Photo Credit: Jewish Press

You haven’t posted anything yet about the latest storm? You haven’t expressed your opinion on the latest news? Why are you being silent? Don’t you have anything to say?

We say, and type, and hear countless words every day. In today’s and age, it’s no longer legitimate to say nothing. Everyone’s talking – a lot! And you feel you have no choice but to join in.


In this week’s parshah, Shemini, a tragedy takes place. The two sons of Aharon die on the same day, during the dedication of the Tabernacle. In the middle of this festive event, centered around Aharon, he receives the news that his two sons died.

Everyone must have been waiting to hear his reaction. But the Torah describes what happened next in two powerful words: “VaYidom Aharon – And Aharon was silent.” At this most tragic and traumatic moment, Aharon chooses silence.

Sometimes silence is more powerful than words. Sometimes you need to take the time to turn inward, to fully absorb, to think. To be silent isn’t passive. On the contrary, you don’t need any strength to talk. The words just roll out of your mouth, no problem. To be silent, though, requires strength.

Superficial online responses fill the world, but Aaron’s echoing silence has continued to accompany us for thousands of years – long after many other words have been long forgotten.

(Translated by


Previous articleWine and Whiners – Israel on My Mind [audio]
Next articleWhy Not Try The Green ‘Old’ Deal?
Sivan Rahav-Meir, a ba’alas teshuvah, is one of the most popular media personalities in Israel. She is a Channel 2 News anchor, a columnist for Yediot Aharonot, and the host of a weekly radio show on Galei Tzahal. Every day she shares short Torah thoughts to over 100,000 Israelis – both observant and not – via Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.