Divrei Torah
PARSHAS KORACH 5778
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending
out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you
this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of
Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the
neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.] The views and opinions
expressed in this article are those solely of its author(s).

EQUALITY
In this week's Parsha, Korach argued that all Jews are holy; therefore  why did Moshe
elevate himself over Klal Yisroel to be the leader. Ironically, Korach’s argument of equality
is the recipe for Machlokes, jealousy, and divisiveness.

The more one believes we are all the same and that we all have the same limitless
potential, the more prone we are to resentment, discord, and arguing with each other over
things we perceive to be unfair. For example, ‘why did he get that position if I am just as
qualified…?’

However, if we realize that we are not equal, and that we are each born into a unique
family with unique personalities and that we each have our unique mission, then there is
no room for Machlokes. As why should I be jealous or upset that you are smarter,
wealthier, more connected, or got a ‘better’ job or position? You need that for your mission
whereas I have a completely different mission and I have the tools and personality I need
to fulfill mine.
The more we understand this idea, the easier it is to get along with our neighbors and to
appreciate the different groups in Klal Yisroel; we all have positive contributions to the
larger mosaic called Klal Yisroel. We will then be able to reach the mida of Shalom, which
means more than just peace.
Peace means there is no fighting. Shalom is a higher level from the root word Shalaim-
perfection. Perfection means disparate forces coming together to form a cohesive
complete unit.

May we all take this lesson to heart: to realize that we are all different with our own unique
mission,  and to respect the other groups in Klal Yisroel for their positive contributions.

{Editor's note:There was once a Yerushalmi Yid walking down a street on Shabbos, and a
car driven by a Jew passed by. Someone walking behind him heard him say something to
himself as the car whizzed past. The curious person inched closer to the Yerushalmi as
another car approached and heard the Yid whisper two words… “Shabbos, Shabbos!”

Such a powerful story!
(This is a beautiful story that I heard a while ago. If someone knows the origin of the story
please email me at zichronshaya@gmail.com. Thanks!)

I thought of two lessons that we could learn from this story.
First is that so many times people get caught up in the heat of the moment and give
rebuke/ protest loudly saying "you are wrong!" and "this is not how you are supposed to
act!"  They become so caught up in the moment that they often lose sight of the bigger
picture, failing to express their point to the other person involved in the argument. This
Yerushalmi Yid, however, did nothing of this sort. He made a quiet protest that didn’t affect
the person driving the car, and therefore didn’t create any machlokes.

Another lesson that I think could be learned from this story is that this Yerushalmi Yid felt
it necessary to utter the words Shabbos every time a car past him. He felt it necessary
EVERY time to remind himself of the fact that it is Shabbos. He didn’t just say to himself
“Unfortunately that’s how things are…”  How many times do we see someone desecrating
Shabbos or any one of the other Mizvohs and let it slide. By letting it slide we are telling
ourselves that this Aveirah is not so bad, which leads us to have a lower appreciation for
what is holy. By reminding ourselves that Mitzvos are precious, we can avoid becoming
desensitized and retain our values.

If you think of other lessons from this story, I would love to hear them.}
Have a Gut Chodesh and a great Shabbos!

Editor: Baruch Leib Gross
Daf Yomi
Bais Medrash Shomrei Mishmeres Hakodesh