Friday, June 24, 2011

Parashat Korach

This week we are privileged to read the portion of Korach. We read how Korach and his associates disputed the legitimacy of Moshe and Ahron's leadership and as a punishment and a lesson to all, the earth swallowed them and all their belongings.  The essence of this portion is terrible effect that quarrel and dispute bring about.

The Torah states that when Moshe heard the arguments of Korach and his associates, he fell on his face to the ground. Rashi explains that Moshe was distraught because this had been the fourth time that they had rebelled, and always Moshe defended them. By the golden calf, Moshe prayed and begged G-d to forgive them. By the spies as well, and the same took place by the misoninim. Now Moshe was at a loss.

The obvious question is, what happened suddenly that Moshe, the leader and defender of klal Yisroel suddenly could no longer defend them?

Perhaps in order to understand the answer, we need to see the method of defense which Moshe used when he defended the Jews after making the golden calf. Moshe argued that when G-d said the ten commandment they were said in singular form 1- I am the L-rd YOUR (singular) G-d. YOU (singular) shall not have other gods... Moshe argued that the Jews may have considered the commandment applicable to Moshe only. However Korach came before Moshe with the following argument the whole nation is holy and G-d is amongst them and why are you above them ? Rashi brings the words of the Tanchuma which says, that Korach argued with Moshe saying, "we were all at Mt Sinai and G-d spoke to all of us, why do you think you are greater than us" ? This in turn removed Moshe's defense that he used during the sin of golden calf. This is why Moshe was at loss. His defense on behalf of the Jewish people was now in jeopardy.

Let us learn to follow our righteous leaders and stay away from quarrel and dispute. May G-d bless us with peace at all them items.

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