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Shemini- the True Way of Worship G-d.

The Torah portion Shemini (meaning "eighth" in Hebrew) is the third portion in the book of Leviticus, and it covers the events that took place on the eighth day after the consecration of the Tabernacle, which was the portable sanctuary that the Israelites carried with them in the desert. The portion begins with the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests, and it includes the deaths of Aaron's sons, Nadav and Avihu. The deaths of Nadav and Avihu teach us that sometimes death is not a result of sin rather, it is a result of cleaving to Hashem in a way that is opposite to G-d's will.

Nadav and Avihu were swept up in the ecstasy of the moment due to the high revelation of the infinite light. In their intense desire to cleave to G‑d, which they expressed through their unauthorized incense offering, they rose through spiritual heights, their death was not a punishment but a fulfillment of their wish to dissolve their entity and merge into the Divine infinite light. Nadav and Avihu “came close to G‑d”, their souls literally severed their connection with their bodies and were utterly consumed in ecstatic reunion with G‑d. But this is not what we are supposed to do in this world. We are supposed to keep our souls residing in the body and serve G-d physically in the world of action.

By studying the Torah and more specifically the 7 Noahide laws, we remain connected to G‑d, who is not subject to the limited reach of human intellect. Thus, by attaining Divine consciousness, we instinctively know what is spiritually healthy and what is not. Also, doing with joy exactly what G-d wants us to do without changing anything from the Torah instructions.

The purpose of reaching increasingly higher levels of Divine consciousness is to bring G-dliness down into the world, thereby making the world more conscious of G‑d, transforming it into His home. The ultimate elevation of the natural order will occur in the Messianic era. The miraculous revelations of the future will be the result of the preparations we make now. As we refine the world through natural means, we should bear in mind that the results of our good deeds will be far beyond whatever we can imagine.

Sources: Likutei Sichot, vol. 3.


Rabbi Moshe Bernstein is a writer and a Community Rabbi in Netanya, Israel. He believes in making connections between the Jewish People and the Noahides worldwide in order to share and enhance the knowledge of the Torah's Universal Code for Humanity and fulfill Isaiah's Prophecy 11:9 " And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the oceans".


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