Parshah Columnists

Guest Columnists
Moses the Donkey Snatcher?
Moses was a true leader; he cared deeply for his people. So when he saw the moral failings of an entire group, he immediately looked inward.
Moses Never Gave Up on Them
Moses sets an example for us how to never give up trying to inspire positive change in ourselves and others.
Do You Procrastinate?
The Hebrew word for almond is etymologically related to the word “shaked,” which means “quick.”
The Beauty of Darkness
Korach believed that Aaron’s approach to increasing spirituality missed a deeper truth.
The Greenest Grass
Can you recognize the beauty and uniqueness of the gifts you do have? You have so much going for yourself. How could you possibly be discontent?
Hanging by a Thread
What was bothering Korach? Do G‑d’s commandments make sense? What is a dispute that is for the sake of Heaven?
Spiritual Immunity
Since the Jewish people is like one body with one soul, when we overreact and attack someone else, we are actually hurting ourselves.
Wedding Speeches for Korach
Going Against the Grain
Most of us would like to imagine a world with no disputes, where there are no clashing opinions getting in the way of our nation’s forward march toward its goals. However, it is humankind’s ability to develop different ideas, voice a variety of opinions, and toss them back into the world that makes this world a beautiful and diverse place.
How to Avoid the Toxicity of Jealousy
Feelings of jealousy are normal, but if those feelings are allowed to evolve, beware!
Weekly Sermonette
Houses or Households?
How do we look at our houses? Do we only see the external—physical residences with roofs and walls—or are we in touch with the inner home, the deeper, spiritual purpose of a house?
Sportsmen or Spectators?
Do you only watch the World Cup, or do you sometimes kick a ball yourself?
"Everyone is Holy!"
Korach's argument is the ultimate in political correctness. "The entire community is holy," he challenges Moses and Aaron. "Why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of G-d?" The very same argument could be used against Jews in general. "Who do you think you are? Chosen People! Aren't all men created equal?"
The books are inside; the mezuzah is outside.
Life's Passages
What Coffee, Chicken Soup, Sorbet and Laundry Have in Common
So many different shapes, forms, flavors, and usages, but at the core is the same essential property—droplets of water.
A Tale of Two Wives
Two women played a prominent role in Korach’s revolt. Their different approaches in dealing with the material reality lead to two opposite outcomes . . .
Inner Stream
Brass Pans
They backed the wrong horse, but they sure knew how to run . . .
Disruptive Spirit
Even the most sublime strivings of the spirit must be restrained when its passion drives a wedge between ourselves and others
Moses' Anger Management Technique
Our sages have said that "One who gets angry, it is as if he has worshipped idols." How so?
The Bald and the Cold
In Hebrew, the name Korach means “bald” and “ice”—representing the spiritual malaises of separation and apathy.
A Unique Punishment
Though many sinned before him and many sinned after him, Korach was the only one to be punished in this manner...
Abused Merits
When we use one good deed as an excuse to avoid another we deny ourselves credit for the mitzvah good deed as well as the one we performed!
Look, I'm Humble
It is easy to be humble when you have nothing to boast of. But Moses was humble, though he had much to boast about. How did he maintain a humble image of himself even while acknowledging his amazing talents, giant spirit and colossal achievements (including his own humility)?
For Friday Night
Two Women
The story of Korach and On ben Pelet emphasizes the woman's power to persuade. It also expresses another aspect of womanhood: her ability to see through false appearances and discover the path which is true and good
Double Perception
The human being as a part of the structure of society, and as an individual
What Do You Think?
Do You Live Near Korach?
We are all influenced by society. This is true with regards to cultural quirks, such as the fact that the average Moroccan citizen doesn’t appreciate baseball, and certainly in the realm of morals.
Kvetching is the first step out of slavery and a way of ensuring that we don’t enter a soul-destroying slave mentality.
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Make Them or Break Them
A Woman's Decision
On's wife did what any devoted better-half would do—she reassured him that she would take care of the situation. She then neutralized her husband (thank G‑d for the bottle!) as zero-hour approached...
