Learning Group—Parshat Korach (Numbers: 16:1-18:32) (Yeshayahu 66:1-24) (Rosh Chodesh) 1. [16:3]
1. [16:3] “All the people in the community are holy…” What is so bad about what Korach said? It sounds true.
2. [16:3] “All the people in the community are holy…” Korach’s argument is a good argument, but his is our classical case of an argument which is not “l’shem shamayim” – not argued out of pure motives. However our sages tell us (Talmud Nazir) that one should learn Torah even if not “l’shem shamayim”, and he will eventually achieve learning which is for pure motives. What is the difference between Korach’s lack of pure motives and a lack of pure motives in learning?
3. [18:1] “…bear the sin of the holy place…” What is meant by “the sin of the holy place”, and “the sin of the priesthood”?
4. [18:8-20] “…I have given you the charge of my gifts…” The tribe of Levi gets gifts from the people of Israel. Doesn’t this seem like favouritism toward Levi? Won’t it cause jealousy?
5. [Rosh Chodesh] Rosh Chodesh is our time for renewal. Is the fact that we need rejuvenation a fault of ours, or a natural part of life? Is there a way that we could live where everything always seems fresh and new?
[17:23] “…the rod of Aharon, of the house of Levi, blossomed, and it put out buds and blossoms and ripe almonds”.
This was a miracle. Blossoms fall away before the fruit grows. Why did the flower remain even after the fruit came out? In matters of spirituality, the efforts and the preparations toward the goal are as precious as the goal itself. In fact, achieving the goal without working toward it and making efforts, is a deficiency in the whole spiritual activity. So here, the blossoms remained with the fruit to show the importance of the means to the goal, as well as the goal.
–R. Moishe Feinstein, (1895-1986, Byelorussia, USA.)
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer
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