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The Noam Elimelech, Sefer Vayikra, Parashas Shmini (1) explains:

"ויבא משה ואהרן אל אוהל מועד", דיש כמה גווני צדיקים, צדיק גדול הנקרא בשם "משה", ויש צדיק אשר הוא מדרגת "אהרן", וכל אחד לפי מדרגתו עולה ובא בקדושה הנקרא "אוהל מועד", "ויצאו" ר"ל ואח"כ יוצאים קצת ממדרגתם, ואין זה אלא למען "ויברכו את העם",כנ"ל אך בכל זאת גורמים קדושה ויראה לכל העם, וזהו "וירא כבוד ה׳ אל כל העם", וזהו "עדותיך נאמנו מאוד" כו׳, דאיתא בגמ' שלשה מעידין זה על זה הקב"ה וישראל ושבת, נמצא ישראל נקרא עדות של הקב"ה, וזהו "עדותיך נאמנו מאד" פי׳ שהם נאמנים וחביבים, למי? ומפרש הפסוק "לביתך נאוה קודש" לאותן הצדיקים הדרים תמיד בעולמות העליונים, "ד' לאורך ימים" פי׳ שהם גורמין במעשיהם שתתפשט הקדושה והיראה עי"ז לכל ישראל אמן.

The Noam Elimelech writes this as a commentary on Vayikra 9:23, where the Torah writes:

And Moshe and Aharon went into the Tent of Meeting, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.

If I understand it correctly, the Noam Elimelech here teaches us that there are tzaddikim with a different rank and each time a tzaddik enters the "Tent of Meeting", they come out as a "higher Tzaddik"? Is this correct?

Can someone please explain what the Noam Elimelech tries to teach us here?

1 Answer 1

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Reads as follows:

"And Moshe and Aharon came to the tent of meeting" - There are many types of tzaddikim (righteous people). There is a great tzaddik named "Moshe", and there is a tzaddik who is of the rank of "Aharon" and each one according to his level/rank ascends and comes into (a state of) holiness called "Tent of Meeting". "And they went out" means that they subsequently depart a little from their level, and this is only for the sake of "and bless the people". Like we mentioned earlier, this still causes holiness and reverence for all the people, and this is (the meaning of) "and fear the glory of the Lord to all the people" and this is (the meaning of) "Your decrees are indeed enduring etc.". This is the Gemara that relates that three testify, this one on that one: Hashem, Israel and Shabbos. We find that Israel is called a testimony of Hashem and this is the meaning of "Your decrees are indeed enduring", which can be understood that they are faithful and loving. To whom though? As the verse explains, "Holiness befits Your house" i.e. to those beautiful righteous people always in the higher worlds, "O Hashem, for length of days (i.e. all times)" - That they cause with their deeds that the sanctity and reverence by it may spread to all Israel Amen.

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  • Thanks @Dov! Much appreciated. One question though: why does the tzaddik needs to depart a little from his level only for the sake of blessing the people?
    – Shmuel
    Mar 14 at 22:17
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    I am assuming that if a tzaddik would stay on his own level he would remain aloof from the klal and they wouldn't benefit in any way. It is only by the tzaddik being moser nefesh by "stepping down" from his holy platform that this holiness can then be positively absorbed and impacted on the klal.
    – Dov
    Mar 14 at 22:22
  • Thanks, great explanation!
    – Shmuel
    Mar 14 at 22:38

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