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    Aaron couldn’t speak – Acharei Mot

    The death of Nadav & Avihu, by James Tissot

    The death of Nadav & Avihu, by James Tissot

    When death overtook the sons of Aaron, he kept his peace.

    Was he unable to speak because the shock and trauma had struck him dumb? Was it that when God decrees something painful, one dare not speak? Was he too angry to speak – or too pious?

    The sages say in Pir’kei Avot, “Do not comfort your fellow when his dead lies before him”. The silence that comes of not offering comfort is not cowardly but honest – “I don’t know what to say, but I know what to do – I know to be here with you, to sit at your side, to see you are not alone or ignored.”

    What does Aaron’s silence say? “God, I don’t know what to say to you, but I know what to do – I must pray even when it is hard, I must go on living even when I want to hide from the storm, I must maintain my dignity even when I feel buffeted by the winds and rain…”.

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