“Korah son of Izhar son of Kehat son of Levi took...”
Korah possessed many outstanding qualities. He hailed from a distinguished family, and was a wise man. How could he fall so low as to accuse Moshe of selfishly taking power and prestige for himself? The Torah testifies about Moshe, "Now the man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth." How could Korah possibly accuse him of seeking honor!?
There are two types of people. There are givers - people who are constantly looking for opportunities to assist others, and there are takers - people who are continuously looking to further add to their possessions, to satisfy their own needs and obtain more honor. The takers are never satisfied; they always desire more. At the very beginning of Korah's story the Torah reveals the root of his downfall: "Korah took." -- Korah was a taker; he wanted more honor for himself. Even though he was already privileged to be in the tribe of Levi, that wasn't enough for him. He needed more. He wanted a prominent position and was jealous of the honor that Moshe and Aharon were getting. His jealousy knew no bounds and Korah did whatever he could to obtain that honor, even though it meant starting a rebellion.
When someone is self-centered and has a particular desire, his intellect may get corrupted, preventing him from thinking rationally. Blinded by this desire, he will do anything to obtain honor. In order to see things clearly and avoid such a downfall he should work on assisting others and become a giver. We must look for the good in others and focus on all the blessings that we have in our lives.
Welcome to another summer season at the Jersey Shore! We invite you to enjoy our two beautiful Synagogues, with inspirational prayers and classes. We look forward to a wonderful and safe summer together.
Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Isaac Farhi