In this week's parasha, Ahreh Mot, we are brought to the critical time after the deaths of two of Aharon's sons. Hashem is commanding Aharon to begin work in the Mishkan and carefully describes all the avodot (jobs) of Yom HaKippourim.
It is taught in the midrash that when Iyob heard of the deaths of Nadav and Avihou, he felt a tremor of fear for Hashem.
What is the meaning of this midrash? What can be learned?
Our rabbis teach us that Iyob was one of the three advisors to Paroah during the two hundred and ten years that Bnei Yisrael was enslaved there. When he heard of Paroah's plot to throw all male children into the Nile, he did not object, rather remained quiet.
Upon hearing the distressing news of Nadav abd Avihou's demise, Iyob was extremely fearful. For the midrash tells us that when Moshe and Aharon used to walk through the encampment of the nation, Nadav and Avihou used to walk behind them, and Nadav would say, "When will these two elder people pass on and give us a chance to lead the nation." Hashem heard this and immediately signed their finish and said – "let's see who will bury who..."
[indeed there are many proposed possibilities as to the sin of the sons of Aharon. However, for the purpose of this devar Torah we will focus on this one].
Avihou only heard these words and was punished. He did not object any way to what his brother had said. Therefore, he too received death. Iyob, understanding this, realizes that in his past when he advised Paroah, he never objected to his evil plans. This is why Iyob specifically felt fear after hearing the new of their death.
We learn that one who stays silent can be as guilty as one who spoke. When we witness fellow Jews doing wrong, we must feel obligated to speak up. Deracheha Darchei Noam – the ways of the Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace.