Shemini (5661)

Crash Cards for Shemini (5661)

by Marc Mangel

• In this part we have the 8th day of dedication of the Mishkan, the offering and death of Nadav and Avihu, discussion of the behavior of Cohens and kosher animals.

• What was the sin of Nadav and Avihu (Ch 10, v1 ff): pride, evil intentions, over enthusiasm, drunkenness? Rashid says this is a good question

• I want to focus on Aaron’s response in Ch 10, v 3 and 4: “And Aaron fell silent”.  Rashid says that God was talking to Aaron alone.

• An alternative: Aaron was a prophet. What is the message of the prophets, generally, in 1 line? “Few are guilty, but all are responsible”. The implication is that we must ponder prevention, not punishment.

• Now let us turn to Ch 11, v45, at the end of the kosher laws where we read “For I God….for I am holy”.  Torah without land is a way to be holy and fulfilled (2000 yrs), but the land allows the complete development of our spiritual potential — two weeks after Pesach we can still say dayenu

• A final moment of pedagogy. Shoah is the Hebrew word for calamity.  Holocaust is the English word for burnt offering sacrificed to God. The Jews of Europe were not sacrificed, they were murdered.