Aharon the High Priest
By Moshe Katz, Israel

And Aharon, the High Priest, rose up to the top of the Mountain, and there, according to the word of God, he died.

Nobody wants to die, and yet we must, no one wants to stop when the going is good, but yet we must, no one wants to slow down but we all must rest.

Reading the above verse in Hebrew, again and again, each day this week, and suddenly now, something hit me. I am still not sure what.

Wa Ya'al Aharon HaCohen…and Rose up Aharon the high priest; he is still active, he is rising, his star is still rising, he is still strong, he is still going up, he is still Aharon The High Priest, he is active, he has not retired, no one has taken his place, Wa Yalal, And Rose up.

He is rising up, he is ascending the mountain in the wilderness. He is still a leader!

It is by the word of God, by decree, by nature, by the Way things must be, he is not fighting nature, he is not fighting what must be, he is rising up, his last journey on this earth, his last steps are still with pride, with confidence. To his last breath he remains Aharon the Cohen, Aharon the High Priest. Sometimes what must be must be, sometimes it is an end of the road, the end of the journey.

Sometimes it is time to retire, bow out, give something up, let somebody else take over…but Aharon, even in his last journey remains Aharon, he did not become weak, or sad, even in his last journey he was still climbing, rising, growing, until … And he died there according the word of the Almighty God.  

In the fortieth year to the exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt on the fifth month on the first of the month.  

Our journey as a people is just getting going, we have finally left Egypt, our period of slavery is over, we are on the way to the Promised Land, and NOW, now Aharon must check out, leave the hotel, get pulled out of the ballgame and let someone else take over. How difficult this is! But he does so with the great dignity of a great man. He remains, for ever and for always, Aharon the HIGH Priest, my ancestor, the founder of the Cohen Clan.

Each verse of the Torah contains something special, powerful, a lesson for all people for all time; words of comfort and strength, motivation and encouragement. But it is not always easy to see it, to hear it, to feel it.

And Rose up: Even the story of his death begins with And he rose up. Even to his dying day he remains the "Cohen", the one who serves the people.  

Even in his death there is power, dignity, strength.

All the hidden lessons of this verse are not yet known to me, but I feel there is something powerful here, something trying to burst forward and teach us life lessons.

WaYa'al, and rose up Aharon the Cohen; he is always rising, even in his death.