23 Sivan, 5774/June 21, 2014

Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov
Toronto Torah Toronto Torah Toronto Torah
Parshat Korach Vol. 5 Num. 38
סב “ ד
Taking this approach, Rabbeinu
Bachya, in his 13
century Kad
haKemach (Rashut 8), explained that
just as the Jew's one-tenth gift to the
Levite marks the Levite's leadership
position, so "the Levite is obligated to
give the Kohen a tenth from their tenth.
Just as Israel is bound to the Levite, so
the Levite is bound to the Kohen."

2: Recognize G-d
On a deeper level, Korach's rebellion
may be read as a rejection of Divine
control. The selection of Kohen and
Levite comes at the Divine word, and so
Korach is actually challenging G-d's
architectural design for the Jewish
people. Giving a gift on Divine
command, on the other hand,
demonstrates recognition that G-d is
the true owner of my property. The
requirement to separate terumat maaser
provides a constant reminder that there
is an Authority who establishes the
rights and roles of every citizen.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (Horeb
304) put forth this position, writing,
"You should not use that portion for
personal purposes but dedicate it to G-
d, declaring thereby that G-d is Lord of
the earth and that only through Him
have you any right to the earth and to
the fruit it yields."

Similarly, Sefer haChinuch wrote
(mitzvah 396), paraphrasing Kohelet
5:7, "Thus they will put into their hearts
that there are higher-ups above them,
and that higher than all of them is the
exalted Guardian of all."

3: Take Honour from Giving
A third approach reads Korach's
rebellion as a misunderstanding of
Honour; Korach believes that holding an
elevated position and receiving a gift is
the height of human dignity. Thus
Korach does not seek the right to serve
as Kohanim do, but only to hold their
position of authority. (Bamidbar 16:3)
Giving a gift inverts Korach's initiative,
displaying an understanding that there
is great honour in giving. The
requirement to give terumat maaser
teaches the Levite the stature to be
found in generosity.

Sefer haChinuch (ibid.) saw this as a
clear benefit of terumat maaser; he
wrote, "There is also merit and honour
and stature for the Levites, lest their
name be eliminated from the mitzvah of
tithing when they receive their portion
of produce. Lest the children [of the
Jews] say to the children [of the
Levites], 'You receive the produce, we
receive the mitzvah,' there will now be a
response: We have Torah, and we have
flour [to give]." Of course, the Levites
already give, with their service in the
Beit haMikdash and in their role as
teachers of Torah, but sharing material
resources with others is a unique and
honoured form of generosity. (For a
secular application of this idea, see
Tamara Brown, Raising Brooklyn:
Nannies, Childcare and Caribbeans
Creating Community, Chapter Four.)

Taken together, these approaches
provide three lessons in generosity:
Giving gift shows respect, giving a gift
mandated by G-d demonstrates
recognition of Divine authority, and
giving a gift earns true honour. As
explained by these commentators,
Korach did not grasp these three points,
but the mitzvah of terumat maaser
ensured that his descendants, and all
readers of the Torah, would absorb
these lessons for themselves.


‘Tis More Honourable to Give Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
This issue of Toronto Torah is dedicated to the safe return of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.
After the collapse of Korach's rebellion,
G-d presents Moshe with three
instructions that counter elements of
that misguided mutiny:
 First, the tribe of Levi is charged
with protecting the Temple from
future incursions by those who are
ineligible to enter. (Bamidar 18:1-7)
 Second, the nation is instructed to
give special gifts to the Kohanim,
explicitly recognizing that Korach
was wrong for challenging their right
to their positions. (ibid. 18:8-20, as
understood by Rashi 18:8)
 Third, the nation is told to give a
tenth of their produce - maaser
rishon - to the Levites, enabling their
service. (ibid. 18:21-32)

Within that last segment, though, an
eight-verse passage describes the
mitzvah of terumat maaser. When a
Levite receives maaser rishon, he must
separate one-tenth of that donation
and give it to a Kohen; until he does
so, he may not eat the maaser rishon
he has received. How does terumat
maaser respond to Korach's rebellion?

