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Rav Moshe Sternbuch Duplicity-4

Rav Moshe Sternbuch Duplicity-4

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Published by: Daniel Eidensohn on Jun 25, 2010
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08/13/2010

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 Duplicity
 Korach as the Prototype of Machlokes Shelo L'Sheim Shomayim
 By Rav Moshe SternbuchThe following was written by Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis based on a drasha given by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, Rosh Av Beis Din of the Eidah Hachareidis of Yerushalayim.
• • • • •
PORTRAYING GOOD INTENTIONS
The
Mishnah
in
 Pirkei Avos
lists the dispute of Korach and Moshe Rabbeinu as theclassic example of a
machlokes
that is not
l'sheim Shomayim
. At first glance, nothing could seemfarther from the truth. Korach came with eloquent claims that every member of the Jewish people is holy, and outwardly appeared extremely
l'sheim Shomayim
.Herein lies the deeper meaning of the
Mishnah
. Although Korach was motivated by adesire for honor, he portrayed sincere and pure intentions. Because Korach looked like he wasacting
l'shem Shomayim
, his argument was more convincing than those of most
resha’im
, andthis made him far more dangerous than others.Korach argued that the entire congregation is holy and Hashem is
betocham
, amongstthem. “
 Betocham
 
implied that every Jew's heart was imbued with the Divine spirit and thiselevated every Jew to the highest level. In light of the great
kedushah
that every Jew had, theydid not need Moshe Rabbeinu to be the leader of 
 Klal Yisroel 
.In more recent history, we find that the renowned Zionist Theodore Herzl used similar tactics. Herzl was a masterful speaker, and although his true agenda was to abolish any trace of Torah from the Jewish people, in his speeches he would stress the need to return to Eretz Yisroel.By latching on to such a holy concept as returning to Israel, Herzl made himself appear as if hewere truly interested solely in the welfare and the strengthening of the Jewish community.Many prominent
rabbonim
were taken in by Herzl's persuasive speeches and feltthat, under his leadership, salvation was possible. Rav Chaim Brisker, however, stood upagainst him and revealed that his great sincerity was actually the greatest danger that theJewish people of that time faced. People would flock after his idealism only to findthemselves pulled away from Torah.After the formation of the state of Israel, Herzl's true ideologies were revealed. Itwas clear that the primary motivating factor behind setting up the state was to eliminateTorah Judaism from
 Klal Yisroel 
. The Brisker Rov commented, “It took people seventyyears to understand what my father meant.”
 
THE DANGER OF KEEPING QUIET
Although Korach died still holding on to his erroneous ideologies, his children repentedright before their death sentence was Divinely administered. They were not held responsible for their father's actions, and their 
teshuvah
was accepted.
Chazal 
tell us that until this day, theyhave a special corner in
Gehennom
where they sing, “
Moshe Emes VeToraso Emes
.”Seemingly, the
teshuvah
that Korach's children did right before they died should have been sufficient for them to merit
Gan Eden
. If they sincerely repented, why did they have to goto
Gehennom
? What is the deeper meaning of their singing
 shirah
in the midst of 
Gehennom
?In truth, Korach's children recognized the false nature of their father's arguments muchearlier. They should have protested their father's actions before he was swallowed up into theearth. Because they remained quiet and did not take action against their father’s insidious deeds,they could not be included in the reward of the rest of the Jewish people in
Gan Eden
.Right before they were swallowed into the earth, Korach's children were able to act ontheir recognition of their father's ways. Since they did
teshuvah
right before they died, they werenot included in the harsh punishment of Korach and the rest of their followers. Instead, theyreceived a middle ground, existing in
Gehennom
but singing the praises of the Torah.
JUST LIKE
 AMALEIK 
How far-reaching was Korach's evil nature? The
 Ba'al HaTurim
reveals that Korach'sideology was similar to that of Amaleik. The initial comparison seems difficult to comprehend,as the Torah considers Amaleik evil incarnate.Amaleik's evil was not limited to their transgressions, but was inherent in their verynature. They all saw the miracles that Hashem performed, and yet they still planned a rebellionagainst the Almighty. Their readiness to battle G-d after seeing His strength displayed their extreme
chutzpah,
sheer brazenness, in the face of witnessing truth.Korach took part and witnessed all of the miracles that Hashem did for the Jewish peoplewhen leaving Mitzrayim. This did not deter him from going ahead with his rebellion againstMoshe Rabbeinu, who was personally appointed by the Almighty to lead the Jewish people.Korach's actions also showed great
chutzpah
, and therefore his actions can legitimately becompared to those of Amaleik.
INNER BEAUTY
After the incident of Korach, we find that, once again, the leadership of the Jewish peoplewas challenged when part of 
 Klal Yisroel 
complained and instigated the argument of whether Aharon was really worthy to direct the Jewish people. Aharon was a complete
tzaddik 
who wentquietly in the ways of Hashem and did not have the flamboyance of Korach.

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