"And Moses said to Aaron, and to Elazar and to Ithamar, his sons: Do not dishevel your hair, nor tear your clothes, lest you die and lest anger come upon all the people; instead your brothers, the whole house of Israel, will cry over the fire which G‑d has kindled. Furthermore, you shall not go out from the door of the Tabernacle, lest you die, for the anointing oil of G‑d is upon you." (Lev. 10:6-7)
Every action below arouses actions Above….
Rabbi Aba expressed [a general rule to assist in explaining the inner meaning of this commandment, which Aaron and his remaining two sons received after the death of Nadab and Abihu]: Every action below arouses actions [in the spiritual worlds] Above, and the actions below must resemble the form of the actions Above [in order to be effective].
Come and see, all happiness Above depends on that holy oil [i.e. the consciousness of chochma], for from there emanates joy and blessings to all the lights. And the Supernal Priest [relating to chesed] is crowned with the flow of oil. [He receives that abundance first, and] because of this, the Priest, who has been symbolically anointed with the holy anointing oil in parallel with the higher spiritual worlds, must demonstrate joy and a shining countenance. Any deficiencies in the appearance of his head or clothes should not been seen.
The Priest must be complete in all his physical aspects, in the same manner as the spiritual counterpart he represents….
Disheveled hair and torn clothes show a lack of meditative joy, and appearing such causes damage to the corresponding spiritual sefirot in Zeir Anpin. Disheveled hair, a sign of mourning and lack of concern with the outward appearance of the head, causes a blemish in the three sefirot of consciousness in Zeir Anpin, and torn clothes blemish the seven lower sefirot of Zeir Anpin.
Rather, the Priest must be complete in all his physical aspects, in the same manner as the spiritual counterpart he represents. He should not show any blemish at all so as not to cause blemish Above.
Come and see. If Elazar and Ithamar had shown the traditional signs of mourning for their brothers by tearing their clothes and being of disheveled appearance at that time when they were anointed with the holy oil and dressed in the priestly garments, they would not have been saved at that time, because it was a time when judgment was aroused [i.e. they had to be especially careful not to give cause for that judgment to be aroused against them.]
From this we learn that at a time when death is aroused in this world, a person should be particular not to do anything in order to not further arouse the aspect of judgment. An exception is if a person is awakened into the "action" of a mitzva, because this has the power to push off the immediate damage that the judgmental forces may cause, for when that force is aroused in the world, whoever meets it will be collected by it and depart from this world. This is why their instruction [in the above verse] concluded with the words "lest you die".
Zohar, page 38b; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister
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