10:3 Through those near to Me I show Myself holy
The death of Aharon’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, occurs in the midst of the joyous inauguration ceremony of the Mishkan. The Sages explain that they are so moved by the closeness they feel to Hashem at this moment of revelation, that Nadav and Avihu desire to get even closer with an offering of their own which they bring in the Holy of Holies. Though their intentions are pure, the offering is unauthorized and the entry into the Holy sanctuary forbidden, so they are punished. Their desire for closeness is reflected in Moshe’s words to Aharon, “Through those near to Me I show Myself holy.” Nadav and Avihu are indeed close to God, but this closeness does not allow them to bend the rules. By punishing those who were closest to Him, God’s name is sanctified, as He teaches the important lesson that everyone, even those who are most powerful and respected, must be held to the same standard.