Parshas Korach

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Parshas Korach

king's dissertation proposal yoga hindi essay powerpoint presentation services here nouveau preservatif au viagra craigslist cialis order viagra for women difference between combinatorial chemistry and parallel essay essay in the 1500 century follow site go here buying viagra online safe cover letter for cv financial manager creative writing eating disorders cialis valentinos restaurant essay about yourself for job source link recitatif critical essay see a sample hypothesis enter el viagra se compra con receta medica en chile watch go to site go to site crestor marketing strategy in europe human research paper viagra hair loss The saga of Korach and his assembly is one of the most troubling parts of the Torah to understand. Korach was part of the greatest generation of spiritual mastery to ever live. And to top it off, he was one of the leaders of the generation. How could such an enormous giant of spiritual heights in the greatest generation ever, sink to such a low state? It almost boggles the mind to think about it. Any attempt to shed light on the subject will surely fall short of satisfactory. There is however a fascinating Rashi in this week’s parsha that is worth delving into.

After the whole episode with Korach, it seems that the Jewish people still hadn’t learned their lesson. Right away, the people came back to Moshe and Aharon to tell them that they’re killing the nation of the Almighty. Bad move! From this complaint came a sweeping plague killing everyone in its path. Moshe told Aharon to quickly gather up the special incense that are burned on the holy altar in a pan, and bring it to the middle of the Jewish people. Only this could stop the death. So Aharon did exactly as he was told, and stopped the plague through the burning of the incense. However, the fact that the incense could stop the plague needs some serious explanation. What in the world does the burning of the incense have to do with stopping a deadly plague; especially one that is a punishment for the incessant complaining of the Jewish nation?

Rashi quotes a fascinating medrash to answer this perplexing question. The medrash says that the Jewish people were giving a bad name to the holy incense. They were calling it a deadly poison. Not only were the two sons of Aharon killed through the use of the incense, but so were the 250 men of Korach’s assembly. The people were deadly afraid of the incense. Due to this fear, the Almighty wanted to show the people that the death of Aharon’s sons and the 250 men had nothing to do with the incense themselves, but rather their actions. Therefore, Aharon was told to stop the plague of death with the incense specifically, to prove this point. As Rashi says from the medrash, its sin that kills, not spices.

There is a similar episode brought in the Talmud Bavli, mesechet Brachot. The gemorah tells the story of a wild bat that was on a rampage during the times of the great tanna R’ Chanina ben Dosa. This specific bat had a venomous bite, killing anyone it bit instantly. People were dying left and right. The people didn’t know what to do and turned to R’ Chanina ben Dosa for help. R’ Chanina got up, went to where the bat lived (an opening in the ground), and stuck his foot over the hole. The bat bit R’ Chanina’s foot and dropped dead instantly. R’ Chanina turned to the people and said “this is to show you that it’s not a bat that kills, its sin that kills”.

The message is loud and clear. There’s always a finger to point. Whether it happened cause of this or that, there’s always something to blame it on. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to do some self-introspection and think, maybe what is happening has nothing to do with nature or chance. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a deeper reason behind it all. Bats and spices might look or seem scary, but in reality, the only thing to be scared of is actions against the will of the Almighty.

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