Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Korach

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

Parshas Korach begins with the phrase "Vayikach Korach" which is translated as "Korach took." The question asked by many meforshim is, what did Korach take? Rashi answers that Korach took himself from within the community. However the question remains, why did the Torah use the term Vayikach instead of Vayavo (and he came) or Vayomer (and he said).

R' Frand answered his question by quoting Rabbi Isaac Bernstein who explained (al pi drush) that there is a lesson about human kind through the use of Vayikach.

The gemara teaches that Korach was very bright as well as very wealthy. Chazal teach that there were two incredibly wealthy people, Korach and Haman. There is even a yiddish expression "Rich as Korach."

Rashi states that Korach even had prestige as he was one of the carriers of the aron kodesh.

So how did Korach go wrong? Because Korach was a taker (Lokayach) and not a giver (Nosain). A person who is a taker will never be happy, even if he is rich and prominent, because he looks at other people and wants to have what they possess and more. A giver on the other hand will be happy with what he has.

R' Frand then quoted a story about R' Dessler and what R' Dessler used to say to couples before they went under the chuppah. He would tell them that at this moment in time, your greatest desire is to want to give to each other. If this stays with you, then you will be happy. But when you see this as an opportunity to take, the bliss will be gone from your marriage.

R' Frand said that he was asked once by a student what is the key to success in marriage. R' Frand answered, "selflessness". Every thing else is just commentary.

The message of the parsha is that Korach was a taker, this is why he rebelled against Moshe and wanted to be the Kohain Gadol.

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