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Biblical Personalities: Aaron’s Connection

It saddens me when I will observe a child or even an adult acting in a self-destructive way out of fear of how others will respond or look at his actions.  I do not see such actions as courageous, I see them as cowardice. So please, help me understand how do we know that when Aaron guided the Jews through the construction of the Golden Calf, that his intentions were intentions of strength, not of cowardice. How do we know that Aaron wanted to protect the people, as we are taught by the sages, rather than his being terrified?

There must be a key to Aaron’s personality and strengths in this week’s portion, the one that precedes the portion of the Golden Calf, and there is; “And you bring close Aaron your brother and his sons with him from the midst of the children of Israel to make him a priest for Me.” “From the midst of the Children of Israel,” can also be from the “inside of the people of Israel.”

Aaron was completely connected to the people. When one acts from weakness, or out of cowardice, he is not acting as one connected, but as one disconnected. If my attachment to other people causes me to act against myself, or in self-destructive ways, I am not connected from them, I am ripped away not only from them, but from myself as well.

Aaron is introduced as the High Priest coming from the inside of the Jewish people. He is permanently connected to them. All that he does, all that he will do, is a reflection of true connection, from the inside of the Jewish people. We therefore know that when Aaron acted at the time of the Golden Calf, he was still acting as from the “inside of the Jewish people,” completely connected. He was not acting in weakness, out of cowardice, he was acting from strength, he was acting from his connection. This is how we know that his intentions at the Golden Calf were only good.

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