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The Sin of Misplaced Spontaneity

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Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before the Lord a strange fire, which He had not commanded of them,” (Vayikra 10:1).

Though we may have lost the thread of the storyline, there is still a tale being told in the Book of Vayikra. It was broken up by the sacrifices in the first two parshiot, but at the end of Parshat Tzav and continuing in this week’s parsha, the story continues.

Not only does the story continue, but we actually reach a climactic moment for Am Yisrael, followed by one that equals it in its tragedy. The end of last week’s parsha tells of the installation of Aaron and his children in their priestly roles, and its culmination is on day eight, which brings us to the beginning of our parsha.

This is the day that all of Am Yisrael has been waiting for: the inauguration of the Mishkan. Aaron and his sons have been instructed by Moshe about the sacrifices that should be brought, and the blood that should be sprinkled, which until now it has been theoretical. Now is the time for the big show.

As Aaron and his sons exit the Tent of Meeting, they give the nation the Cohanic blessing. And then the nation holds........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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