Thursday, June 25, 2009


The Rebbe asks many questions on the story of Korach and his band of followers. Here is a sampling:
  1. Why did Korach wait until after the spies come back to bring his complaint to Moshe? This was long after Moshe had appointed his own family members to serve as Kohanim, Kohen Gadol, and Elizaphan as tribal leader for Kehas?
  2. What really was Korach asking for? He didn't want Moshe and Aharon to have such high leadership roles, and said that every Jew is Kadosh. If so, why was he trying to become a Kohen (and not stay as a Levi)? This defeats his very argument that everyone should be equal?!?!?
  3. When Moshe answered that everyone should take a shovel, and bring an offering...that was only to prove that Moshe's appointments were from the Almighty, not to answer Korach's argument that everyone should be equal?

Moshe told everyone to wait until morning, and then Hashem will let it be known, who will be Kohanim, and who will be Leviim, etc. Rashi brings two reasons why Moshe wanted them to wait until morning. A)It would give them time for Tshuva, and B)he wanted to stress that just like Hashem created night and morning, and you cannot change it, so too, Hashem appointed who He wanted, and that's that.

4. The Rebbe asks on both of these reasons that Rashi brings: A)Tshuva can be done in one second. If it takes any longer, than there can be no amount of time given. Some will accomplish tshuva in one night, others may take longer! and B)If Moshe would wait until night, then he could still explain that Hashem set up Night and Day, and you cannot change it. Just like now it's night, and not morning....

The answer to all of these is based on figuring out exactly what Korach's argument was.

In a nutshell-

The spies had wanted to remain in the desert and learn Torah all day. They wanted to be involved in only ruchnius. Korach at this point before they came back, didn't have any reason to object to Moshe and Aharon being higher than everyone else. After all, they received the Torah before anyone else, and understood it on higher levels.

But after the spies came back, and caused the decree that they'd all be killed out in the desert, it was clear that HaMa'aseh Hu HaIkar-the action of Mitzvos is what is most important. Mitzvos, unlike Torah, are something in which everyone is equal in performing the action of the mitzvah. Moshe putting on Tefillin is exactly the same as any guy from the street.

It was at this point that Korach came forward. If for the Ikar of our connection to Hashem, the physical mitzvos, we are all equal, then why are you so much higher and exalted over us? It makes sense to have relative levels, like Leviim and Kohanim, since together with mitzvos, there is still the idea of torah, and how some people are higher and lower. Why, though, should Moshe be like a king over the Jewish people?

The connection between a student and Rav is only in that which the student receives and learns from his teacher. His private life has no connection. A king, however, makes a connection to the very essense of his citizen. Even the smallest detail of a person's life is under the rule of the king.

This is what Korach was asking: If for the main thing, we are all equal, and we don't need you, Moshe, then why can't we be under you for only the things we do need, like learning Torah? Our connection to you shouldn't be one of citizen and king.

Moshe's answer was as follows-

The spies got it wrong, and Korach got it wrong. You can't have only spiritual. Only Torah, or only the Kavanos Hamitzvos. You must have the actual, physical mitzvah, which is like a jewel. However, if the jewel is covered in mud, then it doesn't shine. Korach thought that as long as you have the mitzvah, the physical act, that is the important thing, and you've drawn down G-dliness. This is incorrect. If the jewel you have is covered over in dirt, then it is doing the very opposite of what it is meant to do. A jewel is supposed to shine. A mitzvah is supposed to light up the world around you, and help make you a better person.

How do you make a mitzvah shine? It's with having the right Kavanos during the mitzvah. It's through learning chassidus and working on Avodah Sheb'lev, which is davening. Since for Kavonos Hamitzvos, moshe and aharon are still higher, that's why we need them for this area, also.

This is what moshe was telling them when he said to wait until morning. The mitzvos you do need to be 'morning mitzvos''; they must be bright and shining.

In our lives, we get the chayos to perform shining mitzvos from the extension of moshe in our generation, which is the rebbeim.

Anyone connected to the Rebbe will have the Koach and ability to not only draw down G-dliness, but to make Him revealed down here. To make the mitzvos which we do shine and light up the world!

I guess it wasn't much of a nutshell. Sorry.