Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Korach

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This week’s Torah portion, Korach, tells of a rebellion against Moshe and his brother Aharon’s position as High Priest. Korach was the one who instigated this terrible rebellion, and surprisingly he managed to recruit 250 leaders of the nation to his side! Rashi tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu told Korach[1], “We have only one G-d, one ark, one Torah, one altar, and one Kohen Gadol. However, you 250 men are all seeking the position of High Priest! I, too, would like that!” From Rashi’s words, it seems that Moshe agreed with them; he included himself with them. He allowed for the possibility of multiple High Priests. Even if he made a point verbally, how could he say such a thing?

We can understand this by explaining the answer to a different question. Hashem had promised Moshe that[2] “they (the Jewish Nation) will believe in you forever.” Given Hashem’s promise, how could 250 heads of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish court, rebel against Moshe? The explanation is that Korach and his band did believe in Moshe! Their rebellion was not against him but rather against Aharon. They sought the office of Kehunah Gedolah.

Why was this position so important to them? They realized the tremendous spiritual heights that only the High Priest could attain. They knew that G-d had separated the Kohen Gadol from all other Jews; he alone would achieve the status of “holy of holies.” They had witnessed the sin of the spies. They knew that prayer could annul a physical decree against the Jews, and they thought it might also cause them to attain a higher spiritual status.

That is why Moshe was able to tell them that “I too want that.” The desire to reach that sort of connection to G-d is desirable! However, it cannot be. Just as “we have only one G-d, one ark, one Torah, and one altar, so too do we have only one Kohen Gadol.

May Hashem help us strengthen our connection with the Moshe of each generation. May Hashem help us improve our relationship with Him. In this manner, we will all reach the most incredible heights and bring Moshiach now!

I wish one and all a good Shabbos and a good month!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 18, Pages 187-189


DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DR. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE

IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris


[1]. See Rashi’s comments to Bamidbar 16:6.

[2]. Shemos 19:9.

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