Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Shemini

Friends

By Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

"The sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, each took his fire pan, they put fire in them and placed incense upon it; and they brought before G-d an alien fire that He had not commanded them. A fire came forth from before G-d and consumed them, and they died before G-d." (Vayikra/Leviticus 10:1-2) At this moment of great intimacy between G-d and the Jewish Nation, they were, Rashbam (1) explains, motivated to bring the daily incense that Moshe had not yet told anyone to bring. They were unaware that Moshe was waiting for a Heavenly Fire to descend and consume the incense, to have an even greater sanctification of the Divine Name. How could two so righteous individuals have made such a tragic miscalculation?

The Medrash Yalkut Shimoni (#524) expounds that "each took his fire pan" indicates that each took his on his own without consulting one another. Each thought they were fulfilling G-d's will with this bold step. As people of great spiritual measure - as Moshe consoled his brother, "Of this did G-d speak, saying 'I will be sanctified by those nearest to me...'" (v.3) - they must have given the act great forethought. How would consultation have altered the result? After great contemplation they both came to the same conclusion that it was a great act of piety to bring this alien fire. Would not that conclusion have been further solidified had they consulted with one another?

Rabbi Alter Henach Leibowitz (2) explains that the give and take of conversation is not merely an opportunity to confirm previously determined rationales. Rather, the reduction of thoughts and emotions to clear, concise expressions and the verbalization of one's reasoning and justification compels one to delve deeper into the issue until he discovers the core truth.

Indeed, Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers, 6:6) states that one of the forty-eight essential qualities for acquisition of Torah is "friends attentive to detail". Generally, this is thought of as referring to friends who will correct errors. But from our situation, concludes Rabbi Leibowitz, we comprehend another facet. When one has a friend with whom he can share and discuss his thoughts, the friend's attention to detail will oblige the speaker to clarify the issues and arrive at the truth.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) Rabbi Shlomo ben Meir; 1085-1174; grandson of Rashi and brother of Rabbeinu Tam, he was a leading Tosafist and Talmudic commentator

(2) Rosh Yeshiva/Dean of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills, New York, in Chidushei HaLev, the compilation of his discourses


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

WARning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Gratitude - A Hereditary Trait?
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Mitzvos That Come Our Way
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Guardian of the Mouth
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Be a New Person
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Encouraging News Before Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

ArtScroll

Focusing Our Prayers
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

The Neighborhood
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Tzedakah vs. Charity: What is the difference?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

> Paying Attention to the Voice of the Almighty
- 5767

Wordless Prayers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

The Shofar: A Wake-Up Call
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Spiritual Climates
Shlomo Katz - 5773

More and More Ourselves
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Close Only Counts In Horse-Shoes
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Recognition of Good
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information