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by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l
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What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways? (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)
At the beginning of Parshas Korach, the Torah in one Pasuk gives two different examples of what a wife can do for her husband. The Pasuk begins, " Vayikach Korach" and ends with " V'On ben Peles." The question can be asked - who is On ben Peles? This is the first time he is ever mentioned and the last time - we never hear about him again. Also, there were 250 men involved in the Machlokes - why is he singled out for mention?
The Gemara tells us that On ben Peles is mentioned to teach us about his wife. On's wife wanted very much to keep her husband away from Korach and his Machlokes - but how should she go about doing it? When she saw Korach and his men coming towards her tent, an idea came to mind. She sat herself by the entrance to the tent, uncovered her hair, and began to brush it. Korach and his men saw her and could not go inside. They continued on their way and On was saved from suffering the same end as Korach and his followers.
That is one example of the power of a woman. What is the second? The Pasuk begins
What are the two questions that Korach asked Moshe - why does a "Talis Koolo Techayles" need Tzizit and why does a house full of Seforim need a Mezuzah?
In the beginning of Berashis (Perek Bais Pasuk Yud Ches) the Chumash tells us that Hashem saw it was not good for a man to be alone "Easeh Lo Ezer Kinegdo". A wife is called Ezer - a helpmate. In the Parsha of Tzizit (Bamidbar Perek Tes Vov Pasuk Lamed Tes) the Pasuk tells us "V'Haya Lachem L'Tzizit, U'Riesem Oso, U'Zichartem Es Kol Mitzvoth Hashem, V'Aseesem Osam." The Divrei Yisrael explains that in these three words U'Riesem, U'Zichartem, V'Aseesem - we have the letters Ayin, Zayin, Resh - the letters that spell "Ezer." So, merumez in a woman is the mitzvah of Tzizis.
What is the importance of Tzizis? The Chumash in Parshas Shelach tells us that Moshe added a Yud to the name of Hoshea Ben Nun and called him Yehoshua. Rashi explains that Moshe davened " Kah Yosheacha Mayetzas HaMeraglim" - Hashem should deliver you from the ideas of the Meraglim.
Who are the Meraglim? In the Parsha of Tzizis, Rashi tells us that the eyes and the heart are the Meraglim for the body - they are what work to lead a person astray. Hashem took the Eesh, which has the Yud and gave him an Eesha which has the Hey - the two together are "Kah" - a wife is what helps to keep her husband from the ideas of his Meraglim and keeps him from being over the Mitzvoth of Arayot.
Also, the Divrei Yisrael brings down from Rav Chazkel of Kuzmir that in the Tanaim we say - " Loy Zeh Me Zu V'Zu Me Zeh" - which contains the letters of Mezuzah - which contains the name "Shakai" which is the Yesod of Yiddishkeit.
So, within a woman you have the mitzvoth of Tzizit and Mezuzah. Korach's wife obviously did not have within her the Kedusha of a bas Yisroel. A bas Yisrael who brings with her to her marriage the mitzvoth of Tzizit and Mezuzah. She understood the Tafkid of a wife - to be a helpmate, but without the Kedusha, she could not lead him in the right direction. That is why when Korach came to Moshe his questions were about Mezuzah and Tzizit.
A woman’s role is to be a helpmate for her husband, an "Ezer" but also to be "Kinegdo" against him when necessary. Rashi explains that when he is worthy, his wife will be his helpmate, but if he is not worthy, she will become his adversary. Here the Chumash showed us two different examples of two different wives - one who understood her Tafkid and purpose and saved her husband's life and one who twisted around all she had within her and brought about her husband's death in her pursuit of power of kavod.
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