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“I will be sanctified through those who are close to Me, and thus, I will be honored before the entire people.” (10:3)

Rashi offers the accepted interpretation of this pasuk. When Hashem imposes His attribute of Strict Justice, even on those closest to Him, He is feared and honored. People say, if this is how Hashem punishes those who are close to Him, surely the punishment in store for those who disobey Him is far worse. Well, at least this is how it should be – how the world should react when tragedy strikes Hashem’s intimate ones. The Torah expects an intelligent person to derive a positive lesson from an act of G-d which appears to the human eye to have a…

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And Nadav and Avihu, the two sons of Aharon, each took his fire pan…and they brought before Hashem an alien fire that He had not commanded them. (10:1)

Asher lo tzivah osam, “That He had not commanded them.” Herein lies the error of Nadav and Avihu – two individuals whose piety brought them into the league of Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaKohen. Yet, they did not make it, and were struck down, because they performed what they thought was a great service. The Chidushei HaRim derives from the words; “that He had not commanded them,” that man’s claim to distinction in serving Hashem is only relevant to the extent that he carries out Hashem’s command, that he executes His Will. Nadav and Avihu were very righteous, and they…

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Moshe said to Aharon: “Come near to the Altar…and provide atonement for yourself and for the people.” (9:7)

Aharon HaKohen was not prepared to perform the service in the Sanctuary, because he felt undeserving and ashamed as a result of his involvement in the sin of the  Golden Calf. Moshe Rabbeinu convinced him to go forward and execute the mission for which he had been selected. Indeed, Moshe addressed his reluctance, challenging him: “Why are you ashamed? Indeed, l’kach nivcharta, this is (specifically) the reason you were chosen.” Why was Aharon reluctant? Why was he ashamed? He had a number of valid justifications for his involvement with the Golden Calf. He was attempting to delay the people from…

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“This is the thing that Hashem has commanded you to do; then the glory of Hashem will appear to you.” (9:6)

The adage that the “main thing is to be a Jew in one’s heart” is popular among those who  have  acculturated   themselves   to  the  prevalent  gentile  culture  and  society. According to this approach, mitzvah performance and a Torah oriented lifestyle are unnecessary. G-d’s primary objective is that Jews maintain Jewish hearts. This means that one believes in Hashem. In his heart, he is an Orthodox Jew. In practice, however, he is far from the Orthodox perspective. They often quote the Rabbinic dictum, Rachmana liba ba’i, “Hashem desires that a Jew have a pure heart.” Also, machshavah tovah Hakadosh Baruch Hu…

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