Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, the High Priest were consumed by fire; only their souls were left intact. We have to understand what happened here because Nadav and Avihu were tzadikim (righteous people), not drunks or lowlifes.
Despite what the world would say, these two sons – these two tzadikim – and their other two brothers did what they had to do, even knowing that it would leave them in shame. They did it anyway because they felt it would be an everlasting lesson that Israel would learn from.
When you feel something is right, you do it, and however the marbles fall, it will come out right at the end. For Nadav and Avihu, on the surface, it loos like it didn’t turn out right because they died.
The big lesson here is that no matter what is at stake, you do the right thing. You do the right thing – even if your life depends on it – which Nadav and Avihu knew was a possibility.
We are always concerned about opinions – about what our friends might think of us, what our family might think of us. We are always inhibited by the opinions of others around us, which limits our actions and prevents us from doing the things that we believe in.
I do not live by that code. If it’s right, I’m going to do it. What the people might think about it around me, that’s another matter entirely.
*Taken from the Rav’s commentary on the portion of Shmini in the Kabbalistic Bible: Leviticus.