Dvar Torah Shmini: A Hair’s Breadth’s Perspective on Wrongdoing

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Imagine the most awesome and splendid of occasions accompanied by the most fabulous and incredible fanfare and it would approximate the scene that was when Moses had nearly completed the week-long introductory period of the Mishkan (Tabernacle).  Before this preliminary phase had finished, though, tragedy hit: Nadav and Avihu, the two eldest sons of Aaron, were struck down by a divine decree while in the Mishkan (Leviticus 10:1-2).

Opinions abound as to the events leading up to their death.  Based on a very straightforward explanation of the text, we often learn in 3rd grade that the sin was that they brought the wrong fire — but was that really deserving of death?  Throughout the entire Tanach, we come across very few people who ‘merit’ such an immediate and direct death through miraculous intervention — what was it exactly that Aaron’s sons did that made it necessary for God to react in such a striking fashion?

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Posted by on Friday, April 20th, 2012. Filed under Jewish Blogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.