Wednesday, 30 March 2011

P. Shmini - Asher Lo Tsivah

There is essentially a 2-way split on Pashanut here re: Nadav and Avihu and their introduction of eish zara. These diverse schools may help BE"H to generate a future Nishmablog Poll. The third school is kinda tangential.

Asher Lo Tzivah
1. "They were commanded NOT" - N&A were commanded NOT to bring such an eish zarah. Ergo they sought spirituality via transgressing a commandment [Tur et. Al.]. Hence they got burnt [literaly]. Don't serve Hashem by violating protocol
2. "They were NOT commanded" - N&A added on an unneeded Embellishment. They were excessively "frum" in their approach to spirituality. Their zeal was their sin [popular among Left-wing circles] Don't be mosif "humrot". [Bal tosif. Al t'hee tzaddiq harbei]
3. [Can work either way] N&A were left vulnerable to a form of spiritual "radiation" because their Q'toret with eish zarah was ersatz instead of genuine, leaving them unprotected against "eish Hashem". Not sin so much as a failure to use a bona fide Q'toret which allowed them get burnt. [See Hafatarah of Uzah]. A genuine q'toret was tantamount to a radiation suit. Don't play with the rules lest you risk exposure.

Pick your parshanut preference.

Related [ersatz] Spirituality
Story. A Woman is looking to add a spiritual dimension to her avodah. A Great Gadol "Moshe" says to her to experiment with a 4-cornered garment w/o tzitzit. She finds it exhilarating, and so Moshe exclaims -
"For three months, you have been wearing a garment without any religious or halachic value, it is thus clear
that your feeling comes from a source outside of the Mitzvah", and he [Moshe] did not grant her permission to wear a Talit
To which Avodah's R Micha Berger protested:
We do many things that come from sources outside the mitzvah. "Hinei Keil yeshuasi" before Havdalah, for example. The particular patterns of hand washing most qehillos use for neigl vasr or before hamotzi. Qabbalas Shabbos. Etc, etc, etc... Why is this woman wanting to do something that makes her feel connected to the Borei valueless just because it is non-halachic? Would this Gadol "Moshe" have given the same advice to NCSY and tell them to stop doing kumzitzin or a pre-havdalah "ebbing" for an hour?
This offers us a segue towards a poll on Valid Paths to spirituality in Judaism. What parameters are permitted or desirable?


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