Laying Blame for a Suicide

This isn’t very well known but the first suicide is recorded in the Torah.
Nadav and Avihu had been depressed for a long time but things seemed to get worse during the construction of the mishkan. There are conflicting reports as to why the mishkan made them sad, some said they were fatally embarrassed by their father Aharon’s leadership role in the making of the aygel hazahav, which effectively made them the children of a BT.
Others thought they had been unhappy since life in Mitzrayim, indeed they had often complained “What’s the meaning of life? All this huffing and puffing under Pharaoh’s whip and now we’re wandering around this bleak desert?”
Still others claimed that it was a well-kept secret that depression and mental illness ran in the family. In fact, they claim, the shadchan hadn’t told Aharon that his kallah suffers from these ailments and when he found out he wanted to break off the shidduch! But they brought in Moishe Rabbainu, the godol hador, who talked Aharon into following through with it.

Whatever the root cause of their suicidality, Nadav and Avihu got their hands on some powerful besamim and overdosed in the mishkan during the grand opening.
The medrish tells us that in the wake of Nadav and Avihu’s death there was lots of infighting in klal yisroel. Some thought it was the family’s fault for not paying closer attention to them and buying them ice cream when they were down. Others blamed their 12 Step group for not putting them in touch with licensed professionals while others said the only thing we can do is rededicate ourselves even stronger to Hashem.
Aharon know who their dealer was, the police wanted this information from him but Aharon was sick and tired of all the fighting. Aharon was, after all, the great peacemaker in klal yisroel. So he didn’t reveal anything to the authorities, on this the posuk says “vayidoim Aharon, and Aharon was silent, he didn’t pass judgement”.
This afternoon a big fan of Frum Satire and of Heshy in particular was buried after committing suicide. Her family was chassidish and she wasn’t frum. When her father got up to speak at her funeral he started by apologizing to the large crowd of uncomfortable yarmulke wearers saying “I’m sorry I didn’t prepare anything in English, thank you all for coming, we really appreciate it.”
Let’s all learn from Aharon, there’s no need to pass judgement. Vayidoim Aharon.

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