68. Rabbi Elazar rose and opened the discussion saying, "And Hashem spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron..." (Vayikra 16:1). This verse needs introspection, for it appears that it is superfluous, as it writes afterwards, "And Hashem said to Moses, Speak to Aaron your brother." Now WE SHOULD ASK, if at the beginning of the portion, in the first verse, it says, "And Hashem spoke to Moses," what did He say to him, SEEING THAT afterwards it is written, "And Hashem said to Moses?"
69. HE ANSWERS: At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, gave the sweet incense to Aaron, He wanted no one else to deal with this during his lifetime. For what reason? Because Aaron increased peace in the world. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: 'Since you wish to increase peace in the world, peace will multiply above through you. The sweet incense will be transmitted to you from now on, AS INCENSE INCREASES PEACE ABOVE, and during your life, no one else will be permitted to deal with it.' During their father's lifetime, Nadab and Abihu hastened to offer that which was not given to them, and this matter caused them to make a mistake BY OFFERING A FOREIGN FIRE.
70. We have learned Moses was pondering who caused them to make this mistake OF OFFERING FOREIGN FIRE, and was sad. It is written, "And Hashem spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron." What did He say to him? "When they came near before Hashem, and died" (Vayikra 16:1) It is not written: 'offered,' but "came near." The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, 'This is what caused them this, for they hurried the hour TO OFFER INCENSE during the lifetime of their father.' They erred in this, IN OFFERING FOREIGN FIRE, so the verse says, "Which He commanded them not" (Vayikra 10:1). They were not commanded to OFFER, for only Aaron did He command. SO THE EXPLANATION OF THE VERSE, "AND OFFERED FOREIGN FIRE BEFORE HASHEM" (IBID.) IS THAT THEY ERRED IN THIS BECAUSE "HE COMMANDED THEM NOT" TO OFFER INCENSE BUT HE COMMANDED AARON ALONE. And if the two sons of Aaron, by rushing the time during their father's lifetime, brought all this on themselves, this is all the more true for me, in relation to my father and Rabbi Pinchas and the other friends. I AM NOT PERMITTED TO RUSH THE HOUR AND SAY NOVEL TORAH INTERPRETATIONS IN THEIR STEAD. Rabbi Pinchas came forth, and kissed and blessed him.