• Home
  • Parashah Insights
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals & Fasts
  • Articles
  • Books
  • About
  •  

    Bless ’em all – Korach

    In Jewish tradition Korach is the prototype of the nasty man who does his best to throw a spanner into the works.

    If people seem to be working together, a Korach always comes along to cause dissension. If there is a good leader at the head of the community, expect a Korach to try to undermine him. If there is a dream to dream, a vision to implement, a plan to construct, there will be a Korach who will assure you that it isn’t going to work.

    Korach is also the master of misrepresentation. If truth can be distorted and words twisted, you can be certain that Korach is somewhere around. His tongue is smooth and you are almost tempted to believe him, and that is precisely when there is danger.

    Think about his eloquent claim, “All the congregation, every one of them, are holy” (Num. 16:3). He made everybody feel good. We’re all holy! What a relief! One and all were congratulating themselves when they heard his words.

    One and all? Apparently with one exception. Moses heard what Korach said, and he collapsed: “he fell upon his face” (verse 4). What upset him so much? Probably the assertion that everyone was holy.

    Moses was a realist, who knew the real truth, that many of the congregation were tzaddikim, but some weren’t. There were sinners, cynics and rascals as in every community. What would a Moses have said about his people? Not that all were holy, but that they all could be. With an effort each one could rise high, but they were not all there yet.

    There was a World War II song, “Bless ’em all, bless ’em all, the short and the tall.” We say that too. God, bless ‘em all, even the ones who aren’t yet holy. Help ’em to see what they can do with their lives. Help ’em to increase their holiness.

    Comments are closed.