Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Korach

Faint Perception

By Rabbi Naftali Reich

Korach says to Moshe, “Why do you elevate yourself above the congregation of Hashem?” Korach claimed that Moshe was acting haughtily. How could he possibly have accused Moshe, the humblest of all man of vanity, wasn’t this rather absurd?

Commentators explain that Korach’s charge was reserved of projection. As our sages teach us ‘one who seeks to disqualify another projects his own defects on him.’ Korach’s distorted perception of Moshe was because he himself possessed such an inflated self view. It was impossible for him not to see that characteristic in others. But why do we see ourselves in others? Why can’t we judge others rationally and objectively, outside of our tainted self perceptions? The answer is that this is a natural weakness of the human condition. We deeply desire to feel comfortable with ourselves. And the only way we rationalize our defects is by seeing the world as an extension of our own tainted selves.

A young man lived through the horrors of the holocaust and told a religious leader that in the valley of death he lost his faith in G-d. It was one story he said that stripped him of his faith. A religious Jew had smuggled a prayer book into the barracks and fondly shared it with those who shared half their daily bread rations with this opportunistic wicked Jew. When I saw the long line of emaciated Jews being forced to give up their lifeline to this supposedly religious Jew, I knew I would never be religious again.

“What do you mean”, said the Rabbi? “Why did you look at those other Jews that refused to share the siddur with others? Why didn’t you look at those who were willing to give up their precious life support for their faith?”

In our own lives, all too often we too see others with our own warped sense of pointing out the failings of others. We are simply trying to justify our own weaknesses. Let’s try to cultivate a positive sense of hi-lighting other peoples good points, thus accentuating our own positive traits.


Text Copyright © 2009 by Rabbi Naftali Reich and Torah.org.

Rabbi Reich is on the faculty of the Ohr Somayach Tanenbaum Education Center.


 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

G-d's Concealment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Lessons to be Learned from the Jealousy of Moshe Rabbeinu
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

It's Never Too Late
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Reading Between The Lines
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

The Mystical Tug of the Shofar
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Long Way Back
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

> Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Speaking Of Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Timely Teshuvah
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

ArtScroll

Vested Interest
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Spaced Out!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Casting the Mold for Next Year's Blessings
Rabbi Yosef Aryeh Schlussel - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Higher Holiday
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

The Greatest Wonder of All
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Taking Stock Of The Nation When The Time Comes For Transfer Of Power
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Our Doting Father
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information