June 9, 2021 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #1981619abukspanParticipant
Korach – The Importance of Leadership:
וידבר אל קרח ואל כל עדתו לאמר בקר וידע ה’ את אשר לו ואת הקדוש
He spoke to Korach and to his entire assembly saying, “In the morning, Hashem will make known who is His own and who is holy” (Bamidbar 16:5).
Rashi brings the Midrash Tanchuma on this verse, which expounds on Moshe’s statement to Korach. He said to him, “HaKadosh Baruch Hu established boundaries in His world, and just as it is impossible to turn morning into evening, so it is impossible to nullify the kehunah and usurp the positions that were given to Aharon and to me.”
Why did Moshe use the discussion of boundaries of day and night, which seems totally unrelated, as a point of reference in his argument? Was there some deeper meaning behind Moshe’s choice of analogy?
The Sfas Emes (Korach, 5631) quotes a Zohar (3:176) in the parashah that reads: “Korach chalak al shalom ve’Shabbos – Korach fought against peace and Shabbos.”
What does this mean? It is clear that he argued with shalom, peace. The very nature of the rebellion he was fomenting was the antithesis of peace. But what does it mean to argue and have a machlokes with Shabbos?
The sefer Gvul Binyamin, as quoted in Otzar HaTefillos (Eitz Yosef on Shacharis Le’Shabbos), gives a fascinating explanation why Shabbos is called chemdas yamim, as we say in Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis: “Chemdas yamim oso karasa – Most desired of days You called it.”
Hashem initially created a week of six days. Each day was comprised of 28 hours, which would give us our standard 168-hour week. The six days went to Hashem and said, “We cannot all be equal; we need a leader, a day for us to look up to.” Hashem told the days that they would each have to contribute of themselves to produce their leader – by having each day donate four hours, to create a seventh day. Thus, the other six days created the day of Shabbos, which became their leader. This is the meaning of chemdas yamim, desired of the days, since it was a day desired by the days themselves.
Hence, Shabbos represents the notion that there must be a hierarchy, that we cannot all be equals. There must be one leader over all. If not, there is no true peace.
This is precisely what Korach was arguing against, as he declared, “Rav lachem ki chol ha’eidah kulam kedoshim – It is much for you! For the entire assembly – all of them – are holy.” Korach maintained that they were holy and there was no need for a leader.
This is how he made a machlokes with shalom and with Shabbos. Shabbos represents the inherent need for a leader. We cannot be left to our own devices and expect to have peace and tranquility among all men, without direction and guidance from someone at the top. Yet, Korach wanted none of that. Korach, who wanted to be his own boss, was separating himself from, and arguing with, the inherent need for leadership represented by the day of Shabbos.
Now we can explain why Moshe used the analogy of the physical impossibility of turning morning into evening. According to Korach’s assertion of the need for true equality, the day of Shabbos should disappear, and we should go back to the time when six days of 28-hour duration made a week, not seven days of 24-hour duration. Were this to occur, within the span of a few days, what we know as morning would become evening, as a four-hour increase to every day would throw our conventional timeline of day and night completely off-kilter.
Moshe was telling Korach that just as we cannot change the way we keep a calendar of days and weeks, so we cannot remove Moshe and Aharon from their positions of leadership. To do so would remove the possibility of true shalom, which can only be maintained through a healthy relationship of the people and their leaders.June 10, 2021 11:22 am at 11:22 am #1981791
The Haflah explains that by kabolas hatorah they wanted to make day night. Hashem was waiting for them at alos hashachar and they said that morning for them starts, kodem kabolas hatorah, at netz hachama as a goy whereas for the Jews (at least bediaved. not by Hashem who knows the exact time) starts at alos hashachar.June 10, 2021 11:27 am at 11:27 am #1981795
Korach figured that Shmuel Hanovi descended from him, so he must be worthy of leadership. The Kol Aryeh explains that his mapolah, an enjoyment, beavod reshaim rinah, created the zechus of Shmuel Hanovi. He saw tzadik katamar yifrach, ending with the letters Korach. Korach says, kol haedah kulom kedashim, the whole nation are all holy, they all heard the aseres hadibros at har sinai. So hen is negating the excuse that lo yihye lecha was only said to Mosbe Rabbenu. so they were all sinners including Aaron Hakohen but he, as a levi, did not sin.June 10, 2021 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #1981852
This would explain how shabbos gives the strength of the previous six days of the week. They are against the six thousand years of the world. The first two tohu, desert, without Torah. The second two, Torah and the last two, limos hamoshich. Similarly shabbos evening is davened for shabbos of creation, the morning kabolas Hatorah and mincha for yom shekula shabbos. The kedusha increases as shabbos passes by, called kedusha rabba as explained by the Chasam Sofer.
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