Illuminations #165, Sivan, 5778, Parshat Korach

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Illuminations #165, Sivan, 5778, Parshat Korach

Torah Gems

In order to prove to Bnei Israel that it was Hashem who selected Aaron to be the כהן גדול, Moshe was instructed by Hashem to tell the leader of every tribe to have a staff that had his name engraved on it placed in the Tent of Meeting in the משכן. The staff of the one Hashem had picked to be the כהן גדול would blossom.

Moshe followed the instructions given to him and the next morning the staff of Aharon blossomed and the others did not, proving that Aharon had, indeed, been selected by Hashem.

The Torah says: “They saw and they took each man his staff.” (17:24) We can understand that each one took his staff. Why does the Torah have to tell us this? The answer is that each one took his staff and showed the people that it had not blossomed.

The Torah honors them for revealing to all that they had not been chosen. They did not try to hide the results in shame but demonstrated for everyone to see the results of the test. An honest leader must reveal all to his constituents and not try to conceal the facts. The Torah recognized the heads of the tribes as true leaders who accepted the verdict they were given by Hashem.

Parsha Pearls

Korach rebelled against Moshe’s leadership arguing that Moshe and Aharon had taken upon themselves the leadership as it says in the Pasuk – “For the entire assembly all of them are holy, why do you exalt yourselves.” (16:3) Moshe’s answer to Korach was – “Is it not enough for you that G-d of Israel has segregated youto perform the service of the Mishkan?” (16:9)

What was Moshe’s argument against KorachKorach wanted Moshe or Aharon’s position. What effect does Moshe’s argument have that Korach is a Levite and isn’t that enough for him? Obviously Korach thought it was not enough.

Chazal tell us that Korach posed his opposition against Moshe saying that everyone is holy and why was Moshe taking a special position above everyone. Moshe’s answer was that, if everyone is holy, as you claim, why didn’t you complain when you were made a Levite above others and given special holy functions in the Mishkan? Since you accepted that position without considering others, you are only interested in glorifying yourself.

Before seeking a special position one should take an honest look at himself and try to determine his real motive. Is it to perform the task that is needed to be done or is it just to satisfy his own selfish interests.

Glimpses of Greatness

One day a Jew arrived to Harav Mordechai Eliyahu before his wedding. There was an halachic problem that prohibited some of the food, but his father insisted that the food is kosher. The Rav replied to the Jew –  “Do not worry, everything will be all right.” The next morning, the groom heard his father said that someone had forgotten to put the problematic food into the refrigerator and it had spoiled and damaged, so everyone ate only kosher, and there was no argument or anger.


Halacha Weekly

Q. Is there a prohibition of making holes in the earlobes of girls for wearing earrings? [1-14-YD 288]

A. It is prohibited for a person to chovel beatzmo, to strike himself wounding himself, just as it is prohibited to strike or wound another person. It would seem then that it should be prohibited for girls to make holes in their ears for inserting earrings.

 Yabea Omer (8- Choshen Mishpat 12, R. Ovadia Yosef, Z”L) writes that people are accustomed make holes for young girls in order that they will  be able to wear earings. He rules that for girls there is no prohibition in the case of earrings. The concern with chovel beatzmo does not apply in the case of girls who make holes in their earlobes for earrings since they are doing it to for their own benefit, and for the sake of beauty. Also see Igros Moshe (2- Choshen Mishpat 66, R. Moshe Feinstein, Z”L) and MInchat Yitzchak (6-105, R.  Yitzchak Yisef Weiss, Z”L) who rule similarly.