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Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

A well-respected Yid, a man of renown and status, starts a fight with the undisputed Gadol Hador. You have to ask yourself if there isn’t something wrong with this man’s head. Really, why pick a fight with a Tzaddik who has consistently had direct communication with Hashem? Certainly there must be some medication to give this fellow. Sadly, in this case and many like it pills won’t help; the fellow needs a whole new understanding of what his role is in life itself.

I am sure you have gathered by now that I am speaking of Korach and his total obsession with Moshe Rabbeinu. Every year when this parsha resurfaces I wonder once more, “What was the man thinking?”

In truth, this wasn’t about Moshe, as Chazal explain. All this started within Korach himself. There are those who have insecurities; they feel inadequate and sense that others are looking down on them. This can lead to jealousy, a darkness of the soul, and it creeps up on the unsuspecting, devouring their whole world view.

The antidote to all this is to become positive about who you are. Every neshoma is here for a unique purpose; no one in the entire world can accomplish that which your soul can do. Hashem has gifted you this task, this very singular objective; your fulfilling it is a necessary piece in the jigsaw of the world’s redemption.

Now if that isn’t important what is? The Peshischa Rebbe Zt”l would say, “If I was offered the opportunity to become Avrohom Ovinu and Avrohom would be me I would refuse. After all, Hashem has Avrohom already and He has me, so why switch.”

Yes, Korach was a man of many talents and wealth; yet he was jealous of Moshe Rabbeinu and this destroyed him. He was unaware that his tikun was unique to him and just as necessary as that of Moshe’s. His sense of wellbeing was weak; he hated what he saw as his lesser role.

How often do we find this in our own reality? Many young people never hear the message that they are unique and truly vital to Klal Yisroel. If they can’t learn in a shiur as well as others they get a subliminal (and sometimes not so subliminal) message that they are somewhat less important in the scheme of things. Jealousy develops out of a sadness that grows because there is no sense of positivity in who one is. If young people don’t feel they are an integral part of the Jewish community, that they are just some sort of second grade participant, then they will carry a sense of hurt through life. Often their Yiddishkeit will be tinged with this feeling of inferiority, or a jealously will grow.

This was the root of Korach’s affliction, and can be the seed to so much anger we see round us.

After Churban Europe the remnants of the Jewish nation struggled to piece together their broken lives. There were a few great heroes of that time, one of which was the famed Rav Godel Eisner in Ger. Reb Godel worked tirelessly to heal the wounded souls of the chaverim that had shared his life in Ger before the war. He was the mashgiach in the Yeshiva Chiddushei Harim in Tel Aviv and was key to the healing of so many. One young man who had been in Ger before the war gave up all his Yiddishkeit after the years of suffering he experienced in the death camps. Reb Godel tracked him down and invited him regularly to visit and shmooz.

This fellow really was angry; he sat with this Firediker Gerrer mechanech with no head covering and ate treife food. Nothing fazed Reb Godel; he would schmooze of times past and hope for the future. One day the fellow came in and told Reb Godel that he had become engaged. “Mazel Tov, to who?” “To a non-Jewish girl.” Reb Godel frowned slightly and shook his head from side to side. “Aye, a chassidishe bochur with a non-Jewish girl? Ach, it’s not possible. It’s not really suitable; it’s not a worthy shidduch.” The young man looked into Reb Godel’s eyes, all the sadness welled up… “I’m no chossid, you saw me eating treif” “No, you’re wrong; you are a chassidisha bochur; you’re just a bit lost, but you will come back soon. We all have had to take our time coming back; it hasn’t been easy and some take longer than others.”

The young man fell to the ground with rivers of tears, tears from a soul finally reconnected. “Reb Godel, please…. Buy me a chassidishe hat now.”

All our young are warm, sweet heimishe kinderlach, they are here to shine and be the one person that Hashem created them to be. Can we allow them to become lost and bitter? We must offer them a sense of belonging, pride in who they are, what their individual role is, and facilitate an understanding that their tikun is needed and cherished.