Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Korach

The great rebellion against Moshe, fomented by his jealous kinsman, Korach, turned into a disaster for Korach and his family. The earth opened under their feet and dwelling places and swallowed them, man, woman and child. The fires of dispute are always so great that they scorch even the otherwise innocent. Because of his venomous divisiveness, Korach and his family were doomed to destruction and to disappearance. But were they? In the book of Psalms, chapters of immortal poetry and comfort are attributed to "Bnei Korach" as well as other chapters authored by Assaf, who was also a descendant of Korach. So it seems, that Korach's family was not obliterated, even when the ground swallowed them whole. In fact, the Torah itself tells us in the Book of Dvarim that "the sons of Korach did not die." What are we to make of their survival? How did they extricate themselves from their doomed position?

The Midrash and the Talmud tell us that the sons of Korach did not fall all the way down into the bowels of the earth. The elegant phrase used to describe their rescue from oblivion is that "a place was fortified for them above Gehinom" where they were able to survive. And in that place, in the ruins of their lives and former beliefs, they rethought their father's erroneous and unfair rebellion against Moshe and admitted the truth to themselves and to others. Again, Midrash tells us that their voices could be heard proclaiming: "Moshe is true and his Torah is true." It is this act of honesty, of the ability to rethink and review one's positions and prejudices, that saved the descendants of Korach from death and oblivion and even brought them to immortality and piety. They were able to climb out of the pit when they realized how wrong and suicidal the path of their father had been. They stated loud and honestly that Moshe was right and true and that they and their ancestor were false and wrong. It is not easy to do so, even when the facts of the matter fly in your face and debunk your previously held theory and belief. It was therefore this act of moral courage and searing honesty that allowed the Torah to say "that the sons of Korach did not die."

The twentieth century has been to a large extent, the century of Korach. Rebellion against tradition and the old and the veneration of new theories of social engineering, morality and religion have been the unfortunate hallmark of this, the bloodiest of all centuries. Nowhere has this been more noticeable than in Jewish life. Socialism, Communism, Secularism, Nationalism, atheistic Zionism, Reform, Conservatism, Reconstructionism, Femininism and other assorted theories and movements arose in this century to claim the place of prominence in fashioning the Jewish people and its future. All of them have proven themselves to be woefully inadequate for the task set forth. Much of the ruin currently clearly visible in the Jewish world is directly traceable to the rebellion against Moshe and his Torah, against Holyoke and tradition, which marks every one of these theories and movements and is in fact the common denominator for all of them. From our perch just above the abyss of Jewish destruction and assimilation, there are determined Jews who shout out loudly that "Moshe is true and his Torah is true." But there are many sons of Korach who still maintain the belief in the false shibboleths of this past century. After an intermarriage rate approaching seventy percent in America, one strains to hear the admission of error from these groups. Unless there is an honest reappraisal of theory and belief on the part of these groups, these sons of Korach will not survive. An admission of change of policy would be most helpful on their part and a boon to the Jewish world at large.

Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Berel Wein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 

ARTICLES ON EIKEV:

View Complete List

What Do You Mean You Forgot?!
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Letting Go
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Like a Fish Needs Water
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

O'er the Ramparts We Watched
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Doing Our Part
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

All will be Set Right
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Criticism
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Addressing The Concerns
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Everything
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

> Receipt of the Key
Shlomo Katz - 5759

A Personal Perception
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

A Clean Slate
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

ArtScroll

Nothing To Fear Except NO Fear Itself
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Building on Our Blessings
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

The First Commandment of Parenting
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

The Silent Witness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764



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