Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Last Notes on Korach and Avoiding Machloket

I know that I have been neglectful in actually writing anything myself lately - but personally I think we need to take the following lessons so graciously provided by the Hakhel people to heart. There is serious machloket going on in Eretz Yisrael now and we need to really work on unity. I enjoin everyone, including myself, to
][''try to daven for peace among the Jews as well as with other nations. We can also be involved in practical ways by taking baby steps to avoid machloket in our own lives. We can try to diffuse arguments and not take sides in disputes and use our speech in positive ways. A good start can be to study one of the Chofetz Chaim's books about guarding our speech. Every positive step should bring us one step closer to the geulah!

Special Note Three: Before taking leave of Parshas Korach, we provide the following insights:

a. The Pasuk states--"VaYakumu Lifnei Moshe--and the [rebellious ones] stood up before Moshe". Some explain that the Pasuk is telling us that they stood *before Moshe arrived* so that they would not have to show him the respect of standing upon his arrival. We derive two great lessons from this. First, in order to be in a machlokes with someone, you must strip away the respect that you [really do] owe him--otherwise you will not be able to remain in a Machlokes with someone to whom honor is really due. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, uncles and cousins, in-laws and out-laws take heart--the degree of machlokes will be inversely proportional to the honor given to the person with whom you may have grounds to disagree. Second, we see the importance of standing in front of one who deserves our respect--whether it be a parent, Rav, Rebbe, or elder--instead of avoiding, forgetting about or ignoring the issue--make it a point to make it a part of your life for all to learn from. if only they had stood for Moshe Rabbeinu...thousands upon thousands of lives--and all their future descendants would have been saved. No act of respect is too small...

b. In the monumental work The Laws of Interpersonal Relationships by Rabbi Avrohom Ehrman, Shlita (Artscroll, p.80), the following words are brought as Halacha LeMa'aseh: "Even if one side is absolutely right and the other is absolutely wrong, both sides are obligated to make every effort to seek peace. Even if those in the wrong willfully continue to antagonize others, the side in the right is still obligated to maintain efforts to make peace. Failing to do so violates the prohibition against upholding machlokes. The Torah describes how Moshe sent messengers to Dasan and Aviram to speak to them, and Chazal comment that had Moshe not done so, he would have been guilty of upholding machlokes." when it comes to avoiding machlokes there is literally an extra level of care--of what you would have otherwise considered to be a 'midas chassidus'--to be a part of the Halacha LeMa'aseh itself!

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