PARSHAT KORACH: “PICK YOURSELF UP, DUST YOURSELF OFF, START ALL OVER AGAIN”
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Nathan Kruman 1 year ago
In the merit of Mori V’Rebi, Rav Simcha Leib Yosef Gad Ezra Shilta, who continues to open my eyes and heart to such beautiful Torah.
Looking at the parsha, when Moshe sends for Datan and Aviram, they respond,“לֹ֥א נַעֲלֶֽה,” “We won’t go up!” (Num. 16:12) and then proceeded to have a conversation with Moshe. I grew up thinking that they were being summoned to Moshe and just refused to go. At the end of their dialogue of complaints, Datan and Aviram bookend this encounter, reiterating, “לֹ֥א נַעֲלֶֽה.”
It seems that for Datan and Aviram, this was their Cain moment. It was as if Moshe was saying, “הֲל֤וֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב֙ שְׂאֵ֔ת,” “Will you not be uplifted if you improve yourself!” (Gen. 4:6) Get out of your funk! Lift yourself up! Go beyond the sense of chinam—a sense of meaningless, hopeless, wasted opportunity, as Rebbe taught—where you have placed yourself and move forward.
And perhaps this is how we must also look at other ‘rogues’ in Torah. Was there a way for the constructors of Migdal Bavel to “rise” on their own merits? Could Yishmael, Eisav, perhaps even Lavan, shift their perspective and view their true koach, their potential to rise? Bilaam seemed to totter in both directions. If only he…
We all have these opportunities, it seems. While Bnei Yisrael, following so many of them dying, responded, “הֵ֥ן גָּוַ֛עְנוּ אָבַ֖דְנוּ כֻּלָּ֥נוּ אָבָֽדְנוּ” Esther invoked a similar phrase at her turning point, when she chose to look up and strive for a life of dedication to Hashem and meaning.
As we approach the month of Tammuz, perhaps this is a kavana we can consider as we celebrate this weighty month—our potential to ascend—as we recite “Ya’aleh V’Yavo.”