Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Korach

by Rabbi Dovid Green


If the story we encounter in this week's parsha was not in the Torah, it would be too fantastic to believe. Korach, a prominent member of the tribe of Levi disputes the validity of Moshe's choice for Kohain Gadol, The High Priest. "The entire congregation is holy, with G-d among them. Why do you raise yourself up over the congregation of G-d?" Moshe creates a situation in which G-d's real choice can prove himself. 250 men, mostly from the tribe of Reuvein bring a sacrifice of a mixture of spices called K'tores, and a heavenly fire burns them all to death. Korach, Dasan, and Avirom are miraculously swallowed alive by the earth, and the dispute is decisively clarified.

Why did the 250 men from the tribe of Reuven get involved? Rashi, the great medieval commentator, writes that just as Korach's family camped on the southern side of the Tabernacle, so did the tribe of Reuven. Rashi quotes the words of Chapters of the Fathers, "woe to an evil person, and woe to his neighbor." This means that these men had an opportunity to spend time with their neighbors and be negatively influenced by them.

Rabbi Shalom Noach Brezovsky, the present Rabbi of Slonim, writes that the three main influences on our characters come from family, habits, and friends. He quotes Maimonides, who says that the way of a person is to be drawn after the ways of his peer group. We see from this week's parsha an incredible insight; that the 250 men knew that the one who would be chosen as High Priest would be the only one to live through the test. Still, they were willing to go through with it, even putting their lives on the line as they did.

A student of Torah understands the power of friendships and associations. He chooses them carefully, considering what the outcome of his friendships will be. His friends and his children's friends can have a profound effect on the way he himself and his generations will look even years from now. How are we positively or negatively influenced by our friends and associations? What can we do about it? This week's parsha teaches us that this is an importantant question we all need to ask ourselves. Where are our friendships and associations leading us?

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON SHOFTIM AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Rosh HaShana - Of Creation and Our King
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Judge Over Yourself
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Focusing Our Prayers
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

> The Morality of Intolerance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Allusions to Elul
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Parashat Haazinu
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Its Good to be the King?
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Look Before You Leap
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Happy New Yira
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Just Say "No"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Pursuing Truth and Justice
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

The Focus of Rosh HaShana
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

ArtScroll

The Torah's Path to Justice
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Sound of the Unheard Shofar
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Self Cancellation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

The Meaning of Life
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information