Acharei Mos and Jon Corzine
The Torah portion of Acharei Mos [Leviticus 16:1-18:30] begins with an unusual description of the time chosen by G-d to give a particular Commandment: “And G-d spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aharon, when they came close before HaShem and they died.” The Commandment given was a warning to Aharon and the other Kohanim that they not go into the holiest part of the Temple whenever they pleased.
The Talmudic Sage Rebbe Elazar ben Azaryah explains: this can be compared to a doctor who warns a patient not to eat cold foods or sleep in a cold place, versus a second doctor who gives the same warning, but adding “in order that you not die like John Smith did.” The second doctor (obviously) encourages compliance more strongly than the first.
I was reminded of this passage when I learned that NJ Gov. Jon Corzine recorded an advertisement for the US Department of Transportation. Even for those not previously aware of the news story behind the ad, the text needs no further explanation. The video (to which I link, below) shows him speaking, the mangled SUV in which he was traveling… and him walking from the room, on crutches.
I’m New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead. On April 12 I was critically injured in a car accident where I lost over half my blood and broke 15 bones in 18 places. I spent 8 days in intensive care, where a ventilator was breathing for me. It took a remarkable team of doctors and a series of miracles to save my life, when all I needed was a seat belt. I have to live with my mistake; you don’t. Buckle up.