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1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. 4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. 5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. 6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled. 7 And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses. 8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses. 12 And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy: 13 And ye shall eat it in the holy place, because it is thy due, and thy sons' due, of the sacrifices of the LORD made by fire: for so I am commanded. 14 And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place; thou, and thy sons, and thy daughters with thee: for they be thy due, and thy sons' due, which are given out of the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel. 15 The heave shoulder and the wave breast shall they bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the LORD; and it shall be thine, and thy sons' with thee, by a statute for ever; as the LORD hath commanded. 16 And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, saying, 17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD? 18 Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as I commanded. 19 And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD? 20 And when Moses heard that, he was content.

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1 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Nadab and Abihu are excellent examples of humanity today. People want to give to God what they want to bring, not what he asks for. Everyone is so focused on their "version" of what God wants that they don't stop and think "is this what God actually wants from me". Even though Aharon's sons were holy, they felt that they should be able to bring an offering to Lord according to their understanding, however God did not see it the same way and they were consumed by his holy fire. Suppose my wife absolutely loves tulips but I like roses. On our anniversary, should I give my wife tulips or roses? Why tulips of course, since it's what she likes. So too, God gave the Jewish people a set of 613 laws which enable us to connect with what God "likes". Some of these laws we understand and some we don't, but on a basic level we understand that these are his preferences not ours. So when we decide that we want to do something for him, we should realize that just because we want to do it, doesn't mean that he wants us to."
2 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Even though Aaron had just watched his sons get consumed by a Holy fire in the presence of God, the scripture states "He [Aaron] held his peace". Aaron had complete trust in God's judgement that He knew what was best and therefore had no complaints about the incident. He was as faithful to God after the incident as he was before."
3 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "A central event in the Parshah of Shemini is the death of Aaron’s two elder sons,Nadav and Avihu, who “offered a strange fire before G‑d, which He had not commanded”—the result being that “a fire went out from G-d and consumed them, and they died before G‑d.”There is much in the Torah’s account, and in the words of our sages, that implies that Nadav and Avihu’s act of was not a “sin” per se. The Torah recordsMoses’ words to Aaron immediately following the tragedy: “This is what G‑d spoke, saying: ‘I shall be sanctified by those who are close to Me.’” Rashi, citing the Talmud and Midrash, explains his meaning:Moses said to Aaron, “When G‑d said, ‘I shall be sanctified by those close to Me,’ I thought it referred to me or you; now I see that they are greater then both of us.”Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar writes in his commentary, Ohr Hachaim, on this verse:[Theirs was] a death by Divine “kiss” like that experienced by the perfectly righteous—it is only that the righteous die when the Divine “kiss” approaches them, while they died by their approaching it . . . Although they sensed their own demise, this did not prevent them from drawing near [to G‑d] in attachment, delight, delectability, fellowship, love, kissing and sweetness, to the point that their souls ceased from them.The chassidic masters explain that life—the retention of a spiritual soul within a physical body—entails a tenuous balance between two powerful forces in the soul:ratzo (striving, running away) and shov (return, settling). Ratzo is the soul’s striving for transcendence, its yearning to tear free of the entanglements of material life and achieve a self-nullifying reunion with its Creator and Source. At the same time, however, every human soul is also possesses shov—a will for actualization, a commitment to live a physical life and make an imprint upon a physical world.Thus the verse calls the soul of man “a lamp of G‑d.” The lamp’s flame surges upwards, as if to tear free from the wick and lose itself in the great expanses of energy that gird the heavens. But even as it strains heavenward, the flame is also pulling back, tightening its grip on the wick and drinking thirstily of the oil in the lamp that sustains its continued existence as an individual flame. And it is this tension of conflicting energies, this vacillation from being to dissolution and back again, that produces light.So, too, with the soul of man. The striving to escape physical life is checked by the will to be and to achieve, which is in turn checked by the striving for spirituality and transcendence. When a person’s involvements with the world threaten to overwhelm him and make him their prisoner, the soul’s ratzo resists this by awakening his inherent desire to connect with his source in G‑d; and when a person’s spirituality threatens to carry him off to the sublime yonder, the soul’s shov kicks in, arousing a desire for physical life and worldly achievement. Together, the conflict and collision of these two drives produce a flame that illuminates its surroundings with a G‑dly light: a life that escapes the pull of earth even as it interacts with it and develops it in harmony with the soul’s spiritual vision.So the “Divine fire” that consumed the souls of Nadav and Avihu is the very fire that is intrinsic to every soul: the soul’s burning desire to tear free of the physical trappings that distance it from its Source. Nadav and Avihu “came close to G‑d” by indulging and fueling their soul’s ratzo the point that it overpowered its shov, and they broke free of the “cycle” of life. Thus their souls literally severed their connection with their bodies and were utterly consumed in ecstatic reunion with G‑d.This, however, was a “strange fire,” a fire that “G‑d had not commanded.” Man was not created to consume his material being in a fire of spiritual ecstasy. Although He imbued our souls with the drive for self-transcendence, G‑d wants us to anchor our fervor to reality. He wants us to “settle” this yearning within our physical self, to absorb it and make it part of our everyday life and experience.Following the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, G‑d specifically commanded that their example should not be repeated:And G‑d spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who came close to G‑d and died: “. . . Speak to Aaron your brother, that he come not at all times into the Holy . . . so that he die not . . .”The Lubavitcher Rebbe adds: The purpose of this Divine command was not to limit the degree of self-transcendence and closeness to G‑d attainable by man. On the contrary, this commandment empowered us to accommodate, as a physically alive human beings, the very fire that consumed the souls of Nadav and Avihu. Hence the “strange fire” of Aaron’s two sons was also “strange” in a positive sense: an unprecedented act that introduced opened a new vista in man’s service of G‑d.This, says the Rebbe, is the meaning of a remark attributed to the founder of the Chassidic movement, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov: “It is only out of a great kindness on the part of the Almighty that one remains alive after prayer.”5Prayer is the endeavor to transcend the enmeshments of material life and come close to one’s essence and source in G‑d. When a person truly achieves this closeness—when he truly prays—he can experience an attachment to G‑d of the magnitude that “released” the souls of Nadav and Avihu. But G‑d has enabled us (in the very act of commanding us to do so) to incorporate such sublime experiences into our daily, humanly defined lives.So life’s constant to-and-fro movement is more than a cycle that runs from existence to oblivion and back. It is, rather, an upward spiral: man escapes his finite self, but is driven back to make his transcendent achievements an integral part of his individual being; brought back to earth, his “escapist” nature now reasserts itself, compelling him to reach beyond the horizon of his new, expanded self as well; transcending his new self, his shov once again draws him back to reality.Back and forth, upward and on, the flame of man dances, his two most basic drives conspiring to propel him to bridge ever wider gulfs between transcendence and immanence, between the ideal and the real.Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Chassidut"
4 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "This teaches us that the fire which consumed Nadab and Abihu was a spiritual fire that only consumed their souls and not a physical fire which consumed their bodies since their outer garments were intact.-Rashi"
5 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "From here we see that all of Israel are brothers; we are to feel loss when any member of Israel dies just as we would our own family. This is the essence of "Love thy neighbor as thyself"."
6 Vin P = "Nadab and Abihn are two of Aaron’s sons and also priests like their father.  It is controversial the way they died. Some believe they were purposely burnt to death by God because of their sins while others feel they became intoxicated because of drinking too much alcohol and had an accident."
7 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The Jewish scriptures do not place items next to each other which do not have a connected purpose. The Sages discuss that the reason God told Aaron not to drink alcohol while performing the service right after the story of his sons' death was to teach us the reason for their death. As discussed above, they brought an offering which God did not command them to do and the reason may have been because when someone is intoxicated it makes them do things they otherwise wouldn't normally do."
8 Vin P = "In this quote God is talking to Aaron, Moses’ younger brother. The clean and unclean is similar to good and evil, a universal concept throughout history and very complex. For instance the nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche sarcastically writes in The Natural History of Morals, Ch. 5 of his book Beyond Good And Evil, “what the famous serpent of old once promised to teach—they ‘know’ today what is good and evil.” Nietzche feels people don’t understand the idea.  "
9 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "With the prophets of other religions, they claimed to have spoken to God and passed along his word to their followers, thereby casting doubt to the veracity of their claim. With Moses however the relationship was different. God himself told the nation of Israel to follow his prophet Moses, Israel didn't hear Moses make the claim, they saw God himself state "this is Moses my prophet whom you must follow".  "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face", Deuteronomy 34:10 - We follow Moses not because Moses told us to, but because God told us to.There's a famous Jewish parable about a Rabbi of a synagogue that passed away and the elders were unsure of who should take his place as the newly appointed leader. In the crowd, a man stood up and said "God came to me in a dream last night and told me that he wanted me to become the new Rabbi of the town". The elders responded, if that's the case, please have God come and tell all of us himself and then we will believe you.Jewish faith is not based on the testimony of a claim made by a man or a few of his zealous followers; The Jewish faith is the only religion in the world which bases its claim on a national revelation that 2 million people personally witnessed God tell them who to follow. This is why all religions which have adopted the Jewish scriptures [Christianity & Islam] are confident of the holiness and validity of the Jewish testimony. On this issue they all agree."