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A Tale of Three People

Tuesday, 5 July, 2016 - 6:17 pm


The Midrash tells us that Korach had 3 claims:

1)  Korach took 250 magistrates... and dressed them in garments that were wholly of blue wool.They stood before Moshe and asked him: "If a garment is made entirely of blue wool, what is the law as regarding the obligation of tzitzit?" Moshe answered them: "It is obligated." They began to laugh at him, saying: "If a garment of another sort is absolved by a single thread of blue wool, this garment, composed wholly of blue wool, cannot absolve itself?" 

A person who regularly makes commitments to "be better", to "do more good" or to "be more observant" might feel content with their aspirations, & not feel the need to do more. After all, he/she has and is committed to be better overall. Bugging them for specific details, or suggesting that attention be given to the minutia, seems superfluous and pointless!  If the entire garment is "blue wool" do the "fringes" need blue wool?

2) Korach further challenged Moshe: "If a house is full of Torah scrolls, does it need a mezuzah on its doorpost?" Replied Moshe, "It is obligated." Said Korach: "The entire Torah, consisting of 275 chapters, does not absolve this house, and the [two] chapters in the mezuzah absolve it? G-d did not command you these laws -- you have invented them yourself."

If there is a learned person, a real "Talmid Chochom", who knew the Talmud, with its commentaries, by heart. Does he need to be happy? Does he need to to be pleasant? If the house is full of Torah, does it need to be noticeable to someone on the outside?

3)  They also claimed: "The entire community is holy and G-d is amongst them; why do you raise yourselves above the congregation of G-d?" (Numbers 16:3) 

If I am a good, compassionate and friendly fellow, can't I decide my own path to connect with G-d? Why do I need a Moshe or any leader? As they say "Who needs that?"  

Moshe responded:

1) It is not about grandiose plans to become a better person, but about the practical steps you take to implement the commitment.

2) It is not about how much Torah one learns, but about how much the Torah teaches you. 

3) It is important not to go through things alone, one must have a master, a Moshe, who is true to the Torah's way and can guide you in the correct path to serve G-d on His terms!

Have a wonderful Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

There won't be services, I will be in NY commemorating the 22nd Yahrtzeit of the Rebbe - Details at

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