And Aaron was silent

Aaron wholeheartedly chose to be silent when his two sons died.

Danny Ginsbourg

Judaism Kohen lights menora in priestly garments
Kohen lights menora in priestly garments

We read in our parsha (10:3) of the wondrous acceptance by Aaron of the death of his sons, Nadav and Avihu:’Moshe said to Aaron: Of this did Hashem speak, saying:’I will be sanctified through those who are nearest to Me; I will be honored before the entire people, וידום אהרן: and Aaron was silent’.

The Ramban comments on the words:וידום אהרן:’At first Aaron cried, but, after hearing Moshe’s words, שתק: he stopped his crying, and became quiet’.

Haketav ve Hakabalah, disagrees with Ramban, commenting:’If this was the case, then the Torah would have said וישתוק אהרן, which alludes to desisting from an activity in which Aaron was engaged, and not וידום.

‘The Torah used the word וידום, to teach that Aaron wholeheartedly chose to be silent. It is the language of ‘equivalence‘, being wholly at one, with the Heavenly decree’.

The Sefat Emet adds:’The word וידום here, does not refer to הקול: the sound; rather it alludes to an inner acceptance, as alluded to by the saying of our sages(Avot 1:17)’I did not find anything better for the soul, than silence’.

‘And, because of this, Hashem chose Aaron to be His Shaliach, in the merit of his total submissiveness to Hashem’s will‘.

Our sages, in a Midrash brought in Menorat Ha’Maor, add:’Because of this self-negation, Aaron was rewarded to bless Bnei Israel with the sixty-lettered the Birchat Cohanim, sixty also being the numerical value of וידום’.

Perhaps this attribute is what our Sages had in mind, in framing the words to be said by the Cohanim before pronouncing theIr Bracha:’Who has sanctified us, with the קדושה: the sanctity of Ahron’.

What is this קדושה? Our sages proffer an answer, in their comment on the pasuk:(Breishit 2:3)’ויברך: And Hashem blessed the Seventh day, ויקדש אותו: and He sanctified it’. Our Sages expound:’He blessed it with Manna, and he sanctified it with Manna’.

Rav Nebenzahl explains:’’He blessed it with Manna’: each week- day, one portion descended, but on Friday, two portions descended’.

‘He sanctified it by Manna’: by no Manna descending on the Seventh day’’.

Expounds the Rav:’We learn from this saying of our Sages, that ברכה: ‘blessing’, is an ‘increase’; קדושה, ‘sanctity’, on the other hand, is the חסרון: the ‘lack’ of something’.

Aaron’s קדושה, as alluded to in the words preceding the Birchat Cohanim, is the total ‘lack’ of ego- as the Sefat Emet says:He was totally subjugated to doing Hashem’s Will.

This can be clearly seen in the way that Aaron accepted the decree pronounced on his beloved sons, Nadav and Avihu.

And this is the essence of the Birchat Cohanim! Only those who are totally devoid of ego, and whose whole essence is to do Hashem’ Will, can merit to be the conduits for Hashem’s beautiful Birchat Cohanim.

And only they, who are totally without ego, can truly pronounce it, באהבה- with love- as the blessing of our Loving Heavenly Father!

לרפואת נועם עליזה בת זהבה רבקה ונחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו.