Shemini-Personal Profession

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In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion of Shemini, we find the tragedy of Nadav and Avihu who were killed by Hashem through a fire coming down from Heaven for sinning in the Mishkan. “Moshe summoned Mishael and Eltzaphan, sons of Aharon’s uncle Uziel, and said to them, ‘Approach, carry your brothers out of the sanctuary to the outside of the camp'” (Vayikra 10:4).
 The Moshav Zekeinim points out that it mentions that Uziel was the uncle of Aharon because he was very close to Aharon. Just as Aharon pursued peace and loved peace, so did he. The Moshav Zekeinim then asked an obvious question. Wasn’t Moshe Rabbeinu as righteous as Aharon? Why wasn’t Moshe known as one who pursues peace and loves peace? He answered, that because Moshe was a judge he couldn’t just compromise but rather he was only able to minimize the mountainous judgement, as it says in Sanhedrin 6b, he would first listen to each side of the argument, and he knew who the judgement sided with and he couldn’t just tell them go and split it, and He wasn’t able to make peace. But Aharon was good at making peace and that is why he was known for peace and running after peace. (Click here for Hebrew text.)
 Remember that Moshe Rabbeinu had an incredible love for the Jewish People and was willing to sacrifice his own life for their sake. He also listened to their plight and arguments day in day out to try to resolve all issues amongst them before Yisro advised him to make a court system to split up all the cases. And it’s very clear in halacha that part of the court system is compromise. Before deciding who is guilty and who is innocent the judges give each litigant a chance to compromise, so why wasn’t Moshe on the same stature as Aharon running after and loving peace?

 Because his profession of being a judge required him to hear each side of the argument and, at best, compromise, Moshe wasn’t as quick to pursue peace as Aharon who had a natural tendency to just look at a situation and figure out how to resolve it peacefully. We see from here the impact one’s profession can make on one’s essence. Moshe definitely loved peace and would do anything to create peace in Klal Yisrael, but the vigor and way he went about doing it was hindered by his professional thinking as a judge and, therefore, it wasn’t as great as Aharon, his brother.

We see how much of an impression one’s profession has on oneself.