The Love of a Mitzvah
By Rabbi Yonah Burr
למה נגרע לבלתי הקריב את קרבן ד' במועדו
Why should we be left out from bringing the Korban of Hashem in its proper time?
When Moshe Rabbeinu gave the command to bring the Korban Pesach, some of Bnei Yisroel were tomai, ritually unfit to participate. Instead of just accepting their exemption, they actually challenged Moshe to find some way that they too could be included in this mitzvah.
Moshe Rabbeinu turned to Hashem and relayed the Jewish People's request. What could be done so that even the ones who are ineligible to bring the Pesach now, not lose out?
Hashem responded with the Pesach Sheini. Anyone did not bring the Korban Pesach in its proper time would have another opportunity on the fifteenth of Iyar, exactly a month later.
Rashi explains that this backup was always there, and should have been given to Moshe along with the rest of the Torah. But Hashem waited for the Jewish People’s enthusiastic request, in order to merit them with this piece of Torah. ‘Merit is brought about through the meritorious’.
A similar example of this was when the daughters of Tzlafchad asked to receive an inheritance of the land. Again, the provision that a daughter would inherit her father in the absence of a son was always there, but Hashem wanted to give the righteous daughters of Tzlafchad the merit of bringing it about.
Rav Moshe Feinstein z”l asks: The righteous daughters of Tzlafchad are accorded the great honor they deserve. They are clearly named, and forever recorded as having loved and desired the land of Eretz Yisroel. But regarding the Pesach Sheini, the petitioners aren’t named; we will never know who they are, and their names are not recorded for posterity; how is this an honor to them?
Answers Rav Moshe, the Torah here is teaching us a powerful lesson; the people who asked Moshe for the opportunity to be included were ‘regular’ ordinary people. They were not known by name, and not known to have been particularly righteous or famous. The Torah wants to show, that the mere desire to perform a mitzva, and not to settle with being exempt and left out, is itself worthy of honor. Had the Torah named them, we might have thought that they were outstanding in some other way- the Torah leaves them unidentified because the Torah wants us all to feel that we, too, could have been that person!
Hashem loves those who are enthusiastic about performing mitzvos, and who look for ways to serve. And if someone who could find a loophole to be exempt looks for a way to be included, he deserves that the Torah could be given through him!
Now that the Torah was already given, how is this reward of having the Torah given through you fulfilled today? Says Rav Moshe, Hashem will again give the Torah through him; the person will merit clarity in the breadth and depth of the Torah that he studies.
The Torah is constantly being given, and Hashem will make sure that the Torah is ‘given’ in the merit of one who strives to serve Him!
May we all merit to enthusiastically serve Hashem, and reap the rewards of the light of the Torah!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!