The pessukim mention that Moshe Rabbeinu wondered why the sin-offering was burnt and not eaten. He got upset at the sons of Aharon and questioned why they did not eat it. Rashi explains Moshe was actually upset at Aharon, however for the honor of Aharon he turned his face towards his sons. Aharon responded to Moshe, “ותקראנה אתי כאלה ואכלתי חטאת היום הייטב בעיני ה’, and it would occur to me as these, and I would have eaten the sin-offering, would it be good in the eyes of Hashem?” What does Aharon mean “things as these would occur to me?” Which things does this refer to?
Onkelos translates ותקראנה אתי כאלה as “and it would occur to me afflictions as these.” And he translates “ואכלתי חטאת היום הייטב בעיני ה’” as “had it been that I would have eaten the sin-offering on this day would it be fitting before Hashem?” The Nesina LaGer explains that the passuk is shortened, as it doesn’t specify what would have occurred. Onkelos adds “afflictions” to complete everything that Aharon actually said. Onkelos understands as Rashi explains: Aharon said, “Even if my sons would not have died rather other relatives that I am obligated to mourn would have died, would it have been good if I would have eaten the sin-offering?” Aharon said, “True I can eat the kodshim for שעה, the ones commanded specifically for the time of inauguration, however the sin-offering which will be offered in future generations I can’t be lenient to eat.”
The Nefesh HaGer explains Onkelos differently, the passuk is not shortened. Aharon only said “and it would occur to me as these,” exactly as the passuk states. Out of Aharon’s righteousness he did not want to express afflictions that could have occurred since this would seem as a complaint about what Hashem did. After Aharon’s sons were burnt, the passuk states וידם אהרן which Onkelos translates as “and Aharon was silent.” The Nesina LaGer explains b’shem the Ramban: he stopped from crying out loud or stopped his tears from streaming out, or as the Rashbam explains: he was silent from mourning. The Mi’at Tzuri brings another girsah b’shem the Rambam: and Aharon praised. Onkelos adds “afflictions” to point out what Aharon hinted to, not what he actually said. Although Aharon’s sons were killed, he did not chas v’shalom have complaints against Hashem, rather he accepted the decree. Rashi says, because Aharon was silent he received reward that Hashem said a parsha to him alone. The Sifsei Chachamim explains this was double reward; 1- he received a dibur from Hashem, 2- it was only to him not to Moshe.
Avi Mori shlita said sometimes people chas v’shalom have complaints against Hashem, and they do not accept how things turn out. They question, why did this happen and not something else? Hashem says, you want to know the answer why, come up to Me and I will explain it to you. Hashem then takes the person away from the world in order to show him the truth. Everything is done with an exact cheshbon, although many times we may not understand. In Tehillim it states “שבענו בבקר חסדך ונרננה ונשמחה בכל ימינו, satiate ourselves in the morning and we will sing and rejoice in all our days.” Rashi explains that שבענו בבקר חסדך refers to the day of redemption, which is comparable to the morning after the nights of affliction. ונרננה ונשמחה בכל ימינו means, one will recognize that all that Hashem did was for our good, even the afflictions. After 120 years all the mysteries and riddles of our lives will become clear and we will understand how it was for our best in the master plan.
May we learn from Aharon to accept Hashem’s decrees although it may difficult, and know it is for our best.