Where’s your Kohen gone? :
It is a relatively famous fact that Moshe’s name is not mentioned in parshas Tetzaveh (though it has not quite made it into Trivial Pursuit). What is less well-known, is that Aharon’s name does not make it into parshas Vayikra. Given that Vayikra is all about korbanos, and, as Kohen Gadol, korbanos are Aharon’s thing, it seems strange that he does not feature. Why is that? The peirush HaRosh (6:2) cites a Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 7:1) which answers that this was because Aharon was still ‘rejected,’ to an extent, by HaShem due to his role in the chet ha’egel. What is interesting to note here is that it is clear that the rest of the Bnei Yisrael had been forgiven by now for the chet ha’egel - the completion of the Mishkan testified to this, as the Rosh himself pointed out in Pekudei (38:21). Yet Aharon, the only member of the sin of the chet ha’egel who had fully worthy intentions and the only one who did not want to make a calf in the first place, is the only one still being punished by HaShem. Why is that? The solution here seems to be the principle laid down in several sources (see the Ramban quoted by the Kli Yakar in Vayikra 4:20 and Ibn Ezra Bereishis 32:9) that HaShem punishes tzadikim more harshly than He does other people. The reason for this is partly because the greater one is, the more is expected of you, and partly because HaShem wants to cleanse every trace of sin from the tzadik in this world so that his share in the Next World will be wholesome.

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