Meir Tzvi Berman

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Parshas Korach


Korach instigated a rebellion against Moshe (Moses). The Jerusalem Talmud states that Korach was a heretic in that he came to deny Moshe's status as a prophet, thereby denying the veracity of the Torah.

Maimonides states in his "Igeres Taiman" that all who stood at Mount Sinai during the Giving of the Torah achieved a faith in the Torah and in Moshe's prophecy that would last throughout all of their descendants. This is reflected in the verse: "And also in you (Moshe) they (the Jews) will believe forever." Since Korach was present at the Giving of the Torah, why was he not protected by this Divine promise?

The answer is that this promise was not made to interfere with free choice and it allows for people to distort the truth because of their personal biases. This promise was that no one whose ancestors were present at the Giving of the Torah would reject the Torah out of a lack of understanding.

(Steipler Gaon - Peninim MiShulchan Govoha)


V'Doson V'Avirom B'nei Eliav V'On Ben Peles B'nei Reuven

"And Doson and Avirom the sons of Eliav, and Owne the son of Peles, the children of Reuven."

Owne the son of Peles was originally a party in the rebellion but he withdrew.

The Talmud tells us that Owne's wife saved him from the disaster. She told him "Regardless of who will emerge victorious, you will remain a follower. Why get involved in a dispute that does not directly benefit you?" He listened to her advice and abandoned the rebellion.

The Talmud praises Owne's wife and applies the following verse to her: "The wisdom of women builds her home " applies to her.

The reference to her having "wisdom" is puzzling. Her argument reflected logic, not necessarily wisdom.

HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz derived a lesson from this teaching. Tempers are hot and people do not have full control of their faculties during a dispute. Whoever can perceive the pure simple truth at such a time is truly a wise person.

(Peninim Mishulchan Govoha)

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Jerusalem, Israel