Friday, April 1, 2016

Parshas Shemini - Going With The Times

Shhaaaloooooommmm Sweeeeetest friends!!!

A huuuuuugeeeeeee mazel tov to my beloved friends Zach Sherman and Rachel Bolnick on their engagement!!! May they be zocheh to build a beautiful home FILLED with simcha and divine light.

A huuuuuuge mazel toooov to Shmuel Steinmetz on his bris. May his holy parents Rav Meir Zeev and the Rebbetzin Shoshana get limitless nachas from him!

In this weeks parsha we read of the sin of Nadav and Avihu who brought a strange fire that Hashem didn't command.

On a simple level this means that they went against Hashem because they brought an offering that He didn't want.

The Sfas Emes takes us deeeeper. Really, they did what Hashem really wanted but hadn't YET commanded. אשר לא צוה. He didn't YET command this fire but was going to.

They were on the level of the Angels and the Jews before the sin of the Eigel Hazahav who are able to proclaim נעשה ונשמע - they are so aligned with the will of Hashem that they fulfill His command even before He commands it. As the pasuk says about the angels עושי דברו לשמוע בקול דברו - first they do then they hear. When the Jews were at Har Sinai, they were at that level. נעשה ונשמע. They could act even before commanded.

The problem was that the Jews were no longer on that level! They lost it. Nadav and Avihu were Leviim and thus hadn't sinned with the Eigel but they wanted to lead the Jews with the type of leadership that requires the people to be נעשה ונשמע type Jews. The medrash says that they said "when will these two old people [Moshe and Aharon] die and we can lead the nation" - meaning, with a נעשה ונשמע type leadership. But the Jews just weren't there.

So, the Jews were also guilty for this sin because they weren't at the level that they really should have been at. That is why the pasuk says וכל בית ישראל יבכו את השריפה אשר שרף השם - All Jews had to cry for the burning that Hashem had burned. It was partly their fault.....

The lesson: We must lead [our children and anyone else who learns from our example] according to the needs of the people. A new generation requires different strategies. Kids today are dealing with new issues today that in our generation [I speak as an old man:-)], we never had to deal with.

We have to learn to adjust and to be fluid.

A delicious sweet Shabbos to all of my sweetest most beloved friends!!

I sign off from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the dog capital of the world....