Of Grief Public and Private

Rabbi Shai Held

Parashat Shemini

No sooner are Aaron's sons ordained than two of them die at the terrifying hand of God. The story is terse, laconic—and profoundly disturbing. But it raises fascinating and crucially important questions—about mourning and devastation, about (often misguided) attempts to console, and about the ways leadership roles can (legitimately?) limit public expressions of grief and sorrow. (5775)