1. The 12th of Sivan is the final day of tashlumin, the time allotted after Shavuos for bringing sacrifices which should have been brought on the holiday. For this reason, this period has a special status even today, and tachanun is not said.

Ahavas Yisrael is closely associated with Shavuos, for the prerequisite to the Giving of the Torah was the unity of the Jewish people, ‘like one being, with one heart.’ As the Midrash says, ‘G‑d said, ‘Since the Jewish people have despised hatred and loved peace, and encamped as one, the time has come for Me to give them My Torah.’ ’

This idea of unity is also stressed on the 12th of Sivan. The tashlumin period is needed only for those who were derelict in their duty, and brought their sacrifice a full week late! Nevertheless, the entire Jewish people joins with them, giving this period special status to this very day, as seen from the custom of omitting tachanun.

These two themes of tashlumin and unity are also expressed in the parshah. Today’s portion speaks of Pesach Sheni, which is the tashlumin for the Pesach sacrifice. It also expresses ahavas Yisrael, since because of those who were impure and unable to bring the sacrifice, a holiday was added for the entire Jewish people

We find these two concepts in the parshah in general, Parshas Behaaloscha. Rashi explains why the section dealing with the lighting of the menorah, the beginning of the parshah, is placed right after that of the gifts of the princes. After seeing the leaders of all the tribes participating in the inauguration ceremony, Aharon felt disturbed, seeing both he and his entire tribe (Levi) omitted. G‑d therefore answered that he should not worry, since his participation in the menorah was greater than their’s.

The menorah was therefore a type of tashlumin, making up for the ‘lack’ of participation in the inauguration ceremony. The menorah also stresses the idea of unity, as explained in Likkutei Torah, that the seven branches correspond to the seven categories among the Jewish people. And in spite of the fact that there are different categories, they are still united in one menorah, which was fashioned from a single piece of gold.

The seven branches also correspond to the ‘seven days of tashlumin.’ But this seems questionable, Shavuos itself is the proper day for bringing the sacrifices, leaving only six days of tashlumin. Why does the Talmud say that there are seven days?

The reason for this is that the offerings should really be brought at the first moment possible, at the beginning of the day. Therefore the rest of the day is also a type of tashlumin for the offering which should have been brought at the very beginning. The total is therefore seven days.

2. The question has been raised regarding the status of tashlumin if Mashiach comes between Shavuos and the 12th of Sivan. On the one hand, there was no obligation to bring the sacrifice on Yom Tov — since there was no Bais HaMikdash — and how could one make up for something which was not obligatory in the first place. On the other hand, we find some cases in the Talmud where there is tashlumin even where there was no obligation originally.

The explanation is that there is no tashlumin only where there was a personal exemption from bringing the offering. A lame person, for example, is exempt from bringing a r’iyah offering. Even would he be healed during the tashlumin period, he would not bring an offering. If there was a side problem, though, unrelated to the individual, there is tashlumin. Therefore, in this case the tashlumin offering would indeed be brought.

There is another problem, however. In order to bring an offering, there must be kohanim who are ritually pure. Since today everyone is impure, we will need to be purified by means of the ashes of the red heifer, which is a seven day process! The priestly garments will also be needed, and today we cannot identify the necessary dye, techeiles. Since the kohen cannot serve without his garments, how could it be possible to bring an offering so quickly?

[It is well known that Rabbi Yechiel from Paris wanted to offer the Pesach sacrifice — since it can be offered even if the congregation is impure, and even if there is no Bais HaMikdash. One of the factors which prevented him from doing so was the inability to identify techeiles.]

The answer is that when Mashiach comes, Moshe, Aharon, and others will be resurrected. Our Sages say that they will come back to life with all of their garments; and even Aharon, who gave his priestly garments to his sons before his passing, will also certainly have the necessary garments. So too, they will not be impure, and have no need for the ashes of the red heifer.

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3. It is customary to discuss a law from the daily portion of Rambam. In Hilchos Kilayim (3:5), the Rambam rules that even when there are two different species of plants (or trees), there is no prohibition of planting them together if the leaves (or fruit) look the same, because ‘in kilayim one cares only how it appears to the eye.’ In such a case, we do not only say that their difference is nullified and insignificant; rather, there was no difference — hence no prohibition to nullify in the first place.

The lesson from this in our daily lives is that a person might think that as long as he is careful about what he does and says, it doesn’t matter what he looks at. However, ‘what appears to the eye’ is of great importance, and the Torah therefore commands, ‘do not follow after your heart and after your eyes.’ This is not only because one’s eyes can lead one to sin; even if no action results, what one sees has an effect on the soul which is difficult to nullify and eliminate. However, if one carefully guarded one’s eyes, there is no unwanted effect to nullify in the first place.

This is also connected with Shavuos, since the revelation on Mount Sinai permanently transformed the Jewish people into a completely holy entity. This should be to the extent that it is obvious to an observer that one is involved only in matters of holiness. In this, there is also tashlumin — and even if one was perfect in the past, since G‑d is infinite, there is always more one could do to come yet closer to Him. This idea is also conveyed by the word tashlumin, indicating shleimus, an even higher level of perfection.

As far as making this practical, everyone should make a strong resolution to add in Torah study every single day — including the study of Chassidus. This applies both to men and women, since the latter are also required to learn the laws which pertain to them. So too there must be additional stress placed on education for children, a theme stressed on Shavuos, when we were given the Torah in their merit.

4. Those who were not here at the farbrengen Motzaei Shabbos might voice the complaint of Pesach Sheni, lamah nigora (‘Why should we lose out?’) since they did not receive mashke. Therefore, as a first step of practical action, those communal leaders who wish to make a farbrengen when they return to their home town may receive mashke after the farbrengen or tomorrow morning from the office.

We will conclude with the distribution of dollars via the tankistim. May this charity hasten the primary charitable act — that of G‑d in bringing the immediate arrival of Mashiach.