Saturday, 7 December 2019
Parsha: Vayishlach, "Do Shimon and Levi = Nadav and Avihu?"
An interesting Rashi notes that Shimon and Levi acted recklessly in attacking Shechem without consulting their father, Yaakov. In "Sh'nei B'nei Yaakov", Rashi writes that "They [Shimon and Levi] failed to act like sons in that they didn't seek advice from him [Yaakov, their father]." (Bereishit 34:25)
Nadav's and Avihu's case seems comparable. They were two "righteous" brothers who brought an "eish zarah" into the Sanctuary without consulting their elders, their father, Aharon, and their Uncle Moshe. The parallels are striking.
Shimon and Levi were castigated with fiery words. Nadav and Avihu were incinerated. Had they consulted with their elders, as they should have done, their recklessness could have been prevented. Both improper behavior and a kind of insubordination or usurping of authority should be considered in this equation.