92. אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אַהֲרֹן, שְׁנֵי הַמְכַשְּׁפִים הַלָּלוּ מָשְׁכוּ אוֹתְךָ לְמַה שֶּׁרָצוּ, חַיֶּיךָ שֶׁשְּׁנֵי בָנֶיךָ יִפְּלוּ, וְעַל הַחֵטְא הַזֶּה יָמוּתוּ (וּבַחֵטְא הַזֶּה הֵם יִתָּפְסוּ). זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב (דברים ט) וּבְאַהֲרֹן הִתְאַנַּף ה’ מְאֹד לְהַשְׁמִידוֹ. מַה זֶּה לְהַשְׁמִידוֹ? אֵלּוּ בָּנָיו, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (עמוס ב) וָאַשְׁמִיד פִּרְיוֹ מִמַּעַל, שֶׁפִּרְיוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם אֵלּוּ הֵם בָּנָיו.
93. בֹּא וּרְאֵה, אַהֲרֹן שָׂם אֶת אוֹתוֹ מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו, וְהָעֵגֶל שָׁב לַאֲחוֹרָיו. בָּנָיו שָׂמוּ אֶת הַצַּד הָאַחֵר לְפָנָיו, וְצַד הַקְּדֻשָּׁה חָזַר לְאָחוֹר, שֶׁכָּתוּב (ויקרא י) וַיַּקְרִיבוּ לִפְנֵי ה’. לִפְנֵי ה’ שָׂמוּ. נִתְפְּסוּ בַּחֵטְא הַזֶּה.
94. אַהֲרֹן חָשַׁב, שֶׁבֵּינְתַיִם יָבֹא מֹשֶׁה, וְלָכֵן אֶת אוֹתוֹ מִזְבֵּחַ לֹא הָרַס מֹשֶׁה, שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁחוֹשְׁבִים בְּנֵי אָדָם, הַדָּבָר הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהִצְטָרֵךְ מֹשֶׁה – לְנַתֵּץ אֶת אוֹתוֹ מִזְבֵּחַ הָיָה צָרִיךְ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִתְנַבֵּא הַנָּבִיא עִדּוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּבֵית אֵל, וּנְבוּאָתוֹ עַל אוֹתוֹ מִזְבֵּחַ הָיְתָה. אֲבָל כָּאן הָיָה דָּבָר אַחֵר כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר. וְכָתוּב וַיִּקַּח אֶת הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ, וְלֹא כָתוּב וַיִּנְתֹּץ אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ.
Zohar Ki Tisa
“וַיַּרְא אַהֲרֹן וַיִּבֶן מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו וַיִּקְרָא אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמַר חַג לַיהוָה מָחָר.”
“So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to YHVH”
Aaron built the Altar and declared “Tomorrow is a feast to YHVH”. He didn’t mention the Golden Calf of the Erev Rav because he connected the Altar to the Holy side and saved the world from collapsing to the other-side. Even though Aaron didn’t mean to cause harm and mitigated the situation, God was still angry with him.
“וּבְאַהֲרֹן הִתְאַנַּף יְהוָה מְאֹד לְהַשְׁמִידוֹ וָאֶתְפַּלֵּל גַּם בְּעַד אַהֲרֹן בָּעֵת הַהִוא”
“And YHVH was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time.”
The Holy One Blessed be He told Aaron that because he allowed the two magicians to manipulate him, his two sons will fall because of this sin.
Taking the life of Aaron’s sons is the aspect of ‘destroying him’ because children are considered as the ‘fruits’ of the tree, their father. We learn that from Amos 2:9
“וְאָנֹכִי הִשְׁמַדְתִּי אֶת הָאֱמֹרִי מִפְּנֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר כְּגֹבַהּ אֲרָזִים גָּבְהוֹ וְחָסֹן הוּא כָּאַלּוֹנִים וָאַשְׁמִיד פִּרְיוֹ מִמַּעַל וְשָׁרָשָׁיו מִתָּחַת.”
“Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, Though his height was like the height of cedars And he was strong as the oaks; I even destroyed his fruit above and his root below.”
The Amorite described in this verse as Cedars and Oaks and their children as fruits. The verse describes how God destroyed the Amorite and their children.
The sin of the Golden Calf was that the Erev Rav brought the force of the other-side to the front while it should always be in the back. Aaron brought the Holy side back to the front, pushing back the Golden Calf and its force to the back.
Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, had good intentions when they brought offerings into the Holy Tabernacle but they didn’t have the proper vessel nor the proper time to do the action. Because of that, they brought the other-side in front of YHVH.
“וַיִּקְחוּ בְנֵי אַהֲרֹן נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלֶיהָ קְטֹרֶת וַיַּקְרִבוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֵשׁ זָרָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא צִוָּה אֹתָם.”
“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered strange fire before YHVH, which He had not commanded them.”
The Erev Rav pushed to make their own God because they didn’t believe that Moses will come down from the mountain after forty days. Aaron thought that while he is keeping the Erev Rav busy with preparing the Golden Calf, Moses would come and resolve the situation.
When Moses came down he took the Golden Calf and destroyed it. He didn’t touch the Altar that Aaron built because it was holy.
“וַיִּקַּח אֶת הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ וַיִּשְׂרֹף בָּאֵשׁ וַיִּטְחַן עַד אֲשֶׁר דָּק וַיִּזֶר עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.”
“Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.”
God’s anger is the effect/judgment of a cause created by an action that is a disconnection from the Light. Aaron was on a high level and should have known better on how to deal with the magicians of the Erev Rav. His altar was not enough to repair the spiritual damage. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw the Erev Rav celebrating their new God, the Tablets of the Torah broke. Later he was invited by God to come up again and receive a different Torah. The second Torah was on a level that requires a Tikun process.
As we grow spiritually we have a greater responsibility for our actions. Our awareness and consciousness have a greater spiritual impact.
With a bigger vessel, we can receive more light and at the same time, we may cause a greater judgment by doing wrong.
The key is always to keep moving forward with positive and accept any correction sent down to us.