Thoughts from this past Shabbos readings

I shared them with my husband who wrote on one of them here:

Divrei Chaim: 2 days of rosh chodesh pre-bais sheni? at the end of the story we are told that Yehonasan and David wept "ad higdil David" and Yehonasan then departed.  Most of the meforshim I saw understand this line to mean that David's crying became so great and loud that Yehonasan felt he had to leave lest David be discovered.  My wife suggested that perhaps the opposite was true -- the sign of a gadol is self control, much like Aharon in our parsha, "vayidom Aharon," restrained his crying.  Perhaps it is Yehonasan who continued to cry while David controlled his emotions, and therefore, it is Yehonasan who felt he had to depart...

I also thought that the Parsha itself, Shmini, can be read as indicating that Aharon's sons willingly and knowingly decided on a course of action that would lead to their death if one considers the pasuk that immediately precedes the account (9:24)

24And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fats upon the altar, and all the people saw, sang praises, and fell upon their faces.

The juxtaposition with 10:1-2 shows similar languages

And Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his pan, put fire in them, and placed incense upon it, and they brought before the Lord foreign fire, which He had not commanded them.And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

This reads as if they saw this phenomenon and were also inspired to offer themselves up to be consumed as a burnt offering.

 Of course, there are various suggestions about what exactly they did wrong here. They include the view that their failure to marry made them culpable. That's something to remember when people start to get so picky that they feel no one is worthy to be their shidduch. Also it could show a misunderstanding on their part. As they viewed themselves as filling the leadership role of Moshe and Aharon, they may have considered Moshe's celibacy to be what is required of the leader, but that is not the sacrifice that Hashem wanted from them, and so they erred in their attempt to overreach themselves. 


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