1. The final verse of Parshas Naso states:

When Moshe came into the Tent of Meeting to speak to Him. He would hear the Voice speaking to him from between the two cherubs on the cover of the ark of testimony and He spoke to him.

On this verse, Rashi comments:

When Moshe came: There were two Biblical passages which contradicted each other and the meaning is determined by [this] third verse which reconciles them. One verse states: “And G‑d spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting,” [seemingly] beyond the cover of the ark. Another verse states: “And I shall speak to you from above the cover of the ark.” This verse comes and reconciles the two: Moshe came into the Tent of Meeting and there heard the voice speaking to him from above the cover of the ark in-between the two cherubs. The Voice would emanate from the heavens to between the two cherubs and from there, it would emerge to the Tent of Meeting.

This commentary raises several questions. Among them: a) What is the connection between the manner G‑d communicated to Moshe and the previous verses which deal with the sacrifices offered by the princes for the dedication of the altar? After describing in great detail these sacrifices and the sum total of the offerings, the Torah concludes the portion with the verse quoted above which seemingly has no connection to those offerings. b) On the surface, Rashi should have offered this explanation previously, in Parshas Vayikra where the conceptual difficulty first arises. Generally, Rashi explains all difficulties implicit in the comprehension of a verse at the place in the Torah where they occur without requiring a student to search for clarification in later verses. Since these are “two passages which contradict each other,” seemingly, Rashi should have offered a resolution when the conflict arose without waiting for later verses.

These difficulties can be resolved by a deeper understanding of the principle: “There are two Biblical passages which contradict each other and the meaning is determined by a third verse which reconciles them.” One might ask: Why does the Torah have to teach this concept in this way? Why does it first create a contradiction and then resolve it? Seemingly, it would be preferable to state the concept in its complete form at the outset.

The explanation of this idea is as follows: The Torah should be studied verse by verse, emphasizing how each verse contains an abundance of ideas. Therefore, the concepts in each verse should be defined thoroughly before one proceeds to the next verse.1 Accordingly, when the Torah wants to emphasize two extremes in one concept, it does so by mentioning two conflicting verses and then, reconciling them with a third verse. Furthermore, the two conflicting verses are dispersed throughout the Torah, giving the student time for each of them to be comprehended and grasped in its entirety. Since each of the extremes are important, the resolution of the difficulty by the third verse is not in a manner in which more weight is given to one perspective than the other. Rather, the two conflicting verses are “reconciled” and shown to be each part of a greater whole.

This concept can be seen in regard to the conflicting verses mentioned above. The first verse emphasizes the wondrous nature of the voice heard by Moshe and therefore, states that it emanated from the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place in existence2 and in particular, from the most sacred place in the Holy of Holies, “between the cherubs above the ark.” Thus, this verse teaches how the Torah, the voice Moshe heard, transcends worldly existence entirely.

The second verse emphasizes the converse. The emanation of the voice from the Tent of Meeting, i.e., the entire tent, including even its entrance, reflects how the Torah has been drawn down within the world.3 Afterwards, the third verse joins together the two concepts and explains that even as G‑d’s word, the Torah, is drawn down within the world, i.e., throughout the Tent of Meeting, it retains its ultimate spiritual level as evidenced by its source above the ark.

On this basis, we can understand why Rashi’s commentary is made in this portion even though, seemingly, it belongs elsewhere. After all, at the Torah’s first mention of the revelation in the Tent of Meeting in Parshas Terumah, Rashi mentioned this concept4 and on a superficial level, there is no difficulty in understanding our verse. Nevertheless, Rashi chooses to explain the entire concept here since our verse mentions both the “Tent of Meeting” and “between the cherubs” and thus, emphasizes both extremes and shows how they can be combined.

For clarification, Rashi explains in detail the entire verse, stressing the particulars concerning G‑d’s “speaking” and “the voice.” Rashi explains:

“‘Speaking’ — Stating it in this fashion reflects the honor of G‑d. He would speak as if to Himself and Moshe would hear.”

This emphasizes the elevated spiritual nature of the revelation, G‑d speaking to Himself, as it were, without limiting the revelation at all. Nevertheless, the revelation was only “to him,” to Moshe alone. By stating this, the Torah emphasizes how the revelation was directed within the context of our reality and, therefore, this phrase was included to show that no one besides Moshe, not even Aharon, was privileged to the revelation.

The revelation came through the medium of “the Voice.” Rashi comments:

Is it possible we are speaking about a low voice? The Torah uses the expression, “the Voice,” i.e., the Voice which spoke to him on Sinai. When the Voice reached the entrance, it ceased.

This also emphasizes a resolution of two contrasting ideas: On one hand, it was the voice of Mount Sinai, i.e., a revelation beyond all boundaries and limits. Simultaneously, that revelation was drawn down within the limits of our world and, therefore, ceased when it reached the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, without continuing any further.

The concept of a third verse resolving a seeming contradiction between two other verses is intrinsically related to the giving of the Torah. The giving of the Torah is connected with the concept of three. Therefore, when describing the giving of the Torah, our Sages referred to Sivan as the third month, the Torah as a threefold light, and the Jewish people as a threefold people.

The explanation of this concept is as follows: One refers to a state of unity above division; two, a state in which division exists; three, the unification of the entities that were previously separated. This concept is related to the giving of the Torah. Before the giving of the Torah, there was a division between the higher, spiritual realms and our physical world. With the giving of the Torah, the spiritual descended to the physical, “And G‑d descended upon Mt. Sinai”5 and the potential was given for the elevation of the physical world.

