Korach – Torah Themes

The Great Shake Up


Yalkut Reuveni quotes that one of the things that Korach criticized was his experience of being waved into service by Aharon. All of the Levieim were waved around by Aharon HaKohen as part of the initiation process, as mandated by Hashem. Korach made fun of this and turned it into a degrading joke before the action. This waving process was in truth an opportunity for hisbatlus, subjugation, just as Yitzchok Aveinu stood at the akeida and was willing to give up his life for Hashem. Instead, Korach used it as a time to rebel and to throw off the yoke of fear of heaven (Asarah Maamaros).


Our Challenges


When we think about it, we all have some shaking and waving in life. This is our initiation process into avodas Hashem. Hashem sends us challenges and difficulties that wave us around and shake us up. We can response in one of two ways. We can be like Yitzckok or like Korach.


Yitzchok was mivatel daas to Hashem and to his daas Torah, Avraham, his father and rebbe, who was encouraging him to go forward with the sacrifice. Yitzchok turned over his daas to Hashem and was willing to give up his life for this conviction. Korach, on the other hand, was thrown off by the waving. He used it as an opportunity to scoff at Hashem and about that which is holy and he rebelled and became a kofer, denier of Hashem.




The results that followed were only natural. Yitzchok’s merirus nefesh became imbedded into his prodigy and his merit of sacrifice stands for us forever. Every Rosh Hashana we blow the shofar to remind Hashem, and more importantly, to remind ourselves, of this dedication and great action. Korach on the other hand, destroyed himself and took his whole family with him. He also caused many others to be swallowed into the ground and thousands of Jews to die for pledging allegiance to him and for challenging Moshe. This was a direct attack against Hashem and was punished accordingly.


When we feel like life is shaking and waving us, let us hold tight to Aharon HaKohen and our leaders, let us get guidance and stay strong. This is the greatest merit for us and our future generations and it brings about personal greatness.

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