Silence is Golden by Yoni Shenkman


When Aharon's two sons died, the Torah reports his reaction; “And Aharon was silent” (Vayikra 10:3). How is it possible that Aharon was silent? What was going through his mind? Rabbi Moshe HaCohen Rice writes in Ohr HaMussar: Aharon was greatly praised for remaining silent - for not complaining against Hashem and for accepting His will. Why? Before something happens, one might be able to take action to prevent it. However, afterwards, what can one do? He can fight it or he can accept it as the will of Hashem. Was his acceptance of the Almighty's will exceptional or unique? The Sages constantly worked on accepting the will of Hashem. Rabbi Akiva always used to say when something apparently negative happened, “All that Hashem does is for the good.” Nochum Ish Gam Zu used to say, “This, too, is for the good.” (“Ish Gam Zu” means “the man who says (no matter what happens) ‘this, too, is for the good.’”) However, when a person says, “All that Hashem does is for the good” about something that originally disturbed or frustrated him, it implies that at first he was bothered by what happened. As soon as he realized that the matter bothered him, he used his intellect to overcome his negative reaction. Intellectually, he knows that all that Hashem causes to occur is ultimately for the good and this knowledge enables him to accept the situation. An even higher level is to internalize the concept that whatever Hashem does is positive and good. When this is a person’s automatic evaluation of every occurrence, he does not have to keep convincing himself that a specific event is good. Such a person accepts with joy everything that occurs in his life. This was the greatness of Aharon. He remained silent because he knew clearly that everything Hashem does is purposeful. When things consistently go well for a person, he feels an inner-joy. Acceptance of Hashem’s will is the most crucial attitude to make part of oneself for living a happy life. The more you learn to accept the will of Hashem, the greater joy you will experience in your life!

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