“It’s hard to understand the story in this week’s parshah,” Aryeh said at the Shabbos table. “I mean, what was Korach trying to prove?”

“Well,” replied his father. “Let’s think about that for a moment. What was his argument?”

“Korach insisted that all the Jewish people were holy. He complained about the special holiness which HaShem had granted Aharon,” Aryeh answered.

“Now, if I were to ask you to tell me in one word, the main point in Korach’s argument, what word would you choose?”

Aryeh thought for a moment. “I would like to say achdus, because he claimed that everyone was equal. But it seems wrong to say achdus when what came out was a big argument with a terrible end.”

“You’re right, Aryeh. Korach started such a serious machlokes that our Rabbis warn us that whoever creates an argument disobeys the passuk that says, ‘And there shall be none like Korach and his congregation...’

“You are also right about the idea of achdus. Korach insisted upon achdus, but only as he understood it.

Moshe replied to him: ‘In the morning, HaShem will make known....’ Moshe was saying: HaShem, who is One, created the world with many differences. Day and night are different from each other. Jews and non-Jews are not the same, and Aharon’s holiness is not the same as the holiness of the rest of the people.

“Even within holiness itself, there are different levels. Can you give me any examples? You should know because you learned the mishnah which speaks about this.”

“I remember,” answered Aryeh. “Although all of Eretz Yisrael is holy, the mishnah speaks about ten different levels of holiness in Eretz Yisrael.”

“Good for you! Now how about different levels of holiness in time?”

“That’s easy. We have the days of the week and we have Shabbos, Yom Tov, and Yom Kippur. And Tatty, groups of people also have different levels of holiness: there are kohanim, levi’im and yisraelim.”

“Good, Aryeh. Now you can see how wrong Korach was in his mistaken demand for achdus. HaShem created differences, separating one thing from another so that every person and every force in this world would fulfill its individual purpose.

“For example, when you want to prepare a cup of tea, you pour water into the kettle and put it on the flame. The kettle separates the water from the fire. If not for that separation, the fire would not be able to fulfill its task of heating and the water would never boil; it might even put out the fire.

“This can help us understand that HaShem wants the people and forces in this world to use their differences and to work with each other so that the whole universe does what it is intended to do.

“This is what Moshe meant when he told Korach to see the difference between day and night. The differences in this world allow everyone and everything to work together to create shalom and unity, showing HaShem’s oneness.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XVIII, p. 202)