from “A Father’s Silence,” by R. Daniel G. Zemel
And Aaron was silent. (Leviticus 10:3)
What are we to make of this silence? …just a few chapters earlier…Aaron was the one with the gift of speech; now Aaron is the one who looks on in silent horror….
…Might this possibly be the silence of a parent who feels that he bears some of the guilt for his sons’ mischief? Did he not bring them up the mountain with him so that they, too, could see God along with the elders and Moses? Did he have them accompany him at too young an age? Was it an experience that they were in no way ready for, and now, like addicts not appreciating the potency of what they have tasted, they set out on their own for more — this time dangerously unsupervised?…
This drash is found in The Modern Men’s Torah Commentary,* a terrific resource (if I do say so for the eighth or tenth time).
For a somewhat related drash on that trip to the mountain, see “One Woman’s Conclusion” (aka ‘Lunch with God’)
* Please see Source Materials for full citation and additional information/links.
The “Opening the Book” series was originally presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group that for many years pursued spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.