A summary of SHMINI, LEV. 9:1- 11:46:

On the 8th day of inauguration, Moshe directs Aharon in the final sacrificial rites, to initiate him and his sons as priests of Israel. All goes well- Aharon and Moshe bless Israel; God's glory appears and His fire consumes the sacrifices. The Jews were ecstatic.

CH. 10: Ecstasy turns into agony- Aharon's 2 prize sons, probable successors to him and Uncle Moshe, bring a strange fire before God; they are consumed by Divine fire. Aharon uttered no complaint and Moshe instructed the survivors as to how they should dispose of the bodies and conclude the service. God spoke to Aharon, prohibiting drinking alcohol while performing the Divine Service. Moshe got angry at an alleged ritual violation, forgot a law, and accepted Aharon's correction.

CH. 11: God now delivers the kosher laws, a vast expansion upon the one prohibited fruit, with which He began Man's moral education in Eden. In each realm- birds, fish, animals, and creepy- crawlies- some are good Jewish soul food, others not. Dead non-kosher critters engender ritual impurity, TUMAH, a threat to Jewish Divine sanctity, the goal of Exodus. One impure may not enter the tabernacle.

IN OUR HAFTORA (II SAM. 6-7), Uzzah dies for touching the ark; all were afraid to approach it, until Obed-Edom was blessed, for taking care of it. David danced with ecstasy in public, celebrating the return of the ark. His wife, regal aloof Michal, criticized and despised his plebeian personality. She had no children. Yet God's warrior cannot build God's Temple of Peace; he only acquires the site. Nathan reveals to David that his son Shlomo shall build God's house and that his throne shall be established forever. Per Rav Mieli of Ateret Cohanim, the Divine scheme was for Saul to fight Israel's battles and for Jonathen to be David's general, rather than Yoav; David should have built the Temple. Saul's sin and the tragic death of Saul and Jonathen forced David to abandon his mission and become chief of staff.

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