“ וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-אַהֲרֹן וּלְאֶלְעָזָר וּלְאִיתָמָר בָּנָיו רָאשֵׁיכֶם אַל-תִּפְרָעוּ וּבִגְדֵיכֶם לֹא-תִפְרֹמוּ, וְלֹא תָמֻתוּ, וְעַל כָּל-הָעֵדָה, יִקְצֹף; וַאֲחֵיכֶם, כָּל-בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל–יִבְכּוּ אֶת-הַשְּׂרֵפָה, אֲשֶׁר שָׂרַף יְהוָה.”
“Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and YHVH’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of YHVH’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu.”
Immediately after the death of Nadav and Avihu, Moses instructs Aaron and his sons to keep their hair as is, cover their heads and change nothing in their cloths. The strong reason is to protect their lives from judgment and death. He told them that the people will follow the mourning process but they should continue their service in the Holy Tabernacle.
Every death comes with the aspect of judgment. When a person dies, his related family should avoid any judgment because they are on the same spiritual line. They must keep a ‘low profile’ to distance themselves from any kind of judgment. The mourners should sit low to the ground don’t change their cloths or even wash their body. All the laws related to mourning are made to keep the family safe from judgment.
The priests are channels of Light and if they connect to judgment, they naturally channel it to the people they serve, which in this event, all the Israelites. They were instructed to stay in the holy Tabernacle and keep their work to channel the light to the people. The priests were anointed with the special holy oil, ‘שמן משחת קודש’, that connected them to the level of Chokmah. This oil expands the light in their vessels and they cannot contaminate it with any form of judgment because they may die.
A Kohen (Priest) is not allowed to enter a cemetery because of all the death and impurities in that place. If they visit a cemetery, they may connect and channel the negative energy and judgments to their families and those who are close to them. They may visit tzadikim in isolated sites because a Tzadik is all positive energy even after their death.
Daily Zohar # 2410 – Shemini – Two aspects of grief