Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 1: "Va'yikach Korach" - Korach did not wait for what was to be meted out to him by Hashem. He attempted to GRAB power, "VA'YIKACH." This was the cause for his downfall. (Rebbe Reb Bunim of Parshis'cha in Siach Sarfei Kodesh)

Ch. 16, v. 1: "Va'yikach Korach" - Rashi says that Korach took himself to ONE SIDE. There was no hope of his being persuaded to see Moshe's position because he took himself to one side, totally blocking out of his mind the possibility of hearing an opposing view. Everything that Moshe said fell upon deaf ears. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 16, v. 1: "Ben Levi" - Rashi says that Yaakov prayed that his name not be mentioned in the ancestry of Korach. Yaakov's outstanding character trait was TRUTH. If his name were to be invoked there might be some shred of truth interwoven into Korach's claims. Even a shred of truth gives lies the possibility of sustained existence. Yaakov prayed that there should be no truth in Korach's claims so that they should totally dissolve. (Rabbi Yehoshua of Ostrova in Toldos Odom)

Ch. 16, v. 5: "Boker v'yoda Hashem" - As soon as one arises in the morning he should make Hashem known. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 16, v. 5: "V'yoda Hashem es asher lo v'es Hakodosh v'hikriv eilov" - Hashem will make known who is arguing for self-interests, "asher lo," and who is holy, altruistic in his pursuits, "v'es hakodosh," and that person Hashem will bring close to Himself, "v'hikriv eilov." (Ponim Yofos)

Ch. 16, v. 7: "Rav lochem bnei Levi" - Rashi says that Korach's eye misled him. A person was created with two eyes. With one he is to see the greatness of Hashem, and with the second he is to see his own insignificance. Korach's EYE mislead him. He only made use of one eye, albeit noting the greatness of Hashem. But he did not make use of his second eye, which would have brought him to humbleness. (Rabbi Moshe of Ujhel in Yismach Moshe)

Rashi says that Korach saw that the great prophet Shmuel would be his descendant. This gave him the impetus to argue with Moshe. Why indeed wasn't the merit of such a great personality as Shmuel a merit that could save Korach from sinning so gravely, as per the dictum, "Bro m'za'keh abo" (gemara Sanhedrin 104a)? Since Korach's mistake stemmed from his relying on the merit of his illustrious descendant Shmuel, the cause for his sin is incapable of protecting him. (Shem miShmuel)

Ch. 16, v. 11: "Atoh v'chol ados'cho hano'odim al Hashem" - You and all your cohorts who are joined are saturated with haughtiness. This causes the Holy Spirit of Hashem to leave and ascend, "al Hashem." Haughtiness drives away the "Sh'chinoh." (Rabbi Eliezer of Tornograd in Noam M'godim)

Ch. 16, v. 11: "V'Aharon mah hu ki salinu olov" - Do you grasp even in the slightest who Aharon is, what his greatness is, that you have the audacity to argue with him? (The Holy Admor of Kotzk in Siach Sarfei Kodesh)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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