(Leviticus: 9:1- 11:47)

  1. [10:1] Nadav and Avihu were killed because they offered “strange fire”—aish zarah. What might the “strange fire” be?
  1. [10:3] Moshe says to Aharon, “This is what God meant when He said ‘I will be made holy by those close to me, and on the face of all the people, I will be honoured”. What did God mean by this statement?
  1. [10:3] Rashi, our main commentator (1040-1104), says about this pasuk: “Moshe said to Aharon: ‘Aharon, my brother, I knew that the mishkan (Temple in the desert) would be made holy by someone chosen by God, I thought it would be me or you. Now I see that they (Nadav and Avihu) are greater than we are. Is this the way that you understood the pasuk? How is your explanation different from Rashi’s?
  1. [10:6] We learn from this pasuk that the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) does not mourn anyone’s death—not even his closest relatives. This seems to ask for super-human behaviour. What does this mitzvah tell us about the Torah’s attitude to the Kohen Gadol?
  1. [11:47] Both the people of Israel [11:47] and the Kohen Gadol [10:11] are told that their job is to tell the difference between the impure and the pure. Why is this such an important skill?

Commentary

[9:1] “And it was [Vayehi] the eighth day…”

Wherever the Torah says “vayehi”, it means something bad or painful. What is painful about setting up the mishkan (the Temple in the desert?

The answer is that the existence of the mishkan itself is a painful fact. At first, God wanted His mishkan to be built in the heart of every Jew. However, after the sin of the golden calf, He was forced to limit His dwelling-place in this world to a physical tent.

–R. Yisrael of Rizhin (a major Chassidic Rebbe)

 

 

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer