This week features:
Where Nadav & Avihu Went Wrong: Making a Moment Last Forever
Parashat Shmini & the Challenge of the Human Condition: Keep Kosher & Get High!
This week’s Torah portion of parashat Shmini features the tragic death of the High Priest Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu, struck down by Heavenly wrath. What sin exacted such harsh punishment? From the Torah’s account, it seems clear: They brought a “strange,” unauthorized fire. But it’s also clear that they were looking to honor the Creator and deeply desired to keep the excitement of the moment of the Tabernacle’s inauguration alive. These two great, righteous men were not satisfied with the old fare; “same old, same old” just wouldn’t do it for them. But then again, none of us should ever be satisfied with routine. Keeping things fresh and new is the name of the game, but how to that and yet remain within the lines is the subject of this week’s edition of Temple Talk. Newness and the sense of awe and wonder at the unexplained are also an aspect of the special Torah reading this Shabbat, the Numbers chapter 19 ordinance of the Red Heifer. Join us for an edition of Temple Talk dedicated to the battle against complacency!