Today’s Aliyah

Dvar Torah for Shemini 3rd Aliyah

Parashas Shemini contains the unfortunate death of two of Aharon’s sons because they brought an unauthorized offering before G-d. The pasuk describes how Nadav and Avihu each brought their own pan before G-d and how the fire consumed them instead of their offerings (10:1–2). Why would the Torah distinctly tell us that they each took their own pan when it could have simply told us that they each took a pan?

Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz1 quotes a Yalkut that helps answer our question and offers great insight into human nature. Asking for advice is not always easy, especially if pride and ego get in the way. In addition to their failure to discuss their plan with Moshe, each brother took his own pan without first consulting with each other. Had the brothers conferred with each other beforehand, they may have talked through the issues enough to realize that what they were about to do was wrong. Judaism is built on community. We are in this together and must remember to stay connected, communicate, learn from each other, and be inspired by those around us.