In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Shemini, Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu brought an unauthorized offering to the Mishkan. Hashem did not ask them to do so, and therefore the brothers were punished with death.
But why would Nadav and Avihu do such a thing? They knew they weren’t supposed to, so how could they make such a mistake? What were they thinking?
A Midrash tells us that Nadav and Avihu were killed because they did not ask and consult with Moshe, their leader, when they should have. Leaders help their people and their nation but the brothers disregarded this. They only did what they themselves thought to do, without anyone else’s views or opinions on the action.
Another reason for their death is because not only did they not consult with Moshe, but they didn’t consult with each other. Chazal teaches us that even if two equals, like Nadav and Avihu, feel the same way about something, they should still talk it over. By going over a plan again, we are given the chance to realize any wrong parts and/or make revisions.
Whether it’s someone who is part of the plan, or a third outlook, it is extremely important to ask others for their opinions. This is something Nadav and Avihu didn’t do.
We should learn to discuss with others no matter what. Other people’s opinions can help us examine our actions with a critical eye and enables us to think it over.
By: Elizabeth Ebner (9th)