As soon as the spring pollen season begins, my body gears up for battle. I need to keep a stock of tissues handy for the inevitable sneezing and runny nose, as my body struggles to keep the intruders at bay.

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system. A relatively minor, harmless stimulus, such as a speck of dust or a grain of pollen, is misidentified as a danger to the system, and the body acts as if it is fighting off a deadly infection. And sometimes the immune system even turns against the body itself. My body gears up for battleAutoimmune diseases occur when the same antibodies that normally protect the body against viruses and bacteria mistakenly launch an attack on the body’s own tissues.

Like all matters in the physical world, autoimmunity has a spiritual counterpart: Since the Jewish people is like one body with one soul, when we overreact and attack someone else, we are actually hurting ourselves.

In this week’s Torah portion we read of a particularly unfortunate episode of “autoimmunity”—when Korach and his followers rose up to challenge the authority of Moses. Korach and his men opposed the division of the Jewish people into the three classes of Kohen, Levite and Israelite. Rather than recognizing that each group has a distinct and essential role to play, Korach demanded equal roles. He attempted to convince the Jewish people that Moses was somehow a threat to them and their own status, and he very nearly succeeded in convincing the Jewish people to go along with his philosophy.

Moses, in his humility, had a very difficult time confronting this challenge. His entire being was dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people, and he was reluctant to see his own brothers, his own flesh and blood, punished because of their waywardness. He begged Korach and his men to reconsider, to change their course of action. But when Korach refused to reconcile, Moses was forced to take steps to eliminate Korach’s rebellion, which threatened the integrity of the Jewish people.

The leading cause of the He begged Korach and his men to reconsiderdestruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was “autoimmunity”—the senseless hatred between brothers. It is explained in chassidic teachings that no nation in the world has the power to harm the Jewish people or destroy the Temple. Only when we weaken ourselves through internal battles are the non-Jews able to overcome us.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that by virtue of the love we show to one another, we can correct the cause of the destruction and hasten the redemption. The third Temple, which will be rebuilt with the coming of Moshiach, will be an expression of our selfless love for each other, a love that transcends our different views, beliefs and practices. And a house built on the strength of this love will never be destroyed.

Our task now is to begin to live with the type of love and harmony we will experience in the era of redemption. Instead of developing “antibodies” by focusing on what is repellent about others, we need to develop “pro-bodies”—to constantly look for the good in others, and try to strengthen and encourage them in any possible way. This is sure to bring about the ultimate redemption—a time when we will perceive that we are truly one united body with one soul.