Oneg Korach

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    GIVING UP EVERYTHING FOR THE CHANCE TO WORK IN THE BEIS HAMIKDASH

    Rabbi Yissochor Frand | Rosh Yeshiva, Ner Yisrael Baltimore

    Which of the following Rashis is his first commentary to this weeks Parsha?Try this without looking in a Chumash

    a) Korachs complaint against Moshe was that it was unfair that Elitzofon should be appointed the Nasi ahead of himb) Korach took himself to one side to be separate from the assembly of Yisroelc) Korachs Yichus does not go up to Yaakov since he did not want to be mentioned in context with Korach but did agree when it came to Korachs sons.d) Parshas Korach is beautifully explained in the the Medrash Tanchumae) Korach took (persuaded) the heads of the Sanhedrin with wordsf) Korach dressed up his colleagues with cloaks made of Techeiles and asked Moshe what is the Din about Tzitzisg) Korachs complaint was that he wanted to complain about not getting the Kehuna

    Any comments can be directed to bkahan47@yahoo.co.uk. Answer on page 7

    Riddle of the Week BY BORUCH KAHAN

    OnegShabbos

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    The Torahs narration of the above referenced story with the twelve tribal staffs concludes with the following pasuk: Moshe brought out all the staffs from before Hashem to all the Children of Israel; they saw and they took each man his staff. [Bamidbar 17:24]

    Rav Zalman Sorotzkin ztl asks an interesting question: Why did everyone come back and take their staff? There was a competition between 12 tribal leaders. Aharon

    won. The rest lost. What further need did they have for their staffs? To what can we compare this? A person buys a Power Ball lottery ticket. The grand prize is $350,000,000. The winning numbers are announced. Everyone looks at their tickets. Did I win? The person who wins is ecstatic. However, the other millions of losers take their lottery ticket, rip it up, and throw it away. That is what happened here. Aharon won; they lost. Their staffs were now worthless pieces of wood. Nevertheless, the pasuk makes the point that each man took back his staff. Why?

    Rav Sorotzkin offers a beautiful idea. Everyone wanted to become The Chosen Tribe. Consider, is it really such a great thing to be a Kohen or a Levi? It was the poorest life amongst all the tribes. They do not own property. They work a couple of weeks a year in the Beis HaMikdash and are supported by the good graces of peoples Terumos and Maasros, the first shearing of the sheep, and the priestly portions of the slaughtered animals (Zeroa, Lechayayim, and Keivah). Essentially, they were given the scraps. It was

    a poor life. The Leviim had it hard. The Kohanim

    had it hard. However, everyone wanted to become the

    Chosen Tribe. They want poverty! They want this hard life!

    Why did everybody want it? They wanted it because of

    the concept that this is the Chosen Tribe. This is the Tribe

    chosen by Hashem. They are the Chosen of the Chosen.

    This status had special merit and it was worth more than all

    the property and all the real estate in the world. When the

    other tribes lost, they did not toss away their staffs. They

    came home and they mounted them over the fireplace. They

    told their children and grandchildren My sweet children,

    you see this staff? I was willing to become a Levi! I was

    willing to give up everything to become the Chosen Tribe!

    Do you see this beautiful house? Do you see all the beautiful

    furniture? I was willing to give this all up for the chance

    to work in the Beis HaMikdash. My proudest possession

    is this staff, the staff that lost. It is because that staff says

    everything. The staff says that I know what is important and

    what is trivial. I know that all the real estate in the world is

    not worth anything compared to the merit of participating in

    the Divine Service in the Beis HaMikdash.

    The staff was not a worthless lottery ticket that one rips

    up, throws to the ground, and lets the wind scatter. This was

    something to be proud of. It shows who the owner was. It

    shows his values.

    It is something to

    show off, to treasure,

    and to show ones

    grandchildren and

    great grandchildren:

    I was willing to give

    up everything to

    become the Chosen

    Tribe.

  • ??livingwithmitzvos.comQ

    UIZ

    TIME 1. How do women being the deciding factor, both for the good and the bad

    in Parshas Korach?

    PARSHA

    H

    Rabbi Chaim Burman | Kollel Darchei Horaah LRabbonim

    WHERE THE HEART IS

    2

    T H I S P A G E I S K I N D L Y S P O N S O R E D

    Deciding HowDecision making is a central activity that we

    do all the time. From our most important and

    life-changing decisions to how we implement

    our daily routine we are constantly making

    choices. Some find it more difficult, others

    easier, but we all share the commonality of

    constantly making decisions throughout

    our day.

    Nonetheless, there are very different ways

    that people can come to a decision, and

    everyone has their own unique way of doing

    it. For many, this method becomes a recurring

    pattern in their lives; they will use the same

    methodology to reach desired results, with

    minor modifications based upon the specific

    circumstances. For some, these patterns are a

    source of great success, for others however, it

    lays the path for repeated failure.

    This weeks Sedra identifies two

    very distinct ways that people come to

    make decisions.

    Korach divides the nation by disputing with

    Moshe. What led him to make that decision?

    The Parsha begins vayikach Korach Korach

    took - a phrase that the commentators are

    troubled to explain; what exactly did he take?

    The Medrash1 explains that he was taken by

    the impulses of his heart. Deep down there

    was a powerful and emotional passion, and

    it was that drive that fueled his decision to

    encounter Moshe.

    Elsewhere, the Medrash2 (notes that this

    kind of decision making is described again

    1 Tanchuma, 2 and Rabbah, 18:22 Bereshis Rabbah, Noach, 34 cited by R Nosson Wachtfogel

    ztl)

    and again regarding characters that stray far

    from the correct path. The Pesukim relate how

    Esav, Naval and Yeravam were all driven by

    the instinctive impulses of their heart, which

    brought them to do terrible evil. These were

    people who allowed their innate drives and

    whims to become the dominant factor in their

    decision making; they became subordinate to

    their impulsive wills.

    Good DecisionsGood people make good decisions in

    positive ways. Their decisions are made

    through rational and calculated processes.

    Before making a decision they establish what

    the ideal outcome of their actions should be:

    What should I want to achieve, What is the

    best way to get there? They do not ignore

    their heart, but by defining their guiding

    principles they are able to consciously redirect

    the focus and drives of their innate instinct,

    instead channeling their heart in a positive

    way, the Medrash concludes.

    Such people continuously reassess their

    decisions based upon their experiences as they

    make their journey: When was I successful,

    and why? When did I fail, and how could I do

    things differently? There is a readiness for

    continuous and honest self-assessment and

    evaluation, with a willingness to do things

    differently whenever experience suggests that

    an alternative course of action is appropriate.

    This is the crucial distinguishing factor

    between people who make good decisions and

    achieve positive results, and people who make

    bad decisions with negative consequences. It

    is this message that is the antithesis of the

    feel-good? Do it now, sentiment so prevalent

    today; a position that could send us way off

    track from where we aim to be. If we are able

    to superimpose reason over our base instincts

    we become freed from slavery to our impulses.

    Becoming FreeFor this reason Chazal stated that a free

    person is one who engages (osek) in Torah

    study3. The verb osek denotes an intense

    and encompassing form of learning4. The

    way to be osek is by deeply engaging and

    developing ones intellectual and analytical

    capacities in Torah study. Wh