We are entering into Rosh Chodesh Av, or the beginning of the month of Leo; the month that is, really, the most paradoxical month of the year. It's the month that has, on the one hand, been the most historically challenging, but on the other, we know is the one in which Mashiach, the Light that will bring an end to pain, suffering, and death, will be revealed. So, it's clearly a very strong month, and, therefore, as we enter into it, we want to connect only to its positive side.
"Nothing is coincidental."
One powerful way to do that is through Aaron, the high priest, and brother of Moses. Aaron left this physical world on the New Moon of Av, and as we know, nothing is coincidental. As such, we will come to understand that Aaron is really the conduit that will give us the ability, individually and collectively, to reveal the greatest amount of Light in this month.
The Creator chose, and Aaron agreed, to be the person, the channel, through which great Light can be awakened in this potentially challenging month. Aaron and the Creator agreed that Aaron was going to leave the world on this day so that he could become our protector; the Light of Aaron is the Light of protection for the month of Leo… Light through which we can also merit bringing an end to pain, suffering, and death. Therefore, if we don't connect to Aaron as we enter into this new month, we miss receiving both protection for this month and the power that can transform it from darkness to Light. With this understanding, we can now see that there's probably no other time of the year when it is so important to consciously connect to, and live with, Aaron.
But, how do we live this month with Aaron?
What keeps darkness in this world is the reality of sinat hinam, hatred. Hatred is what causes separation between people. And not only did Aaron not have any hatred towards anyone, he was literally the one soul, or the one revelation, of everything that is the opposite of separation and destruction, because the force of destruction is a force of separation between people. So, Aaron, conversely, represents the force of love and peace.
There is a beautiful letter from Rav Brandwein to Rav Berg where Rav Berg speaks about a moment in time when Moses saw that the Israelites didn’t really deserve to end their darkness, pain, and suffering. After Moses saw the Israelites fighting amongst themselves, and hitting and killing each other, he said “I understand darkness, pain, and suffering cannot end… there is no way we can remove it. I understand now why the Israelites are destined to remain in Egypt.” Then he asked, “What is the root cause of why they are going to remain in this darkness?”
"Awaken great love amongst them."
The Creator told him the next step, saying, “Take Aaron and go to the Israelites. Speak to them, convince them and argue with them, with the force of Aaron, to awaken great love amongst them. And only if you and Aaron - and specifically Aaron - succeed in going amongst the millions of Israelites and convincing them to awaken great love, then it will be possible that the Redemption out of Egypt can come.” So, when Aaron went to the Israelites in Egypt, he told them, “I know there is terrible darkness, pain, suffering, and death. But do you think that by being spiritual or even doing the spiritual work, you are going to bring the Redemption? No. It’s not going to work. There is only one thing that can bring the Redemption: you have to awaken great love and great peace.”
The way for this month to be filled only with a tremendous amount of Light, and not any of the potential darkness it can have, is for each one of us to make the commitment to listen to Aaron. Aaron is the protector of this month, the conduit that transforms this month into great Light, and each one of us has to find a way, even with how spiritual or loving we already think we are, to awaken love between ourselves and other people.
If we are to receive the protection of Aaron, we have to awaken something special and unique in this month. Because simply connecting to the energy of the New Moon and receiving the assistance of Aaron is not enough; we have to live with Aaron. And living with Aaron means that every single day we find ways we can bring more love into this world, whether it’s between two people or more, or ourselves and another person or people.
As we enter into the new month of Leo, we need to make the effort to connect to the force of Aaron and awaken great love in ways that are not normal to us. Through living with Aaron in this month, we have the opportunity to bring his Light of peace and love into this world; Light which has the potential to completely transform pain, suffering, and death.