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Parsha Shemini

Every person, unfortunately, knows of someone that passed away. Traditionally, the person’s family mourns for them for 30 days (unless it’s their parent, in which case a full year). In this week’s Parsha, Aaron’s oldest children, Nadav and Avihu, sent a sacrifice to G-d and were consumed in a fire. Now, we’d expect Aaron and his other two sons to mourn for them (after all, a parent’s love for their child is the strongest kind of love), but he stayed silent. He didn’t cry out in pain, he didn’t mourn for his children the way you and I would expect.

Doesn’t that seem kind of cruel? Aaron’s children died and he stays silent?

Aaron was accepting of their death. He was still performing his Avoda as the Kohen Gadol, and therefore could not break from his role to attend to his sons, despite whatever emotional pain he may have felt. He refrained from crying out against Hashem or showing any emotion whatsoever, because he could not detract from the joy of this very special day (the day that the Mishkan was being dedicated).

Because G-d recognized the difficult situation that Aaron was put into, he rewarded him by teaching him a certain Halacha one-on-one. Usually, G-d would tell Moshe, and Moshe would teach it to Bnei Israel. But because of his silence, Aaron learned the Halacha directly from Hashem and he got to teach it to Bnei Israel.

Everyone has their emotional ups and downs; it is a valuable attribute to be able to control how we express these emotions.

By: Rina Reich 

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