Three approaches are put forth by
classic commentators; each stems
from a different view of Korach's
moment on the biblical stage. More
broadly, each reflects a different
perspective on human generosity:

1: Display Respect
One may read Korach's rebellion as a
protest against the elevated position of
the Kohanim; Korach, a Levite, wants
the power of the Kohen for himself.
Opposite this arrogance, the Divine
command to give a gift mandates a
display of respect. The requirement to
give terumat maaser – a tithe paid by
the Levite to the Kohen – reinforces the
Kohen's dominance.
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one should not pursue that which his eyes see, including
pursuing the desires of this world, which end in evil and
cause disgrace and [Divine] anger." Having such a thought
is not prohibited; one would be hard-pressed to keep a
thought from entering his mind. However, we are instructed
to steer ourselves away from these distractions.

One might allege that this biblical prohibition is an
uncharacteristically cultish attempt to flee the challenge of
debate. In truth, though, the normally fearless Torah here
admits a reality of human nature: human beings are not
free of bias. By lumping together heresy and idolatry with
sexual transgression, the Torah teaches that just as human
desire seeks freedom from limitation on physical
satisfaction, so it seeks freedom from spiritual limitations.
Therefore, a battle between Judaism and a heresy that
denies the existence of G-d, or the ideals of idolatry, would
not be a fair fight; many of us would be biased, consciously
or unconsciously, toward liberation from duty. With this
mitzvah, the Torah warns the Jew to stay away from such a

Note: This law is not universally applied; there are
circumstances in which one should study heretical ideas,
with an eye toward debunking them. See Mishneh Halachot
7:218, for example.
For the most part, with limited exceptions, the Torah
concerns itself with deeds rather than thoughts. Nonetheless,
the Torah recognizes that thoughts lead to actions, and
therefore it legislates, "You shall not travel after your hearts
and after your eyes, after which you stray." (Bamidbar 15:39)
This is recorded by Sefer haChinuch as the Torah's 387


The Talmud (Berachot 12b) understands the Torah's
individual references to heart and eyes and straying as three
separate warnings:
 "After your hearts" refers to heresy, as Tehillim 14:1 says,
"The fool says in his heart: There is no G-d."
 "After your eyes" refers to thoughts of [sexual]
transgression, as Shoftim 14:3 says, "And Shimshon said
to his father: Take this one for me, for she is appropriate in
my eyes."
 "You stray" refers to thoughts of idolatry, as Shoftim 8:33
says, "And they strayed after the baalim."

As Sefer haChinuch explains, this mitzvah is rooted in a
desire to eliminate transgression before it happens. The
author writes, "We are warned not to occupy our thoughts
with ideas that are opposite the ideas on which the Torah is
established, because that could lead to heresy. Should such
a harmful thought enter one's heart, one should alter his
mentality, to think of true and good Torah paths. Likewise,
Haftorah: Shemuel I 11:14-12:22 Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
Who is the prophet of our haftorah?
The book of Shemuel records the
tumultuous period of Jewish history
which began with the destruction of the
mishkan at Shiloh and continued until
the death of King David. In a span of
half a century, the prophet Shemuel
was born to his mother Chanah, and he
matured, judged and led the Jewish
nation, coronated Shaul to serve as the
first Jewish king, deposed Shaul, and
coronated David to serve as his
successor. All of this occurs within the
first of two volumes which comprise the
"Book of Shemuel"; the second half of
the book records the monarchy of
Shemuel's protégé, King David.

What are the events of our haftorah?
Our haftorah tells us part of the long
story of how Israel's monarchy was
formed. We come in after Shaul has
been anointed privately by Shemuel
(Shemuel I 10:1) and then introduced to
the nation. (10:18-24) There were some
voices of objection within the people
(10:27), but they were silenced by
Shaul' s great vi ctory over the
Ammonites. (11:11-13) Our haftorah
the begins with a third scene of Shaul's
crowning, this time accepted by the
whole nation. (11:14-15)

Now that the throne is secure in Shaul's
hand, Shemuel delivers a farewell
speech to the people. From now on,
Shemuel will not lead the people
directly, but through the chosen king.
The main thrust of our haftorah is the
content of this speech. (12:1-22)

Shemuel begins by referring the people
to his own uncontested integrity as
leader and judge. (12:1-5) Having been
granted that, he rebukes the people for
seeking a king; it is worth noting that
Shemuel had never favoured the
institution of a king. (8:7-8) Shemuel
recount s t hei r hi st or y, f rom
enslavement in Egypt and onward
(12:6-11); Shemuel's point is that G-d
has always helped the Jews, and
resorting to a monarch equals
rejection of G-d's own monarchy.
(12:12-13) The Jews should know that
if they won't obey G-d, both king and
nation would be punished, and the
king would not save them. (12:14-15)

