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Parshat Acharei-Mot Kedoshim

By: Alexa Szafranski (11th Grade)

In one of this weeks Parshiot, Parshat Acharei-Mot, we are told the words “Bezot yavo Aharon el-hakodesh,” which describe how Aharon, the Kohen Gadol, will enter the Kodesh HaKodashim-the Holy of Holies. However, the word ‘Zot’, meaning ‘this,’ seems to be extra and superfluous to the commandment. What was the ‘Zot’ that Aharon brought with him into the Kodesh HaKodashim?

The Midrash explains to us that Aharon took with him all the merit of Bnei Yisrael for all the weeks of Shabbat they had kept over the past year. This shows us the importance of Shmirat Shabbat and all the reward it can bring. But what is the connection between the weekly Shabbat and the yearly Yom Kippur, when the Kohen Gadol will enter the Kodesh HaKodashim? 

Shabbat is a special time for us, it provides us a rest from daily life and instills in us inspiration and spiritual connection for the following week. So too, when Aharon, the Kohen Gadol, went into the Kodesh HaKodashim on Yom Kippur, he did not want the spirituality to just last while he was inside, he wanted it to linger. Similar to how on Shabbat we smell Besamim during Havdalah in order to symbolize how the spirituality lingers on, the Kohen Gadol wants to stretch out the inspiration he gains from this time alone with Hashem. He wants to take that special Kedusha and use it to empower himself and the Jewish people for the upcoming year.

So too, when Shabbat comes upon us, we should try to be like Aharon HaKohen and try to use as much of it as we can to empower us and keep us close to Hashem for the remainder of the week. 

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