Drash Cards for Shemini (5763)
by Marc Mangel
• Moses tells the priests how to give sacrifices; Nadav and Avihu offer when not commanded to and die; the Kosher laws are given.
• Today I want to talk about Naval and Avihu. Ch 10, v 1-3; it is so short but there are no less than 18 interpretations found by the Chazal. That is, there is no ‘Orthodox opinion’ on this but rather a variety of opinions.
• R. Joel Tessler says that they were overzealous and thought themselves above the congregation.
• The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that a danger lurks in over zealousness — “A person must have his feet planed on the ground before ascending to heaven”.
• This is actually a problem in Orthodoxy called — treating something as forbidden when it is permitted.
• Nadav and Avihu forgot to behave like men, rather than tried to behave like angels.
• At the other end of interpretation: their guilt was one of trying to have a personal, private relationship with God obeying not the ordinances but their own spirit
• Hirsch said “Closeness and nearness to God cannot be obtained by being disciplined to his will — this is the chasm between Judaism and idolatry…Only by observance of the precepts of the Torah can one remain true to the principles”