Torah Portion Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1 to 11:47)
Join our weekly Virtual Minyan, BCC’s “live podcast” of this week’s Torah portion. This week’s parshah is all about God destroying Aaron’s two sons for creating an alien fire. We’ll try to figure out why Aaron didn’t protest. Also in this portion: What the Jews are allowed and not allowed to eat.
Was this a punishment from God, or a random accident? What crime could they have committed that was so heinous as to warrant death by flash fire? Perhaps they were acting out of enthusiasm and desire to serve. Perhaps they were overcome simply by the pure joy of being in the presence of God-and wished only to increase awe in the hearts of the people. And even if they were guilty of not following God’s word to the last, did not their father Aaron have credit in the storehouse of good deeds? Was there not some milder punishment that could have been meted out on the scale, such as that meted out to other miscreants in the Torah?
(more on crime and punishment on The Deepest Response to Love by Blu Greenberg)
Suggested Verses of the Week:
1. And Aaron lifted up his hands towards the people and blessed them. He then descended from preparing the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering. (Leviticus 9:22).
2. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, [when He said], ‘I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.’ ” And Aaron was silent. (Leviticus 10:3)
3. For I am the Lord Who has brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. Thus, you shall be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45)
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Written by Yanir Dekel on Mar 28, 2013 in Adult Education, Telephone Torah Study - No Comments