Torah Fax

Friday, July 1, 2005 - 24 Sivan, 5765
Torah Reading:  Korach (Numbers 16:1 - 18:32)
Candle Lighting time: 8:13 PM
Shabbat ends: 9:22
Pirkei Avot: Chap. 3
We bless the New Month of Tammuz
Conclusion Drawing
Isn't it unusual for this week's Torah portion to be named Korach, arguably the worst Biblical Jew to have existed in the formative years of Jewish nationhood? Why would we name a section of the Torah after the man who organized a rebellion against Moses, rather than name the Parshah after the men who were the objects of the rebellion, namely Moses and Aaron?
The answer provided in Chassidic thought is that, contrary to a superficial view of Korach, he was a principled and highly spiritual person. His error-as is true with so many well-intentioned people-was that he took his initial feelings and perceptions beyond the place where they could be justified, and failed to validate them when they were translated into action. Almost every foolish or rebellious course of action begins with a valid premise. It is when the person builds on that premise and draws unwarranted inferences from it, that causes even some of our best and well meaning intentions to go downhill.
Indeed, this understanding of the dynamics of sin-the inability to draw correct inferences from a valid premise-can shed light on the fact that in all of the rebellions the Jews engaged in - including the Golden Calf, the Spies and the Rebellion of Korach-women did not participate at all. In some instances, they even had a salutary effect on some of the men. Why were the women in the dessert apparently immune to participating in the many rebellions organized by the men?
One of the explanations of this phenomenon is based on the Talmudic teaching that women were endowed by G‑d with a greater measure of the intellectual faculty called "Binah." Binah, which is usually translated as "understanding," actually refers to the capacity to draw appropriate inferences from existing ideas.
While the men started with the right idea, they strayed from it when they took the idea to its next step. They veered off course, as it were. The internal talent that women possess to stay focused even when going to a second and third level is what kept them from straying.
But what was Korach's premise and how did he stray? Korach declared: "All of the community is holy and G‑d is within them." Korach saw each Jew as possessing the same spiritual soul as every other Jew. This is the premise that we know is true. Indeed, the commandment to "love your fellow as yourself" is predicated on that very notion, that our souls have a common G‑dly source. Korach thus drew the conclusion that if everyone is equally holy why should Moses and Aaron occupy such exalted positions?
Korach's premise was correct, his conclusion was not. To understand why his conclusion was not called for, let us use the human body as an analogy. One could argue that each and every limb of our body is equally a part of us. The brain is no more and no less a part of who we are in the physical sense than any other organ. The fact that the brain performs a much more vital function than the appendix, for example, doesn't mean that the appendix is less a part of us.
Yet, for the proper functioning of the appendix or any other organ of the human being, each organ must recognize and respect its dependency on the brain and other vital organs. If an organ wishes to be independent of the brain and heart because of the argument, "we are all equal, the soul's energy resides within each and every organ," that would lead to a total breakdown of the human organism.
True, we must treat every Jew as being equal in the eyes of G‑d. The correct conclusion to draw from this realization is that no Jew has a right to look down at another for any reason. But, by the same token, no individual can repudiate his or her special connection with the "heads" and "hearts" of the Jewish community; the Moses' and Aaron's, by denying their preeminent role.
How does one make that inner Jewish core reach the surface of our being? How does one manifest the G‑dly essence into the everyday dimensions of our lives?   Judaism's response is threefold:  First, the study of Torah, which cultivates the mind and makes it receptive to the G‑dly intellect embedded in our souls. Second through the observance of the Mitzvot, that express our love and reverence for G‑d. Thus our soul's emotional faculties are expressed.  And thirdly, we need to find our connection to the souls of other Jews, particularly, the "head" and "heart" souls, the Jewish leaders who offer us guidance and inspiration. Once all the parts of the structure of our souls work together in harmony-as a result of the coordination of the brain-soul, to which we are all connected, G‑d then is no longer confined to being "within" us. He is also upon us, with us and encompasses our entire being. This Korach did not comprehend and that is why it led to the rebellion.
Our belief in Moshiach, who is said to encompass the traits of both Moses and Aaron, is that he will succeed in uniting all Jews and enable them to express fully their spiritual potential. By expressing this inner spirit, the "G‑d within them" will also become the G‑d "outside" of them. And their outer G‑dly light will also spread to the entire world. In the words of the prophet: "And the nations shall go by your light."

Moshiach Matters
The primary goal in creating Adam was to bring forth King David and his descendants, the main one being Moshiach-He should come speedily in our days. This is hinted at in the acrostic for the Hebrew word Adam: "alef" for Adam, "dalet" for David and "mem" for Moshiach. The main purpose of creation was for the generation of Moshiach. (Rabbi Shalom of Belz, the Sar Shalom)
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