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Korach

Rabbi Label Lam

Where is Here?

In the morning (Hashem will make known): Moses said to them that The Holy One Blessed Be He apportioned boundaries in His world. Are you able to switch morning for evening? If so you would be able to undo this! As it says: "There was evening and morning ...and He separated"...so He distinguished Aaron for holiness. (Rashi)

The main goal and lesson for the man is to recognize his place and that his deeds should be for a definite purpose and rooted in the highest source. (Sefas Emes) The tragedy of Korach demands a post op. What went wrong? Korach was wealthy beyond comparison. He and his family had one of the most important tasks, to carry the Holy Ark. Who could ask for anything more and why?

Rabbi Yonason Eibshitz ztl., with an almost whimsical observation, compares two Talmudic sayings about human nature that seem to have a percentage point contradiction between them. One aphorism states, "No person dies having fulfilled half of his desires." The other claims, "If you have 100 you want 200." One implies that a person may approach but never reaches 50% of his or her ambitions. The second places the dividing point at exactly 50%. He reconciles the two with extra searing insight into the nature of the beast. He says, "The half that he doesn't have is more-dear to him than the half that he does have." King Solomon wrote, "Like a bird that strays from her nest so is a man that wanders from his place. (Proverbs 27:8) To the baby bird planted securely in her nest the forest floor is a lure. Similarly the big city calls the country youth. With one step too many the little fellow is out there. Once down on the ground, though, the proportions of the lurking dangers swell back to size. Suddenly, that defenseless creature with underdeveloped wings is in constant risk of being swallowed whole. Eventually she longs for the nurturing nest.

Moses tried to warn Korach and his group, "You have plenty -Children of Levi!" As if to say, "There's a lifetime of achievement in the role you've been given. Be ambitious to live up to the greatness of your G-d given task."

The Peter Principle sadly states, "A person rises to their level of incompetence!" Woe to the master teacher who concludes his career as a poor administrator or failed fundraiser. So much good remains and becomes undone when someone wanders into a field not there own finding there the jungle floor. A bad joke is told about a fellow who came to the doctor and told him, "I have a problem. Every time I take one step forward I take two steps backward." The doctor responded, "That's a terrible problem but I have one question. How did you get here?" To which the man answered, "You're right! I've been trying to get here for years. Eventually just I gave up and went home." Everyone has a uniquely defined mission to accomplish here. The question for each of us is, "Where is here?"


Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Label Lam and Project Genesis, Inc.



 

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