Friday, July 8, 2016

Korach - Do We Really Need Rabbis And Leaders?

Shaaaaaalommmmmm sweeeetest friends!

These words of Torah are dedicated in honor of my most beloved friends:

Rav and Mrs. Tzvi Herman Shlita - they should continue having only good things always in body and spirit and simcha tomid!

R' Moshe Yehuda Hanus - only good things always! The lucky girl should appear very soon and live happily ever after!!!

R' Shmuel Binyamin and Shira Stein - limitless nachas from their children.

R' Yehuda Yaakov and Rachel Spindler - Hashem should grant all of the wishes of their hearts li-tova!

R' and Mrs. Chaim Schreck - brachos beyond what they ever dreamed of.

R' and Mrs. Chaim Yehoshua Austein - only simcha always!

And of course to the many who helped with הכנסת כלה! Much love and gratitude!!

Now to our program....

Do we need rabbis and leaders? Sometimes, people feel that they just get in the way.

Howard had been a good Jew all his life. Now, 90 years old, he was very ill and in hospital. His family were with him. Then his Rabbi arrived. 

As the Rabbi walked up to the bed, Howard 's condition began to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on. When the Rabbi gave him a pencil and a piece of paper, Howard used his last ounce of energy to write a short note. Then he died. 
The Rabbi placed the note in his jacket pocket and said prayers. 
Later, at Howard’s funeral, as the Rabbi was finishing the eulogy, he suddenly remembered the note. 

"I’ve just remembered," said the Rabbi to those present, "that Howard handed me a note just before he died. I haven't looked at it yet, but knowing Howard, I'm sure there's a word of comfort in it for all of us." 

The Rabbi opened the note and read, "Help, you're standing on my oxygen tube!"

Others feel that all the rabbis care about is money.

It’s Sunday evening and Rabbi Levy is in deep conversation with his friend. 
"I must tell you something, Moshe," he says, "I made nine people very, very happy today." 
"A mitzvah, Rabbi, a true mitzvah," says Moshe, "but tell me – how did you manage to achieve this?" 
"I performed four marriage ceremonies in my shul this afternoon," replies Rabbi Levy. 
Moshe is puzzled. "I can see how you made eight people happy, Rabbi, but what about the ninth?" 
"Do you really believe I did all this for free?" replies Rabbi Levy.

Others just want a refund... 

As soon as Rabbi Steinberg entered his office, there was Arnold waiting for him. 
"I need your advice, Rabbi," says Arnold. 
"OK Arnold, how can I help, what’s bothering you?" asks Rabbi Steinberg. 
"Rabbi," asks Arnold, "is it right for one man to make money from another man's errors?" 
"No Arnold, it certainly isn’t," replies Rabbi Steinberg. 
"Are you absolutely sure about that?" asks Arnold. 
"About that, Arnold, I’m absolutely positive," replies Rabbi Steinberg. 
"I’m so pleased to hear you say this, Rabbi," says Arnold, "so could you please return the 500 dollars I gave you to marry me to my wife Miriam?"

Moshe Rabbeinu says to Korach and his cronies who are challenging his leadership רב לכם בני לוי – Literally, it is too much for you, sons of Levi. What does this mean?

The world was created in such a way that we need the influence of a Tzadik in order to survive. This is expressed by Dovid Hamelech who said צדיק יסוד עולם - The foundation of the world is a Tzadik. He is the source of the bounty and Divine flow that comes down to the world. 

The Zohar says that all of the bracha of the week is rooted in Shabbos. The Zohar also says that a talmid chochom is called Shabbos. We see that the source of bracha is the talmid chochom. 

According to the Mekubalim, Kayin was furious at Hevel who was the foundation of the world and Kayin didn't want to feel subordinate. That is why he said השומר אחי אנכי. The word שומר can mean wait [as in the pasuk ואביו שמר את הדבר which means that Yaacov waited to see when Yosef's dreams would come true]. He was saying - "Why do I have to wait to receive bracha through Hevel. I want it on my own. השומר אחי אנכי - Do I have to wait for my brother [to receive bracha]?!"

Rashi explains that when the brothers of Yosef Hatzadik went to graze it means that they went לרעות את עצמן - to graze themselves. This means that they didn't want to receive the brachos through Yosef but on their own. Yosef was the משביר the provider, Yosef Hatzadik - Tzadik yesod olam, the great foundation of bounty, but the brothers denied this and thus rejected his dreams of them bowing down to him. 

Lot also rejected Avraham as his provider, as the pasuk says ולא נשא אותם הארץ לשבת יחדיו - the ארציות, the earthliness of Lot didn't allow him to settle together with Avraham. לשבת is an allusion to Shabbos and יחדיו to the yichudim [spiritual combinations which bring down divine flow]. Lot didn't want to connect to the Shabbos-dike yichudim of the Tzadik Avraham, so he wanted to separate. The pasuk continues כי היה רכושם ר"ב - which literally means that their possessions we plentiful and thus there wasn't enough room for both of them but can also mean that Lot thought that he alone possessed a Rav and didn't need Avraham. That is why Lot was eventually lost at war, as the gemara says about Rebbe Akiva כל הפורש ממך כפורש מן החיים – separating from you is separating from life. One NEEDS a tzadik in order to survive.

When Moshe Rabbeinu realized that he will not be able to lead the Jews into Eretz Yisrael he asked Hashem to appoint a leader שלא תהיה עדת ה' כצאן אשר אין להם רועה - we should not be like sheep without a shepherd. 

Ahhhh – Kayin, Hevel, Lot, Avraham, Yosef and his brothers. That brings us back to Korach and his gang. Moshe Rabbeinu said to them רב לכם בני לוי – you sons of Levi need a RAV!! You claim that כל העדה כולם קדושים , everyone is equally holy and there is no need for a spiritual guide but you are mistaken. All of the השפעות and good things come through the Tzadik. As the gemara says כל העולם ניזון בשביל חנינא בני the whole world receives its sustenance from my son Chanina [Taanis 24b].

[Based on the Tiferes Shlomo of the Rebbe of Radomsk]

SWEETEST FRIENDS!! Let us not make the same mistake as Korach. With a drop of humility we all realize that we lack so much in so many ways and need to connect to holy people in order to flourish.

This Shabbos is the yahrtzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ztz"l. For over 40 years for 20 plus hours a day he was completely, seflessly devoted to the Jewish people and the world at large. He would often fast, lived on almost no sleep, NEVER TOOK ONE DAY OF VACATION, spent countless hours davening for individuals and for the community at his father in laws grave, kept up correspondence with thousands and thousands of people [many of them not chasidim], while at the same times displaying a breathtaking mastery of the entire Torah, revealed and hidden, and maybe most importantly – as he himself testified – he never refused to do a favor for a Jew. When we have such leaders we don't need to feel כצאן אשר אין להם רועה!

A sweet Shabbos of bliss beloved friends