Shabbat Parashat Korach 5771
Parashat Hashavuah: Man is Beloved; Israel is BelovedHarav Shaul Yisraeli - from Siach Shaul, pp. 396-398
Korach posited: “For the entire nation is holy” (Bamidbar 16:3). The Jewish outlook is that unity emanates from the fact that we all share one Father. However, the outlook is not complete if one does not recognize that there are levels of status that Hashem placed into the world. Without that, the world is a confused mixture of creations with different natures, and, instead of having unity, one disturbs the other.
The wiser a person is, the more he realizes distinctions, which unity does not preclude. Rabbi Akiva realized mankind’s greatness. He said: “Beloved is man, who was created in Hashem’s image” (Avot 3:14), stressing, before it was popular, that which mankind shares. However, Rabbi Akiva continued: “A special love was bestowed upon
In the beginning of the Christian period, some wanted to blur the distinctions and accuse us of chauvinism because of our thesis of “You chose us from among the nations.” Yet, we defended our position stubbornly, both regarding privileges and the obligation of “Be holy,” despite the resulting sacrifices.
Moshe told Korach, who tried to erase levels, “In the morning, it will be made known” (Bamidbar 16:5). Just as Hashem set boundaries between night and day, so did He make distinctions between nations and within them. Denying that reminds us of the disorder that existed before Hashem decreed “Let there be light.” In addition to the challenges from the outside, some members of our nation refused to accept our special status and calling. Some felt we had to choose between Rabbi Akiva’s two statements. When we denied our specialness, the nations of the world also viewed us in that way, paving the way for them to display cruelty toward us.
To this day, there are people in
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