Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Korach

Making Lemonade

By Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig

Rashi describes how Korach initiated a rebellion against the established leadership of the Jewish nation. He gathered 250 heads of court and clothed them in wool cloaks completely dyed with techeiles, the blue dye to be used on one string of the tzitzis fringes to inspire recollection of G-d's mitzvos (commands). They stood before Moshe and asked if these cloaks, which are themselves entirely techeiles, are obligated to possess tzitzis. When Moshe told them the cloaks are obligated, they began to laugh at him, saying, "Is it possible that for a cloak of a different color cloth one thread of techeiles exempts it, while this one entirely of techeiles does not exempt itself?"

The Maharal (1) explains that Korach was not merely attempting to make a mockery of Moshe's ruling in this particular mitzvah. Korach's complaint to Moshe and Aaron was "The entire assembly - all of them - are holy and G- d is among them, so why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of G- d?" There is no need for strings on a garment which is entirely techeiles and no need for spiritual superiority over a congregation which is entirely holy. Korach felt that everyone should have an equal opportunity to serve G-d in every way. What Korach would not internalize was that Moshe did not determine Aaron should be the Kohen Gadol (high priest). G- d did. The fact that others are holy and capable of serving in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) does not mean that that is what G-d wants them to do.

A Chassid once came before his Rebbe (Rabbinic mentor) crying that he lived alone in the forest, chopping wood for his livelihood, and as a result, he was unable to pray with a minyan (quorum of ten) each day, articulating to the Rebbe how he longed for the opportunity to pray with a minyan. The Rebbe told him lovingly, "How do you know that G-d wants you to pray with a minyan? Perhaps He derives more satisfaction from your wanting to pray with a minyan even though you are unable to do so."

We do not understand why G-d chooses to challenge people's ability to perform mitzvos in various conditions. If mitigating circumstances prevent a person from serving G-d in a particular way, the appropriate reaction is not to disregard the laws regulating those circumstances in order to do what we want. G-d is giving us the opportunity to grow closer to Him by accepting and developing within our unique roles. Instead of depressing ourselves because we cannot be the Kohen Gadol or serve G-d in other ways we may want, we can forge our Divine relationship by excelling within our own circumstances.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) Acronym for Rabbi Yehuda (ben Betzalel) Loewe; 1526-1609; One of the seminal figures in Jewish thought in the last half millennium, he was Chief Rabbi in Moravia, Posen and Prague and author of numerous works in all fields of Torah


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 414-447-7999


 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

The Plague of Darkness of Every Generation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Think Again!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Sweet' Can Emerge From 'Bitter
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

ArtScroll

Fruits of Holiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

No Need to Sell Yourself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

The Essence of Song
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Bitachon in Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

It's Raining Bread!
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Can A Person Sleep For Seventy Years?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

> Building a Spiritual Pipeline
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Leaving Mitzrayim: It Is All For OUR Good
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Rough Beginnings
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Clean Break
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

As the Season Turns
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

The New Year for Trees
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Mon or Man?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766



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