Parshat Beha’alotcha Sweets and Treats
In this week’s Torah Portion, Parshat Beha’alotcha, Aharon is taught how to light the flames of the menorah, one of his daily tasks in the Mishkan. Then the Levites are purified to do their work in the Mishkan, which includes ritual cleansing in the waters of the Mikvah. Pesach Sheini, the second Passover, is introduced in this week’s parsha. It provided an opportunity for those who were ritually impure at the time of Pesach to bring the Korban Pesach, Pascal Lamb, on the 14th of Iyar, exactly one month later.
On the day the Mishkan was inaugurated, a cloud rested on it during the day and a fire rested on it at night. When it was time for the Jewish People to travel, the cloud/fire would move and the people would travel according to their order of encampment as described in last week’s parsha. Hashem told Moshe to make two silver trumpets which would be used to by the Kohanim to call the leaders or the entire nation to gather and to signal that it was time to travel. The trumpets would also be used when going to war and on holidays and Rosh Chodesh (the first of each Jewish month). On the 20th of Iyar, the Jewish People journeyed for the first time away from Mt. Sinai, where they had been camped for almost a year.
After the Jewish People began their journeys, they began complaining. First they complained about the long journey and it made Hashem very angry and a fire consumed the edges of the camp. The people cried to Moshe, who davened to Hashem and the fires went away. Then they cried about the manna, requesting bread instead. Moshe then cries out to Hashem as he cannot bear leading the people. Hashem tells him to gather the Sanhedrin, 70 elders, to help him lead the Jewish People and they get prophecy. Hashem brings a big wind with enough quail to last a month. When the people start eating it, the instigators of the complaint die. Miriam speaks Lashon Harah about her brother Moshe and gets tzara’at, white as snow. Hashem davens for her that she should be healed and the People wait seven days for her to return to the camp. When Miriam returns, the nation travels again.
There are many symbols in this week’s Parsha! Atomic fire balls (or red Mike and Ikes) can represent the fire of the Menorah that Aharon is taught to light, the fire of the Pascal Lamb on Pesach Sheini, the fire that hovered over the Mishkan at night and the fire that consumed the edge of the camp when the Jewish People complained about their travels. Gold candies symbolize the menorah that was made of a solid block of gold and flower candies represent the flowers on the base of the Menorah. Blue jelly beans symbolize the waters of the Mikvah that purified the Levi’im so they would be ready for service in the Mishkan. White gumdrops can represent the Pascal Lamb offered on Pesach Sheni, the cloud that hovered over the Mishkan during the day and whose movement indicated it was time for the camp to move, and Miriam’s Tzara’at that was white as snow. Silver coins can symbolize the silver trumpets and Menorah that Aharon lights (there is a picture of the Menorah on the coins). Feet lollipops (or Fruit by the Foot) can represent the traveling that the Jewish People do for the first time as a camp. Cry babies represent the complaining of the Jewish People as soon as they began to travel. Bubble men can symbolize the 70 member Sanhedrin assembled to help Moshe lead the People. Candy teeth represent the complaint to eat meat, and the punishment that is brought on the instigators of the complaint, “when the meat was still between their teeth, not yet chewed.” They can also represent the prophecy given to the Sanhedrin in which they heard the words of Hashem, the Tzara’at that Miriam is punished with for saying Lashon Harah, and the special prayer that Moshe says on her behalf. Finally, candy watches can symbolize the extra opportunity for those impure on Pesach to bring the Pascal Lamb one month later and the seven days that the Jewish People waited for Miriam as she healed from Tzara’at outside the camp.
Do you have other ideas for Parsha Sweets and Treats? Please share them in the comments section below!