The beginning of the portion Beha’alotcha talks about the lighting of the candelabra. The Creator tells Moses to tell Aaron to light the candelabra in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple), and it says that Aaron followed the orders as was told. Moses said, “This is how the Creator wants you to do it,” and Aaron did it; it tells us he did not change the directions he was given by God.
But why, the kabbalists ask, does the Torah say that Aaron followed the orders? Why does the Torah need to tell us this? We are talking about Moses and Aaron; certainly they understood that this is the way the Creator wants it to be done. Certainly Aaron would listen and wouldn’t change it. It almost seems unnecessary for the Torah to tell us this. But as we know, everything in the Torah has a purpose.
The answer the kabbalists give, which is not only important, but also very practical, is as follows. When it is giving praise to Aaron, it is not praising that Aaron did not change the directions or commandment that he was given, but rather, that Aaron himself did not change. The lighting of the candelabra was one of the most important acts to be done, and so the spiritual work he was doing, when he was lighting the candelabra, revealed an enormous amount of Light both in this physical world and the Upper Worlds. Yet, even knowing that he was the only person who could do it, and that this act revealed so much Light, Aaron did not change at all. What does that mean? Aaron did not allow his ego to come in at all and change him.
Unfortunately, too often when people are given a responsibility, or believe they have some big responsibility, they change how they allow themselves to talk and act towards other people; they change, because they allow their ego to come in and tell them how important they are. But we need to learn from Aaron that if we are changing because of an external position or responsibility, we are actually disconnecting from the Light of the Creator, no matter how much Light the act we are doing is revealing. Aaron, whose responsibility was bigger than anything we could ever imagine, did not change, and so, we need to learn from him. It is an important lesson and consciousness the portion Beha’alotcha gives us; no matter what spiritual responsibility we are given, we have to make sure our ego doesn’t come in and change us.