After Shemuel performs a miracle,
causing an unseasonable, undesirable
rainfall during the wheat harvest (12:
16-18), the people comprehend G-d's
anger with them. The nation asks
Shemuel for mercy. (12:19) To this
Shemuel replies by affirming the
connection between obedience to G-d
and the king's fate, and promising that
whatever will happen, G-d will never
abandon the nation that carries His
Name. (12:20-22)

What is the link to our parshah?
Our parshah and haftorah are united
on many levels, from their words (see
Bamidbar 16:15 and Shemuel I 12:3)
to the revolts launched against the
Divinely chosen leader.

Upon closer examination, though,
differences emerge. Most important is
the result of the revolt; Korach's
uprising fails, but the people's revolt
against Shemuel succeeds. Also
important are the arguments made in
favour of the change: Korach demands
equality bordering on anarchy,
claiming that the whole nation is holy
and therefore no one should elevate
himself above his fellows, while the
supporters of monarchy in our
haftorah actually demand that
someone be elevated over them!

One wonders if the difference in motive
might be what caused the difference in
result. The argument put to Shemuel
was a practical one, borne of a
perceived need for a king to fight their
wars and judge them. This argument
succeeds, accepted by G-d. The
argument made by Korach to Moshe,
on the other hand, was ideological:
who made you a governor and judge?
And G-d rejects this challenge.

If we are right, an interesting lesson
may be learned. A practical 'slip' may
be forgiven, and even accommodated,
but revolting for the sake of revolution,
putting forth an ideological objection
to the word of G-d, is unbearable and
will not be tolerated.

613 Mitzvot: #387
Taboo Thoughts
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner
Pirkei Avot (5:17) says: "Every dispute
which is for the sake of Heaven will
endure, and that which is not for the
sake of Heaven will not endure. Which
dispute is for the sake of Heaven? The
dispute of Shammai and Hillel. Which is
not for the sake of Heaven? This is the
dispute of Korach and his congregation."
An explanation is needed for the words,
"A dispute which is for the sake of
Heaven will endure". How could it
endure? It is impossible to maintain the
positions of both, those who prohibit
and those who permit!

It seems to me that in the dispute of
Shammai and Hillel, when one of them
ruled that the law should be thus, the
other did not disagree out of hatred or
strife, G-d forbid, but because in his
mind it seemed that reason truly
dictated the opposite of his friend's
reasoning. He thought that if he
informed the other of his logic, perhaps
his friend would yield to his point of
view, and the matter would be clearly
understood. However, one who disputes
with another person not for the sake of
Heaven but only out of hatred, knowing
with certainty that his words will not be
heeded and that the other will not yield
to his point of view, will still dispute
with him. His goal is only to provoke,
and not to clarify the truth.

Thus it was for Korach, who also knew
that his words would not be heard. All
Israel had accepted upon themselves
Moshe and Aharon as leader and king,
for they had taken the nation out of
Egypt and they were the ones who had
spoken to Pharaoh. How could this lot
be overturned, such that he [Korach]
would become king, and Moshe and
Aharon laymen? Certainly, his entire
dispute was for hatred, and it was not
that he thought they would yield to him.

This is the sage's intention in saying,
"Every dispute which is for the sake of
Heaven will endure," meaning that each
party intends for his words to be
upheld, thinking that his reasoning is
true and will endure. However, a
dispute which is not for the sake of
Heaven, but only a function of strife and
contention, will not endure in the end –
meaning, one's intent is not for his
position to endure. Even when he knows
with certainty that his words will not be
upheld, still he disputes, for his goal is
only to provoke, like the dispute of
Korach and his congregation.
Torah and Translation
An Enduring Debate
Rabbi Yehudah Assad
Divrei Mahrya, Korach
Translated by Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
Rabbi Yehudah Assad
Rabbi Baruch Weintraub
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Rabbi Yehudah Assad was born in
Assod, Hungary, in 1794. His father, a
tailor, passed away when young
Yehudah was only ten years old. His
mother, who wanted to ensure that her
son would have a respectful occupation,
sent him to a yeshiva in order for
training as a shochet (ritual slaughterer).
The Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Falk Bichler,
recognized his potential, took him into
his own home and looked after his
learning. Later, he sent Rabbi Yehudah
to Rabbi Mordechai Benet's yeshiva in
Nikolsburg, in what is today the Czech
Republic. (At that time, the Hungarian,
Czech, Romanian and other nations in
central Europe were all united under the
Austro-Hungarian Empire.)

