What Does Aaron Teach Us About Loss?

Understanding The Human Side Of Aaron The High Priest

Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman


What do we know about the inner emotional experience of Aaron the High Priest? Of Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's two younger sons, also Priests?

In this week's video, Rabbi Fohrman tackles a very strange scene: after the sudden death of Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's two sons, Moses gets in a disagreement with Aaron's other two sons about a sacrifice they should have brought. What was this argument fundamentally about?

This lesser known story of Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar gives us a peek into how the family dealt with their sudden loss. Was the sacrifice mix-up by Eleazar and Ithamar an intentional or accidental transgression? An even bigger question is: Why didn't they die for it, like their dearly departed brothers?

By looking closer at the argument between Aaron and Moses, we get a rare glimpse at the human emotional side of Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar, behind their ritual obligations as Priests. By following the story of Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar, we find a poignant message about about overcoming loss.