're getting. Because if you think about it, someone who talks badly about somebody else, the Metzora thinks he's better than the rest of the community. That's why the community responds and says, you know what, you think you're better than us, you can just leave. So I thought that the obvious parallel there was the priests might potentially come to that same thought, that they're better than the rest of the community that they're coming to represent.
Rivky Stern: So G-d is trying almost to humble the priests before they even have a chance to think they're better by saying, by the way, you're just like the Metzora who has sinned through arrogance? I think that's also interesting in that it does tie in to Garden of Eden because one of the problems with the sin of Odom and Chava is that they made a choice. They basically said, I understand that this is what G-d wants us to do but we're choosing to do something different, there is an arrogance there also. So to tie those together I think, because I totally think you're on to something. I think that can also work with this idea of the Garden of Eden.
Tamar Katz: Yeah that makes a lot of sense and I'm wondering if we can push your idea of the Garden of Eden even further so we have the arrogance component, and do we have the component of separating from a community? There was sort of a community of G-d, Adam and Eve that they've established and the only real rule of the community was don't eat of the tree of knowledge. Maybe Adam and Eve eating that fruit, transgressing in that way, maybe that was their way of breaking off from G-d's community?
Rivky Stern: Yeah I think that makes a lot of sense. Community doesn't have to be a thousand people with a Synagogue, a community can be the people in this office, we create our community.
Tamar Katz: I think that arrogance and being a part of a community can't go hand in hand, because if you're an arrogant person that says something about the way that you can or cannot interact with those around you. I think that's what's essential for a community, is for people to be humble and not be arrogant. That's not to say that you can't take a leadership role, because the priests, they were really commendable in their leadership role and we're inaugurating them and we're excited to have them work in the Tabernacle. But still they're sacrificing a lot, that's something to be aware of in our communities.
Rivky Stern: I think that's true. I think what it is to be a leader is by nature to sacrifice oneself. I know I felt this way, I think you did Tamar also, listening to this, thinking about Moshe, thinking about the greatest of all leaders. Not only was he sacrificing so much, he's also often called the most humble of all people.
Tamar Katz: That's a good point.
Rivky Stern: Leadership is about seeing yourself as a representative, not as seeing yourself as someone who is better than anyone else.
Tamar Katz: Right, in order to be a leader you need to see yourself as an everyman, because you can't represent someone who you're better than.
Rivky Stern: Exactly. Exactly. That's a good way of putting it.
Okay, Tamar, this was awesome.
As always, thank you so much for listening. If you have any thoughts, a question, a challenge, please leave it for us in the comments, we love to hear and respond to your thoughts.
Tamar, thanks for joining with me, hopefully we did a pretty good job and David won't be too disappointed in us.
Tamar Katz: I mean, I guess he'll let us know, right?
Rivky Stern: Yeah, that's definitely true.
Thank you so much guys.
Tamar Katz: Bye.
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