Drash Cards for Acherei Mot (5760)
by Marc Mangel
• After the death of Nadav and Avihu we have Yom Kippur and the scapegoat, the location of sacrifices, the holiness code and rules about sexual relations.
• Ch 16, v 1: “when they approached before God”, which is not mentioned before in Ch 10, v 1-2
• The Bishop of Cologne once noted that we cannot seek spiritual ecstasy without obligation.
• Rav A. Hertzberg when asked about renewing Judaism, said “do any mitzvah as long as it is not self-focussed”
• Why did Nadav and Avihu die? Madras Rabba says that they committed the moral crimes of arrogance and uncaring.
• R. Einat Ramon quotes Leviticus Rabba (20:10) says, no — they were righteous men who experienced a mystical closeness to God of such an intensity that they could not continue to live among other mortals.
• Put another way: nearness to God is captivating and hypnotic but often comes at the expense of closeness to fellow human beings. With great power comes great responsibility.