Passionate & Calm
There is a gentle sleep
Where sweet peace dwells,
Where quiet rest heals
The weary soul’s sorrow.
I am always taken by the powerful contrast between the fiery passion of Nadav and Avihu, which led to their death, and their father, Aaron’s quiet grief and mourning. The man who pursued and sought peace was able to achieve a “stone’s quiet,” in which to mourn for his son’s and heal his sorrow.
Was Aaron less passionate than his sons? Did the man of peace maintain and constant and consistent calm that precluded the same passion that seized his holy sons?
If peace is defined as the absence of conflict, than perhaps the answer is that Aaron’s passion was always contained. However, if peace is defined as Shleimut, sharing the same root as Shalom, we could infer that Aaron too lived and served with the same passion as Nadav and Avihu. His Shalom, inner peace, was derived from knowing how to never allow his passion to disturb the peace.
Which Aaron would you prefer as the Kohain who would guide you through a Chatat, a Sin Offering? Would you prefer a perfectly calm Aaron? Or, would you prefer the Aaron who knew when to inspire you with his passion and when to relate to you in perfect calm?
Which Kohain would trigger God to send His fire from heaven?
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