The Vulnerable Aaron
Elie Wiesel (“Aaron, the Teflon Kid,” BR 14:04) seems to have forgotten about the “strange [or unholy] fire unto the Lord” in Leviticus 10:1–3. In that horrible, troubling incident, Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, are consumed by fire for having brought an improper sacrificial offering.
A phrase in the Ten Commandments comes to mind: “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the sins of the fathers even unto the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 20:5). This would hardly make Aaron the Teflon Kid.
One could argue that the sin of the “strange fire unto the lord” was committed by the sons, not by Aaron. Yet Aaron had to live with this the rest of his life. He must have felt some sense of personal guilt—in face of the divine judgment, Aaron remained silent (Leviticus 10:3). Thus, Teflon did not always protect Aaron.