Chasidic Insights

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 16, v. 1: "Va'yikach Korach" - We can say that the letter Vov of "Va'yikach" is also a connecting Vov. Had there been no decree of wandering for 40 years in the desert, the bnei Yisroel would have shortly entered Eretz Yisroel and had a total change of leadership. Korach would not have been concerned over who was the short-term leader. However, once they were destined to remain in the desert for 40 years he fought the leadership. (Adaptation of the words of Kedushas Levi)

Ch. 16, v. 1: "Va'yikach Korach" - Korach's big mistake was that he TOOK. Leadership is a heaven sent position. (Rebbe Reb Bunim of Parshizcha)

Ch. 16, v. 1: "Va'yikach Korach" - Rashi says he took himself to one side. When disagreeing with someone you must be open to hear his position. Korach took himself to one side only, blocking out any reasoning contrary to his position. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 16, v. 1: "Korach" - The verse in Shmos 6:24 lists Korach's sons, "Uvnei Korach Asir v'Elkonoh va'Aviosof." There is a message in his sons' names. "Asir," what you are doing is prohibited, "Elkonoh," do not be jealous, "Aviosof," my father will be gathered in (before his time). (Nirreh li)

Ch. 16, v. 3: "Ki kol ho'eidoh kulom k'doshim umadua tisnasu al k'hal Hashem" - Your claim is self-defeating. If all the congregation is holy why do you have the right to be their leader? They are just as holy as you. (Rabbi Naftoli of Ropschitz in Zera Kodesh)

Ch. 16, v. 3: "Umadua tisnasu al k'hal Hashem" - Why do you elevate yourselves? "Al," your elevated position is powered by "k'hal Hashem." (Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Ozhrov in B'eir Moshe)

Ch. 16, v. 15: "Lo chamore echod mei'hem nossosi" - The Torah testifies that Moshe was the humblest person on the face of the earth (Bmidbar 12:3). In spite of this Korach complained that Moshe ruled condescendingly over the masses, "umadua tisnasu al k'hal Hashem" (16:3). His complaint must have been that although Moshe was once exceedingly humble, he is now quite different. This can only be explained by claiming that he allowed himself to be negatively influenced by all the people with whom he came into contact as a leader. Moshe countered this claim with, "Lo chamore echod mei'hem nossosi," I have not become elevated and haughty from the influence of the "chumrius," physicality, of even one person. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 17, v. 25,26: "Hosheiv es ma'tei Aharon, Va'yaas Moshe kaasher tzivoh oso Hashem kein ossoh" - The repetition in verse 26 calls out for clarification. Although Hashem commanded Moshe to place Aharon's staff, which miraculously blossomed and bore fruit in public view, we might think that Moshe complied, but with another intention, to display the miraculous approbation of his appointing Aharon as Kohein Godol. The verse therefore stresses that not only did Moshe do as Hashem commanded, but he only did it to comply with Hashem's wishes, without personal gain. (Daas Sofer)

Ch. 18, v. 9: "Zeh yi'h'yeh l'cho mikodesh hakodoshim min ho'aish" - This will be a sign for you that a person's actions are of the highest holy order, if they are done with fiery enthusiasm. (Rabbi Chaim of Atinia in Tal Chaim)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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