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    Yom Kippur Torah reading – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why do we read a chapter on Yom Kippur morning about the death of Aaron’s sons?

    A. Aaron’s sons died because they brought “strange fire” to the sanctuary in the midst of their father’s high priestly duties; Aaron’s joy collapsed because the sons acted irresponsibly.

    The story reminds us that one moment of stupidity can have disastrous consequences; rather than having to seek forgiveness we should ensure we do not sin in the first place.

    It also indicates that if a leader commits a sin, his eminence does not help (Lev. 10:3). There is no exemption from answerability just because one is important.

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