This week's portion is called Shemini, which means "eighth." It comes from the opening part of this parsha where it talks about the priests being inaugurated on the eighth day. And although there is much to be said about that and how it's connected to us being inaugurated as priests on the prophetic eighth day after the seventh millennium, today I'm going to focus on a different part of the section: the profane fire of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus chapter 10.
In Exodus 32:10, God tells Moses to leave Him alone so that He can wipe out the entire Israelite nation and give all the inheritance to Moses. Yahweh had had enough of the sin and complaining so His apparent plan was to make a new nation out of Moses. Who wouldn't take that deal? But Moses jumped in and gives God multiple reasons why He shouldn't annihilate everyone and God apparently changes His mind. Is it possible to change the mind of the Creator? Does God need anger management classes? What's really going on here?