Rabbi Benet gave Rabbi Yehudah a
teaching position in the yeshiva, to the
dismay of some of the older students.
The latter tried to speak against him to
Rabbi Benet, 'accusing' the young rabbi
of studying kabbalah, but Rabbi Benet
stood firm in his new student's defense.

Following his marriage, Rabbi Assad
became a community Rabbi. After
serving in this position in a few relatively
small communities, in 1853 he became
the Rabbi of Szerdahely, Romania, and
established there a large yeshiva. He
remained in this position until his
passing, on Sivan 23, 5626 (1866). His
yahrtzeit is observed this Shabbat.

Rabbi Assad, together with the older
Chatam Sofer, was known as a fierce
opponent of the Hungarian Reformists.
In 1864, despite age and frailty, he
personally participated in an Orthodox
delegation to Franz Joseph, the Emperor,
in order to halt the Reformist plans to
open a modern academy for the training
of their rabbis.

Rabbi Assad saw proper Torah education
as a most necessary step for the thriving
continuity of a living Jewish community.
In his contracts as a Rabbi, he was less
interested in stipulating his own salary,
but he insisted that the community
sustain a Beit Midrash; at one point,
when displeased with the numbers of
students he had, he went to the Chatam
Sofer for his blessing. This was realized,
and by his passing Rabbi Assad's
yeshiva had grown to about 150

תובא יקרפב ( ה קרפ ' י הנשמ " ז " :) לכ
םייקתהל הפוס םימש םשל איהש תקולחמ
םייקתהל הפוס ןיא םימש םשל הניאשו .
םי מש םשל אי הש תקו לחמ י הו זי א -
ללהו יאמש תקולחמ , םימש םשל הניאשו -
ותדע לכו חרק תקולחמ וז ". רואיב ךירצו
םירבדה שוריפב " םשל איהש תקולחמ
םייקתהל הפוס םימש " - הפוס ךייש ךיא
םייקתהל , ירבד ומייקתיש רשפא יא אה
םהינש , ריתמה ירבד ןיבו רסואה ירבד ןיב ?

ללהו יאמש תקולחמב הנהד יל הארנו
ינשה אב אל ךכ ןידהש דחאה קספשכ
סח תקולחמ וא האנש ינפמ וילע קולחל
הלילחו , ורבס הארנ היה ותעדבש ינפמ קר
אמש בשוח היהו ורבח תרבסמ ךפיה תמאל
ו ירבדל הדוי ותרבס ורבחל עידוי םא
וירוב לע רבדה ררבתיו . לע קלוחש ימ לבא
האנש ינפמ קר םימש םשל אלש ורבח , ףא
םיעמשנ וירבד ויהי אלש יאדוב עדויש יפ לע
וירבדל ורבח הדוי אלו , קלוח ןכ יפ לע ףא
וילע , ררבל אלו רטנקל אלא ותנווכ ןיאש
תמאה .

ויהי אלש עדי אוה םגש חרק יבג היה ןכו
םיעמשנ וירבד ; ולבק לארשי לכ ירהש
םהש ךלמו ברל ןרהאו השמ תא םהילע
םירבדמה ויה םהו םירצממ םתוא ואיצוה
הערפ לא , לרוגה ךפהתיש רשפא ךיא ןכ םאו
םיטוידה ןרהאו השמו ךלמ אוה היהיש ?
האנש ינפמ קר היה ותקלחמ לכש יאדו אלא
ול ודויש בשחש אלו .

