Parashat Acharei Mot
Â are like eggs. You have to know how to handle them. Held too loosely, the egg can fall and break.Â Held too tightly, it can be crushed, and then you are left with the white and yellow gook all over your fingers. It is a delicate balance. Relationships are the same. If you hold your relationship loosely, without expending time,Â thought, effort and money into it, the relationship will drop and break. If you hold your relationship too tightly, over-involved and over dependent on the other person, then the relationship gets messy.
At times we say the nastiest things to the people with whom we are the closest. The worst curses are showered upon those in whom we have invested our trust, emotions and money, and they turned on us or ignored us .You remember the saying â€œDonâ€™t put all your eggs in one basketâ€.Â Donâ€™t invest all your emotions in one person, you might be holding on too tight, having a strangle hold in a relationship, not allowing the other person to breathe.
“The sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, each took his fire pan. They put fire in them and placed incense upon it, and they brought before God an alien fire that He had not commanded them. A fire came forth from before God and consumed them, and they died before God.”Â (Vayikra 10:1-2) Â Moshe consoled his brother Aharon. â€œG-d said that He will be sanctified by those who are close to Him. I thought He was referring to either you or me. Now, I see that He was referring to your two sons, Nadav and Avihu.â€
The Sages present us with various explanations as to what transgression Nadav and Avihu committed, for which they incurred the punishment of being consumed by the heavenly fire. They entered the Tabernacle either drunk, or without properly cutting their hair, or without the proper priestly garments. They did not defer the honor of bringing this fire to their father, Aharon. They did not consult with Moshe, or with one another, prior to bringing the fire. They did not marry. â€œWith such a great father and uncle, which woman could be worthy to marry me?â€ And , they remarked, “When will these two old men [Moshe and Aharon] die, so that we can lead the generation?” At Mt. Sinai, they got too close and they looked at G-d, while they were eating and drinking.Â Â ×•××œ ××¦×™×œ×™ ×‘× ×™ ×™×©×¨××œ ×œ× ×©×œ×— ×™×“×• ×•×™×—×–×• ××ª ×”××œ×•×§×™× ×•×™××›×œ×• ×•×™×©×ª×• (Shemot 24)
This is all they ever did wrong. All the things they did wrong have one common denominator. ×‘×§×¨×•×‘×™ ××§×“×©. I will be sanctified by My holy ones. They were too holy. No direction. No Rabbi. Just so close to G-d that they felt comfortable. Too holy to get married. Too holy to ask Moshe, to have a Rabbi. So close to G-d that they can eat and drink while standing at Mt. Sinai gazing at G-d, or just come in to the Tabernacle whenever they want, with whatever they want. G-d said, â€œNope, too close. I am Holy, not Heimishe.â€Â (Heimishe : home-like, friendly)
We are so distant from their spiritual level, that these concepts are difficult to grasp. Still, our Rabbis wanted us to take lesson from their lives to ours. I believe the lesson is that even the relationships with G-d are egg like. Some people sin just because they feel that they are very far from G-d. They do not pray, make blessings, because G-d is not in their life. And some people get too close, too comfortable with G-d. They get into a habit of chatting in His House of Worship, and at times they utter blessings without giving any thoughts to the words that part their lips. Â In this week’s Parasha, Aharon is instructed about entering the Holy of Holies. â€œYou can enter this place only once a yearâ€. Holiness is that. Boundaries. Till here. Once a year. One Kohen. One place. G-d warned Aharon, that if he enters the Holy of Holies in any other fashion, he will die.
Proper balance, boundaries, is the only way for any relationship to have a chance of surviving. Healthy relationships are not built on breaking boundaries, agreeing on everything, being dependent on approval. They are built on respect for opinions, respect that you are you, and I am me. One of the greatest things a person can do to improve a relationship is to learn how to say no, with an emphasis on how. I got a phone call on Purim, from a person who complained that his friend was ruining his Purim.Â “He’s hanging on me – I can’t get rid of him. He wonâ€™t let me go anywhere â€œ. No one can ruin your Purim except for you. Learn how to tell him no.
Eggs can be strong when they are held up straight, not when they are rolling all over the place. Try cracking an upright egg when your thumb is on the wide bottom of the egg and the index finger is at the point. No, not in my house. In your house, over the sink. It is even difficult to crack the egg like that, when it is upright. You can even put four eggs upright under the legs of your chair and sit on it, (not in my house) and the eggs wonâ€™t crack. (see Rashi Beitzah 3b ×œ×¡×ž×•×š ×‘×” ×›×¨×¢×™ ×”×ž×˜×”) When a relationship is upright, it wonâ€™t crack. When people respect each other, give each other room, then the relationships stands much, much, longer.