Korach’s Positive #Import
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By Eli Touger
Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VIII, p. 114ff;
Vol. XVIII, p. 187ff;
Sefer HaSichos 5748, p. 499ff;
Sefer HaSichos 5750, p. 526ff
What Korach #Really Wanted
The name of this week’s #Torah reading, Korach, #provokes an obvious question: It is written:1 “The name of the #wicked shall #rot,” and on this basis, our Sages #state2 that a person should not be named after a #wicked man. Why then is an entire Torah reading named Korach? For with this title, Korach’s identity is perpetuated forever, since the Torah is #eternal.
Among the #explanations given is that Korach’s desire was, in #essence, positive. Korach wanted to be a #HighPriest, to experience the absolute closeness with G-d that results from entry into the #HolyofHolies. Indeed, when - #Moshe responded to Korach, he did not tell him this objective was unworthy. On the contrary, as #Rashi relates, 3 Moshe said he shared the same #desire; he also wanted to be a High Priest.
Moreover, at Mount Sinai, G-d told the Jewish people that they are “a kingdom of priests,”4 and our Rabbis interpret5 this to refer to the level attained by a High Priest. Every Jew has this potential within him.6
As such, Korach’s complaint was based on an essential truth:7 “The entire - #congregationis holy; G-d is in their midst.” Every member of the Jewish people has a spark of holiness. Korach and his followers wanted this #sparkto flourish. Indeed, they were willing to #riskeverything, even their lives, for such a heightened -spiritual #experience. Therefore, even after Moshe told them that bringing the #incenseoffering would mean their deaths, they did not hesitate.8