Unity Vs. Uniformity

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner
Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

In this week’s Torah portion, we read about Korach who was a cousin of Moses, who started a rebellion against Moses, claimed that Moses should not have given the position of the High Priest to his brother Aharon and kept this most powerful position in his family, but should have given the position of the High Priest to someone else.  Our sages teach us that the reason Korach rebelled was because Moses had appointed his cousin Elizaphon, son of Uziel in charge of the Kohatite family and Korach was jealous of Elizaphon since he also wanted to have that position.  In truth, Korach’s claim was false since Moses appointed Aharon as High Priest upon G-d’s instuctions.

When the Torah describes Korach’s claims, the verse states that Korach said the following: “The entire assembly -all of them- are holy and Hashem is among them, why do you exalt yourself over the congregation of Hashem?”  Korach was claiming that besides his misgivings about Moses giving the High Priesthood to his brother, he was also claiming that there should not be the position of High Priest since that was singling out one person over others.

The commentaries explain the flaw of Korach’s argument as follows:  G-d created the world in a manner wherein each created being is different from the other.  However, when each being performs its distinct function, and they are combined together, it creates a wholeness. For example: The sun creates light for the daytime and the moon creates light for the nighttime and together they form a complete day.

The same is true regarding the mission of the Jewish people.  Each one of us has our own distinct mission.  Some are Kohens and others are Levites etc. but, it is not that one is better than the other, rather together we form one entity and complete in totality the mission of the Jewish nation.

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About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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