Parshas Acherei Mos begins off saying "And it happened after the death of Ahron's 2 sons..."

The Torah never says when things happen - it just goes in order!

So, why here does the Torah tell us "After the death..." - these words seem unnecesary?

  • 2
    This is actually not the only time the Torah says something like "it happened after" to sequence something after a previous event. For starters, we have four instances where a pasuk begins with ויהי אחרי such as: בראשית:כב:כ (after akeida); בראשית:כה:יא (after the death of Avraham); בראשית:מח:א (after Yosef swears to bury Yaakov in Israel); במדבר:כו:א (after the plague at Baal Peor)
    – EraserX
    Commented Apr 16 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


Rashi ad loc. (citing Toras Kohanim) explains:

מַה תַּלְמוּד לוֹמָר? הָיָה רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה מוֹשְׁלוֹ מָשָׁל לְחוֹלֶה שֶׁנִּכְנָס אֶצְלוֹ רוֹפֵא, אָמַר לוֹ אַל תֹּאכַל צוֹנֵן וְאַל תִּשְׁכַּב בְּטַחַב; בָּא אַחֵר וְאָמַר לוֹ אַל תֹּאכַל צוֹנֵן וְאַל תִּשְׁכַּב בְּטַחַב שֶׁלֹּא תָמוּת כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמֵּת פְּלוֹנִי, זֶה זֵרְזוֹ יוֹתֵר מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר אַחֲרֵי מוֹת שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן:

Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah illustrated [the answer] with a parable of a patient, whom a physician came to visit. [The physician] said to him, “Do not eat cold foods, and do not lie down in a cold, damp place.” Then, another [physician] visited him, and advised him, “Do not eat cold foods or lie down in a cold, damp place, so that you will not die the way so-and-so died.” This one warned that patient more effectively than the former. Therefore, Scripture says, “after the death of Aaron’s two sons” [i.e., God effectively said to Aaron, “Do not enter the Holy in a prohibited manner, so that you will not die as your sons died”].

  • thanks for that answer - I once heard something like that - looking for a different Teretz! Commented Apr 16 at 23:21

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