Prologue:            I always thought it was because of the candles.

Yearly, we read the Haftorah of Rani V’Simchee (Zechariah 2) on Shabbos Parshas Be’Ha’alosecha. Of course, we read the very same Haftorah on Shabbos Chanukah. Tosafos (Megillah 23a) notes that we read the Haftorah to coincide with some aspect of Inyana D’Yoma (the issues of the day). Given the connection between the two occasions of the Haftorah’s reading and the reference to the Menorah in the Hafotrah, the connection must be in regard to the candles. Wouldn’t you agree?

                However, the use of the image of the menorah is quite small – almost irrelevant to the theme of the Haftorah. What then is its connection to the text of the Parsha?

                The Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim II: 35-43) notes that there is a key difference between the quality of the Nevuah of Moshe Rabbeinu and that of other Neviim. Moshe received his Nevuah from Hashem directly while alert and awake. Other Neviim received Nevuah (prophesy) via an angel and in a dream – in an unclear mode (Aspaklaria Sheino Meira).

                Mori V”Rabi HaRav Hershel Schachter Shlita (intro to Sefer Ginas Egoz) notes that this is seen most openly in the Nevuah of Zechariah. Rashi notes that Zechariah’s Nevuos were so closed we are not sure of their entirety until a Moreh Tzedek will explain them. Zechariah’s Nevuah in the Haftorah was not even clear after he had it. Only after being asked by the Malach if he understands the message of the Nevuah, does Zechariah answer in the negative and has the Malach explain it to him fully.

                Herein, says Rav Schachter shlita, lies the difference between Moshe and the other Neviim. Indeed, at the end of the Parsha, we read about Miriam and Aharon’s challenge to the difference between their qualitative prophesy and Moshe’s. Hashem underscores Moshe’s unique prophetic status by confirming it to Miriam and Aharon and then striking Miriam with Tzoraas. That difference, the supremacy of the Nevuah of Moshe continues to serve as a basic fundamental in the faith of the Jew until today.


A Picture of Hashem


                Who has seen Hashem?

                Somehow in the middle of the Parsha, Hashem describes the uniqueness of the prophesy of Moshe Rabbeinu by noting that he can see a “picture of Hashem (12:8).” Now we know that Hashem does not have a body and that it is forbidden to anthropomorphosis Hashem. How was Moshe able to do it?

                The Chovos HaLevovos (Shaar HaYichud perek Yud) notes that Hashem specifically uses physical terminology in Chumash and Navi in order to get us to understand and relate to him on some level. However, human ideal is not to think that this is actually the way Hashem is. In other words, Moshe did not SEE Hashem, but we can relate to the concept of Moshe’s clarity of Nevuah due to this description in vivid physical terminology.

The Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim I:35) notes that one cannot conceptualize Hashem in physical terms, even when explaining the concept of Hashem to children.

Which begs the question – what exactly does the Possuk mean when describing Moshe as seeing the picture of Hashem?

Moreinu HaRav Schachter Shlita (Ginas Egoz p. 2) explained that a picture of Hashem refers to an understanding of his modus operandi – namely the Torah. Indeed Rashi (Shemos 21:13) notes that the Torah is often referred to as the ‘moshol HaKadmonee” of Hashem. The Chofetz Chaim (Shem Olam chapter 12) adds that this is not merely due to the fact that the Torah reflects Hashem’s writing. Rather, says the Chofetz Chaim, torah is the IMAGE of Hashem – a photograph if you will, of Hashem. Even tort Halacha and the rules of the Torah built on one side of a Din Torah who is lying, is reflective of Shem Hashem and his Godliness.

This, says Rav Schachter shlita, is the concept of Temunas Hashem – the picture that Moshe had of Hashem. Namely, he understood Torah so fully and so clearly, it reflected and radiated the full godliness of Hashem in the process.