Parshat Korach


Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kroizer SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

30 Sivan 5767/15-16 June 2007


As if it weren't enough already, all of the bickering and complaining that has been going on since the Jewish people left Egypt. First, not wanting to enter into the sea, and when Nachshon ben Aminadav, from the tribe of Yehuda, did, a riot broke out, with each tribe claiming that they had wanted to cross first. Then, complaining about not having water, the sin of the golden calf, complaining about the heavenly food “manna”, and then demanding to eat meat when they had enough cattle to last a lifetime. This continued with the spies and the people despising the Holy Land, and now, to top it all off - Parshat Korach.

To add insult to injury, after rejecting the Land, the people had the gall to complain to Moshe: “See, you did not do as you promised, to bring us in to a land of milk and honey”. One may say that maybe Korach was not a very bright fellow and did not learn from past mistakes, and he didn’t see that all who rebelled against Hashem were punished right away. Our Rabbis, though, teach us otherwise: Korach was a very intelligent and learned man, but because he was consumed with desire for glory and envy, he ultimately lost everything. In fact, Korach was one of the wealthiest people who ever lived. We are taught that as a rule, the tribe of Levi were poor. They did not partake of the spoils in Egypt, as being that they were not enslaved there, they had no share in the wealth. But Korach, on the other hand, who was possessed by fame and only dreamt of becoming wealthy (and as we know, in the way that a man wants to go Hashem will lead him) came upon the treasures of Joseph and became literally rich overnight. Still, in the end, all that he had went down with him to Shoal - Hell - and he left nothing behind.

It is mind-boggling to note that all of this complaining and rebelling against Hashem came from the “good Jews”, those 20 percent who wanted to be redeemed from Egypt, for the rest of the Jewish people - 80 percent - were killed off in the plague of darkness for not wanting to leave the “golden medina” that Egypt was, not wanting to be redeemed.

Still, giving credit where credit is due, that generation is praised by the prophets for following Hashem into the wilderness, an uninhabitable place. Not an easy task, being that we followed with our women and children, without food or water, never knowing what tomorrow would bring.

Looking back on our long history, it has always been that same, small minority that carries the torch of truth and is leading the way; they are the ones that are remembered, whether it’s the ones who did not rebel against the Kehuna in our parsha, or Calev and Joshua from the spies. These are the ones that history remembers; the others - the rebellious ones - go by the wayside, together with the Korachs of this world. The 80 percent who wanted to stay in Egypt, or the assimilated Greek-Jews in the time of the Maccabees - all gone from the stage of history.

Incredible as it sounds, today, too, the call of the fools who cry out to give away the Golan, or more land in Yesha to the bloodthirsty Arabs, all with the backround of what is going on in Gaza City, act as if they have learned absolutely nothing from the past few years. And it makes no difference whether the calls come from the “black-hatters” with their misguided understanding of halacha, left-wingers, or other “enlightened” leaders - in the end, their views will not be counted, will not matter. They will go the way of Korach and his wicked assembly - lost forever. Who will count, is the courageous minority of the Nachshons, the Calevs, the Joshuas. They are the ones that history will record for posterity. They are the ones who will lead us to the Final Redemption.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

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