Accordingly, when describing the revelation in the Sanctuary — which is a continuation of the unity between spiritual and physical established with the giving of the Torah — the Torah emphasizes that Moshe heard the same voice as on Mount Sinai. Furthermore, it emphasizes the union of two opposites explained above (the voice coming from between the cherubs, but still recognizing the limits of our world and therefore, ceasing at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting).

In this context, we can understand why the Torah mentions this verse after describing the sacrifices brought by the princes. These sacrifices dedicated the Sanctuary, elevating it to a higher rung. This elevation effected the Sanctuary in its totality, including the ark and the revelation associated with it. Since the revelation of the Divine Presence in the Sanctuary was dependent on the service of the Jewish people as implied by the verse: “And you shall make Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell within,” the offering of sacrifices by the princes of all the tribes6 revealed a higher quality in the Sanctuary as a whole. Therefore, it was not until each of the princes actually offered his sacrifices that the Torah described the uniqueness of the revelation in the Tent of Meeting.

An added point, the offerings of the princes were voluntary — indeed, Moshe had to make a specific request from G‑d asking whether to accept them or not. This emphasizes the aspect of the Jews’ service of elevating the world. G‑d responded — a revelation from above — by accepting their sacrifices and making them part of the dedication of the altar. Thus, this fusion of two opposites also relates to the concept of three described above.

2. The above concept can also be related to the weekly Torah portion, Parshas Naso. This year, as is the usual case, Parshas Naso is the first Shabbos following the “season of the giving of our Torah.” Thus, it elevates all the service associated with that holiday and the days of tashlumin for it.

The importance of Parshas Naso this year is further emphasized by the fact that, this year the portion is studied for two weeks, once in the week of preparation for Shavuos, and once in the week following Shavuos. Added significance comes because this year, Parshas Naso is read on the fourteenth of Sivan, the day before the fifteenth of Sivan when the moon is full, alluding to a level of fullness and completion in all dimensions of service connected with the present month.

On the fifteenth of Sivan, we can reach a higher level of service than on the holiday of Shavuos itself. The service of Shavuos (and the days before and afterwards) is associated with Divine influences that assist the Jewish people in their service. After those influences cease (when the Days of Tashlumin are completed), the Jews’ study of Torah is dependent on their own initiative.

When a Jew shows that despite the fact that there are no longer any spiritual influences assisting him, he still dedicates himself diligently to the study of Torah and develops new Torah concepts, he demonstrates the effect of the fusion of spirituality and the material world that was brought about through the giving of the Torah. As a Jew stands within the context of the material world, he unites with G‑d’s Torah.

The opening words of the portion which literally mean “lift up the heads,” allude to this concept. The head is the most elevated aspect of the human body. Nevertheless, even the head must be “lifted up” and raised to a higher level. This implies that a person must attain a level of majesty.

The latter level is associated with the service following the giving of the Torah. At the time of the giving of the Torah, the Jews were in a state of complete self-nullification. Their souls left their bodies. However, after the giving of the Torah, the emphasis is on the service of each individual and, therefore, his individual self becomes important (for he is permeated with holiness). Therefore, he should proceed with majesty in the study of Torah, developing new Torah concepts.

The above also reveals a connection between the beginning of the portion and its concluding verse which describes the revelation of G‑d’s voice in the Sanctuary as mentioned above. In Likkutei Torah, the Alter Rebbe explains that each Jew has a sanctuary in microcosm within his heart.7 Also, Tanya explains that each and every Jew has a spark of the soul of Moshe. Thus, the revelation of G‑d’s voice to Moshe in the Sanctuary is reflected in the inner spiritual service of every Jew.

[One may complain that he does not appreciate this revelation. However, as explained in regard to the various heavenly voices mentioned by our Sages, “even though one does not appreciate them oneself, the spiritual source of one’s soul does appreciate them.” Afterwards, the fact that the spiritual source of one’s soul appreciates these revelations has an effect on one’s behavior as well.]

The voice heard in the Sanctuary is also related to the study of Torah for our Sages declared, “After the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, G‑d has nothing in His world except the four cubits of Torah study.” This statement implies that the revelation in the Beis HaMikdash is paralleled by our Torah study.

To summarize all the above, after the conclusion of the Days of Tashlumin for the holiday of Shavuos, as we approach the fifteenth of Sivan, the day on which the moon — and the service for the entire month of Sivan — reaches a state of fullness, everyone should take stock of his service and evaluate whether he has carried out all the service associated with the present month in a complete manner.

This includes the service of the oneness of the Jewish people associated with Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the bittul of Na’aseh V’Nishmah in preparation for the giving of the Torah, receiving the Torah, and the service of Tashlumin, adding completion and perfection to our previous service. This is also connected with the Torah portion of the coming week which describes the Pesach Sheni offering, teaching that “Nothing is ever lost” and “One can always correct one’s past.”8

In particular, there is a unique importance to the fifteenth of Sivan for it is the day of the imprisonment of the Previous Rebbe which ultimately led to his redemption on the twelfth of Tammuz. This led to an intensification of the service of spreading Torah and Chassidus, bringing Chassidus to America.9

May all the above lead to the time when, as described in the Parshas Behaaloscha, we will light the candles in the Beis HaMikdash, the Third Beis HaMikdash.10 May it be immediately.