Friday, June 23, 2017

A Message for Life from Parshas Korach

Explains the Nikolsburger Rebbe (Rebbe Yosef Yechiel Michel Lebovits shlit"a):  Yaakov was the epitome of humility; his very name symbolizes humility, as it says (Mishlei 22:4) “Eikav -- The edge of humility is fearing Hashem.”

When a person is humble, like Yaakov Avinu, then he can attain fear of Heaven and carry the yoke of Hashem on his shoulders.  When a person submits himself to the wisdom and rulings of our Torah leaders, thereby practicing humility, then he can serve Hashem.  On the other hand, if a person is arrogant (Chas V’Shalom) and believes in his own wisdom, then he can cause tremendous damage to himself and to his entire generation.

This is why, explains the Rebbe shlit”a, the Torah doesn’t mention Yaakov when listing Korach’s ancestry:  The name Yitzhar (יצהר) is from the root word tzohar (צהר), meaning light.  Kehas (קהת) can mean to gather people, and Levi (לוי) connotes a strong connection to Hashem (from the root word meaning “accompanying”).
“And Korach son of Yitzhar son of Kehas son of Levi took…” says the verse:  Korach was a Tzaddik who achieved many lofty levels, including light, leadership (being able to gather people together), and connection with Hashem, but he fell short of achieving Yaakov -- humility.  (

At times humility entails seeing the bad in ourselves but at other times, as my father and Rebbe, HaRav Chesler shlit"a says, it is realizing that everything comes from Hashem:  Maybe we don't know best -- maybe someone else deserved the position more than us and maybe it was better for them to have it and not us (see above).  

Korach had a question of faith that really stemmed from a lack of acceptance of Hashem's choice.

We must learn to accept what Hashem makes happen -- realizing that He knows best and it will all be for the best, and may Hashem help everyone to do so, Amein.

Gut Shabbos and a Guten Chodesh to all!

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