Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Korach

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and they said to them, 'you have taken too much for yourselves, for the entire nation is comprised of holy individuals, and G-d dwells among them - why, then, have you lifted yourselves above the congregation of G-d?" [16:3]

In Hebrew, Kedoshim means holy, and also distinct, designated. So in one regard, Korach was right: the Jewish people are indeed a holy nation, designated to serve G-d. But this was no grounds to claim that as a result, the people did not need leaders. Quite to the contrary! Careful guidance is crucial if we are to fulfill our potential.

The best way to learn to use or program a computer is to simply try. If something doesn't work, you just try something else. Eventually, if all else fails, you can try reading the manual, or call up a help screen or manual page on-line. This approach works well because computers provide instant feedback - if something doesn't work, you know almost immediately. In addition, there are usually no consequences if something fails. Nonetheless, even in the computer field, one always benefits from asking others who have greater expertise.

Imagine trying to practice medicine the same way. If someone came in with a serious ailment, you would simply try one medicine after the other until one appeared to work. Is there any doubt that the patient would die? The feedback is not fast enough, and the consequences of wrong decisions are too grave, to attempt such an approach. In medicine, careful training and expert guidance are that much more important. One who approaches this field with the arrogance of a hacker is likely to find himself on the wrong side of a malpractice suit in short order.

In spiritual matters, most of us are not sufficiently in touch with the higher realms to recognize immediate feedback from our actions. Are we doing G-d's will, or not? How do we know? The answer, of course, is through our teachers. If everyone decides how he or she will interact with G-d, then the result is no dialogue, but a monologue. Such a person ends up worshipping himself!

The Chapters of the Fathers, Pirkei Avos, teach us [1:6]: "Yehoshua ben Prachya says: make a teacher for yourself." This even precedes acquiring a friend or partner in learning and growth. Rabbeinu Yonah explains in his commentary that you should even acquire a teacher if you know as much as he. Make someone your teacher nonetheless, he says, for a person is more likely to remember that which he has been taught, and may find that the other party has better understood a topic.

Moshe and Aharon did not lift themselves up; rather, G-d placed them in that position. The nation needed teachers, and we need teachers and guidance today. May we have the necessary humility, and be willing to set aside our own arrogance, to recognize our need for mentors.

Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Yaakov Menken and Project Genesis, Inc.
The author is the Director of Project Genesis.


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Just Passing Through
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Crossing Holiness to the Other Side of the River
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Creatures of Our Environment
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

The Eye Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

The Geography of the Exodus
Shlomo Katz - 5774

> When Moshiach Comes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

You Canít Get More Local or Global Than That!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Not Our Pets
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

ArtScroll

Your Flattery Will Be The Death of Me
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Ramban: Why was Parshas Nedarim given over specifically to "Roshei haMatos?"
- 5771

The Price Of Choice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Power of Prayer
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Take Vengeance for Hashem
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Listen to the Mussar
- 5767

Our Consolation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761



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