Shemini (5763)

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”