By Rabbi Mark Melamut
Parshat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47) – The Sound of Silence
“Hello Darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…” One minute they are here, and the next they are gone. Nadav and Avihu offer a “strange fire” upon the altar, which brings about their immediate demise. Most look for explanations as to what it was they offered that was so bad, or what about their behavior was inappropriate enough to cause such a consequence. It is only natural for us to look for explanations and to ask, “why?” Whatever it was, Aaron’s response to the loss of his sons is that of a complete silence, a silence that rings in our ears. It seems that we could also describe some of life as a “strange fire,” unknown, irrational, and unpredictable. The sound of Aaron’s silence is loud, and it is one we can hear when the movements of the symphony of life not only dazzle, but often dizzy and disturb our sense of fairness, justice and peace in the world.
In the music of our lives, what role do we allow silence to play?
How can silence be a help or guide to us?
What are the places in our lives that would benefit from more silence, and what are those that would benefit from more speaking out and speaking up?
Rabbi Mark Melamut
From the series A Bissel to Nibble:
A Bissel to Nibble – A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Mark
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.” “Give me a bissel lox on my bagel, would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less. (www.bubbygram.com)
Served each Friday afternoon, noonish.