What Was Korach Thinking?
A Righteous Death Wish
Parshah Musings
Holiness is a state of mind, not a job description.
Reach Out to the Rebel
Moses was willing to sacrifice his own honor on behalf of rebels and sinners, we must, at the very least, be willing to reach out to those guilty of nothing more than ignorance.
Does Judaism Believe in Castes?
It hardly seems democratic; just because you come from a family of Kohanim (priests) or Leviim (Levites), why should that qualify you for extra honor?
Let Me Be You
Jewish law allows for the appointment of an emissary to fulfill certain mitzvot on our behalf. But if it is my obligation, how can you do it for me?
Taking Everything Personally
When you accuse me of a crime of which I was indeed once guilty, I feel bad. Accuse me of something I haven't done, however, and I'll probably just laugh and stroll away, unbothered by your obvious misidentification...
Leader of the Opposition
Korach was greedy, jealous, underhanded, a megalomaniac and a rabble-rouser intent on world domination. Wow, talk about a victim of bad press! How about Korach the seeker of spiritual enlightenment?
When to cut and run, and when to stick around and fight
What was different about the argument of Korach and his co-plotters against Moses from all other rebellions and resistances? Why on this one occasion were the Jews advised to totally disengage and let G-d deal with the problem?
Parshah Blog
The Rebellion
Doesn't this story demonstrate the flaw in a theocratic state, whose leaders can't be challenged? And was it right for Moses to importune G‑d to destroy his personal enemies?
A Thought for the Week
A Mezuzah on the Door
Parshah Messages
Humility vs. Low Self-Confidence
Moses reacted forcefully when Korach suggested that he was not worthy of leading the Jews. Is this an appropriate response for a most humble individual?
Touched by Holiness
A lifeless staff blossoms, and a young boy astounds his listeners with a profound mystical response -- both presumably a result of being touched by holiness. What do we do when we are denied such an opportunity?
The Freeman Files
Korach Over Dinner
When I hear the M word, I feel hot air breathed down my back. Mental flags go up, signaling, "Someone's got an agenda here, and the agenda is to take you over."
Korach's Real Problem
If everything is about action, who needs a Moses?
Korach had a strong point to make: If we are all G-d’s people, what makes some more G-dly than others?
Korach and Anarchy
Dancing with the Ultimate Authority
Korach is a figure I can highly identify with. From primary grades on, I never got along too well with authority.
The idea of inequality is distasteful to us. So we reject everything about it, everything it ostensibly resembles, everything it reminds us of. Including the most beautiful, gratifying and enlightening thing we have: our relationships with each other
The Road to Heaven
"I, too, desire it!" Is Moses playing devil's advocate? Or is he baring a soul driven by a striving so exalted and G-dly that it is beyond the reach even of a Moses, a soul that finds its deepest yearnings frustrated by a divine command barring its path, commanding, "Stop. No. Not Yet."
Parshah Recovery
Quality of Sobriety
It can be a hard pill for such an insecure lot as us to swallow, but if we know people who have real quality sobriety, we should admit it and aspire to be like them.
Covenant & Conversation
Argument for the Sake of Heaven
In such a conflict, what is at stake is not truth but power, and the result is that both sides suffer.
The Leader as Servant
Korach claims to be opposed to the very institution of leadership, and at the same time he wants to be the leader.
Power Versus Influence
The Korach rebellion was an unholy alliance of individuals and groups unhappy with Moses’ leadership.
Servant Leadership
To lead is to serve. Those who serve do not lift themselves high. They lift other people high.
Beyond Speech
On the Haftarah: The Ideal Jewish King
For the haftarah of Korach, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
Only a True Leader Knows
The common denominator of a true Jewish leaders is in seeing the value of both the community and the individual.
When Your Actions Lack Heart
If action is the main thing, "Why do you raise yourselves above the congregation of G‑d?"
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