And Aaron was silent (Leviticus 10:3)

Speech signifies comprehensibility. Melody is beyond language, expressing moods which words cannot describe. Silence is yet higher.

The power to be silent at certain moments of life and of history is an important strength. It expresses the awareness that G‑d is infinite, and cannot be encapsulated in our human conceptions of what should take place.

The Talmud tells of an instance in which Moses himself was told by G‑d to be silent. G‑d showed him in a vision all future generations of the Jewish people, and the leaders of each generation. Moses was greatly impressed by the wisdom of Rabbi Akiva. Then he saw the way the Romans tortured him to death. "Is this the reward of his Torah knowledge?" Moses asked. G‑d answered: "Be silent. Thus it arose in My thought".

This is not to say that the Torah advocates a fatalistic approach to life. Before the event, one must do everything possible to prevent tragedy. But once it has happened, G‑d forbid, through the acceptance and the silence we reach a special closeness to the Divine. Our Sages tell us that because Aaron was silent when tragedy struck his two sons, Nadav and Avihu, he was rewarded by G‑d speaking directly to him.

In our generation, too, there is a need for this power of silence. It is not a passive power, but one that leads to vigorous and joyous action. The Jewish response to the harrowing events of the Shoah is the determined and energetic action to rebuild Jewish family life and Jewish knowledge.

Through our power of silence we too, like Aaron, will merit Divine revelation. G‑d will bring the Messiah, rebuilding the Temple and bringing lasting peace to the world.