In this parshah, we read about the journeys of B’nei Yisrael in the desert, and about the different places where they camped. One of those places was Hor Hahar, where Aharon HaKohain died. The pasuk tells us that Aharon passed away on the first day of the fifth month.

Did you know that Aharon is the only person whose date of passing is mentioned in the Chumash?

Chassidus teaches that on a person’s yahrzeit, everything he strived for during his life, all his avodah, gets added strength and brings about change in the world. This is true of every Jew, and especially true of a great tzaddik like Aharon HaKohain.

We can see a clear connection between the avodah of Aharon and the date of his passing. The first day of the fifth month is Rosh Chodesh Av, a sad time for the Jewish people. It’s the beginning of the nine days during which we mourn the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash.

The Torah states that Aharon died b’echad lachodesh, “on day one” of the month. The word “one” reminds us of Aharon’s special avodah. He was a person who loved peace and pursued peace, trying to bring people together. He would do all he could to stop arguments and help people join together in Achdus.

Our Rabbis tell us that the clouds of glory, the ananei hakavod, which surrounded, protected and assisted the Jewish people in the desert came in the merit of Aharon. This is no coincidence. Just as the clouds surrounded the nation on all sides, protecting it as one group, so Aharon strived all his life to bring Achdus.

Our Rabbis tell us that the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash and the galus which followed happened because of a lack of Achdus. If this is so, then creating more Achdus takes away the reason for the galus, and when there is no reason for the galus, it will come to an end!

So that extra power of Achdus which comes on Aharon’s yahrzeit is just what we need to help us during the sad days of Av.

We must follow in the path of Aharon, as our Rabbis tell us: “Be like the students of Aharon — love peace and pursue peace.” And they say “the students” not “a student” to teach us that we should try to get others to work on bringing more Achdus into the world. And then, just as Hor Hahar was one of our nation’s last stops on the journey to Eretz Yisrael, the journey of the Jewish people throughout the centuries will reach its destination — the geulah.

(Adapted from Sefer HaSichos 5751, Vol. II, pg. 716ff)