The name Korach has become synonymous with division. Yearning to have more power and jealous of his relatives, Korach split the Jewish people to the point of no return.
Interestingly, his claims were the exact opposite. “Everyone is holy” he declared. “Why do you raise yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”
There is nothing inclusive about tearing down boundaries, nor peaceful in ignoring differences. Indeed, adherents of Communism killed tens of millions of people in the name of equality. A challenge against the ruling class many times turns out to be nothing more than a justification for violence by a budding tyrant yearning of power.
Korach claimed he was there for the common man. He was really there for was himself. (He would be perfectly fine if he were the one chosen!)
This is an important lesson for us in our time. Today it’s popular to speak of unity, acceptance, and equality but we need to be careful that A is genuinely connecting with B, not that A is looking for B to turn into an A. Statements such as, “Can’t we all just get along?” can easily mask the real feeling of “Why are you insisting on being unique and different than me?”
For a hand to fulfill its purpose, it needs to function as a hand. It would be detrimental to itself and the body if it tried to be a foot. This is true in society as well. There are different functions and jobs people do so that civilization can function.
Declaring self-respect and respecting each other’s differences to be a hindrance to unity is like stating that colors of a rainbow diminish each other’s beauty. It’s the exact opposite.
When we honor each other and our own unique mission, we become a healthy people expressing our singular source through our different expressions.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,