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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
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Riddle of the Week BY BORUCH KAHAN
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North West Londons Weekly Torah and Opinion SheetsA Torah publication that enables local Rabbonim and Avreichim to share their insights and Divrei Torah on a variety of different levels, to provide something for everyone
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CONTEST | | 9th July 2016
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This weeks Oneg Shabbos
Publication has been
Welcome to our new readers in Milan!
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
I was willing to give
up everything to
become the Chosen
TIME 1. How do women being the deciding factor, both for the good and the bad
in Parshas Korach?
Rabbi Chaim Burman | Kollel Darchei Horaah LRabbonim
WHERE THE HEART IS
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
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
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
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
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