In this week’s parshah, Shemini, we read that a Kohen is not permitted to do the Temple service while intoxicated. G‑d said this mitzvah directly to Aaron, instead of the usual, where He would say it to Moses, or to both Moses and Aaron together.

Why was Aaron honored with this Divine communication?

Earlier in our parshah, we read about the death Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu. Without being commanded, they brought incense offerings, and their souls left their bodies.

Moses said to Aaron: “This is what G‑d spoke, ‘I will be sanctified by those nearest to Me, and I will be honored before all the people.’ ”

And Aaron was silent.

Nadab and Abihu were “those near to Me.” They were at a very high spiritual plane. G‑d chose to be sanctified through them.

Rashi tells us that Aaron was rewarded for his silence. Hashem handed down the mitzvah, not to do the Temple service while intoxicated, to Aaron alone.

Aharon’s acceptance of G‑d’s will in the most difficult and painful situation earned him a Divine communication.

Wine is symbolic of the deepest secrets of the Torah. To be intoxicated on this “wine” means to go to spiritual heights with the intention to lose yourself totally, to the extent that the neshamah leaves the body to become one with its source, G‑d.

Though this sounds idealistic and lofty, it is not what Hashem wants of us. He wants us to reach spiritual heights for the purpose of returning with the spiritual power to infuse the physical world with G‑dliness.

Wine is OK; drunk is not.

Aharon was all about the fusion of G‑dliness and the physical. That is what a High Priest is all about, helping us reach spiritually higher so that we can, in turn, use our new found heights to make this world in to a home for G‑d.

By being silent, he demonstrated his acceptance of G‑d’s will. He recognized his children’s greatness and yet realized that what they had done is not what G‑d wants. Being able to accept G‑d’s will in the sight of his children’s lifeless state earned him a Divine communication.

We all suffer heartbreak and pain. Accepting it as G‑d’s will—even and especially when it makes no sense at all—puts you on an exalted level, worthy of being G‑d’s conduit to lift and help others achieve greater heights and accomplishments.

I don’t know why G‑d makes us suffer; I wish He wouldn’t. However, this is His will, and He surely has good reason for it. All we can do is accept that, and when we do, we become His agents for positive change.

By no means does this signify giving up hope that things will get better. Rather, we accept what G‑d has burdened us with and pray for things to improve.

There is a story of a man digging through the toughest of rock in search for precious gems. The work is so hard and seems so pointless, and he is tempted to give up so many times. But he knows that if he persists—no matter how tired he is, or how pointless it seems—he will find treasure. We are all digging deep in the hardest of circumstances right now. If only we knew how close we really are, we would be doing it with renewed energy and joy.

For thousands of years, our ancestors have been digging. We are the most fortunate generation, for we will reach the goal. The rock is hardest towards the end, but we are most determined, and our will is stronger than ever.

May we all be rewarded for our persistence, our pain and our suffering with the coming of Moshiach immediately.