Aharon’s Stunning Silence

Youu haven’t posted anything yet about the latest storm?

You haven’t expressed your opinion yet about the newest news?

Why are you being silent?
Don’t you have anything to say?!

We say and type and hear countless words a day. The incessant text, along with the near-immediate response, creates a reality in which it is suddenly no longer legitimate to say nothing.
Everyone’s talking, and a lot! And you feel you have no choice, you’ve got to join in.
In this week’s Torah portion, Shemini, a tragedy takes place. The two sons of Aharon die on the same day, during the dedication of the Tabernacle.
In the middle of this festive and happy event, centered around Aharon, he receives the news that his two sons have died.
Everyone must have been waiting to hear his reaction. But the Torah describes what happened next in two powerful words: “VaYidom Aharon”- “And Aharon was silent.”
At this most tragic and traumatic moment- Aharon chooses silence.
Sometimes silence is more powerful than words.
Sometimes you need to take the time to turn inward, to fully absorb, to think.
Silence isn’t a passive thing. On the contrary, you don’t need any strength to talk. The words just roll out of your mouth, no problem.
To be silent requires strength.
Superficial online responses fill the world, but Aaron’s echoing silence has continued to accompany us for thousands of years, long after many other words have been long forgotten.

 

Translated by JewishMOM.com

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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