אנתה תנווכ וזו " םשל איהש תקולחמ לכ
םייקתהל הפוס םימש " , לכ תנווכ רמולכ
ו תעדבו ו י רבד ו מי י קתי ש דחאו דחא
םייקתהל הפוסו תיתימא ותרבסש ; לבא
ביר ךרדב אלא םימש םשל אלש תקולחמ
םייקתהל הפוס ןיא הצמו , ןיא רמול הצור
עדוי וליפאש ףוסב וירבד ומייקתיש ותנווכ
אוה םוקמ לכמ וירבד ומייקתי אלש יאדו
רטנקל אלא ו תנ וו כ ן יאש קלוח , ן ו גכ
ותדעו חרק תקולחמ .
killing him, before fleeing the scene. Over 70,000 people
attended Arlosoroff’s funeral, the largest funeral during the
British Mandate in Palestine.

The Mapai party accused the Revisionists of murdering
Arlosoroff, since they strongly disagreed with his policies and
specifically his recent trip to Europe. Avraham Stavsky and
Zeev Rosenblatt, two members of the Revisionist party, were
tried for murder, but they were acquitted due to lack of
evidence. Despite their acquittal, the Mapai party still believed
the Revisionists were responsible for the murder, creating an
even larger rift between the two political parties.

In 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin commissioned a
group to once again investigate the murder. After a thorough
investigation, no new clues were found and until this day the
identity of Haim Arlosoroff's assassin remains a mystery.

The 23rd of Sivan is Shabbat

In the 1930’s, the Zionist movement in Israel was led by two
political parties: the Revisionists representing the right-wing
Nationalists and the Mapai (Workers’ Party) representing the
left-wing Socialists. Haim Arlosoroff was an important
political figure who helped create the Mapai party and
subsequently served as a leader in the party.

In the spring of 1933, Arlosoroff travelled to Europe to meet
with Nazi leaders to negotiate the release of German Jews
and their property. His trip was unsuccessful. Further, the
Revisionist party was furious that Arlosoroff had engaged in
direct discussions with Nazi leaders.

On June 16, 1933 (23 Sivan, 5693), shortly after Arlosoroff’s
return from Europe, he and his wife took a stroll on a Tel
Aviv beach. They noticed two suspicious men following
them, and tried to evade the men. The two men eventually
accosted the Arlosoroffs, and one of the men shot Arlosoroff,
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We would like to thank koshertube.com for filming our shiurim!
Highlights for June 21 – June 27 / 23 Sivan — 29 Sivan
Time Speaker Topic Location Special Notes
Before minchah R’ Mordechai Torczyner Daf Yomi BAYT
Before minchah R’ Adam Frieberg TBD Shaarei Tefillah
After minchah R’ Mordechai Torczyner
Gemara Avodah Zarah:
Chalav Yisrael
8:45 AM R’ Josh Gutenberg Contemporary Halachah: BAYT
9:15 AM R’ Shalom Krell Kuzari Zichron Yisroel With light breakfast
10:30 AM to
11:45 AM
R’ Mordechai Torczyner
Jonny Lipczer
Special Midreshet Yom Rishon
for Naftali, Gilad and Eyal
Bnai Torah For women only
7:30 PM R’ Baruch Weintraub
“Eilu v’Eilu”: Can Harmony Be Achieved?
On-line shiur in Hebrew: http://www.torontotorah.com/online
6 AM & 8:20 AM R’ Josh Gutenberg Daf Yomi BAYT
10:15 AM R’ Mordechai Torczyner Chabura: Times of Davening Yeshivat Or Chaim University students
7:45 PM R’ Shlomo Gemara The Prophets of Israel: Yoel Bnai Torah Final Session / Siyum
8:00 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner Medical Halachah: Shabbat Shaarei Shomayim Final Session
1:30 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner Talmud Yerushalmi: Sheviit Yeshivat Or Chaim New! For men.
8:30 PM R’ Adam Frieberg Laws of Shabbat Shaarei Tefillah
10:00 AM R’ Mordechai Torczyner Origins of Prayer, Week 1 Yeshivat Or Chaim
1:30 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner
Book of Yehoshua:
Chapter 5 - The Malach
57 Heatherton Way For women only
7:30 PM R’ Mordechai Torczyner Business Ethics: Lending Yeshivat Or Chaim
10:15 AM R’ Aaron Greenberg Laws of Shabbat Yeshivat Or Chaim University students
10:30 AM R’ Mordechai Torczyner Contemporary Halachah Yeshivat Or Chaim Advanced
This Week in Israeli History: 23 Sivan, 1933 - Arlosoroff Assassinated Rabbi Josh Gutenberg

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