Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Binyamin Kahane- Parshat Korach
DON'T CONFUSE US WITH THE FACTS!!!
In the introduction to Eim HaBanim Smeicha, a book written during the Holocaust by one of Hungary's great rabbis on the obligation to live in Eretz Yisrael, the following disclaimer appears:
"My words in this book are intended only for those who wish to know the truth the way it really is; they will lend an attentive ear to the words written here I am not declaring, 'Accept my views'...Rather, whoever would like to refute what I say, let him refute it, but only with direct proofs from the words of our Rabbis like I have done. Only then will I debate him, with the help of G-d."
Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, the author of this book, was caught in a strange situation. His efforts to persuade religious (!) Jews to move to Eretz Yisrael met with failure. His lack of success was not due to a shortage of proofs or convincing logic, but rather to the fact that people simply did not want to confront his arguments.
That is why he prefaced his book by saying that his words are intended "only for those who wish to know the truth." We generally assume that everyone wants to know the truth -- the only argument being what the truth is. However, this is not so. There are some people -- and many times they comprise the majority -- who do not want to be convinced.
Korach was one such person. Our Rabbis state, "Korach was prudent. What, then, caused his folly?" The famous answer is that "his eye deceived him" (see Rashi to Numbers 16:7). However, the Midrash gives another answer. It states, "You do not find Korach answering any of the arguments Moses presented to him. This is because he was clever in his wickedness. He said, 'I know Moses is a wise man, and if I debate him I will lose and be forced to agree with him. Better that I not talk to him.' When Moses saw there was no point, he separated himself from him" (Tanchuma, Korach 6).
This Midrash is both amazing and shocking. Korach knew that if he talked to Moses, he would soon realize the error of his ways. He therefore avoided speaking to him. His need for honor burned in him so strongly that his greatest fear was being convinced he was wrong since it would force him to abandon his dream of taking power.
One may think that such an attitude is unusual and only characteristic of the extremely wicked. However, deeper reflection will reveal that it is actually very common. Very often a man sins and is well aware that his behavior is wrong, het he represses this knowledge so that it won't interfere with his everyday life. He knows that if he listens to someone -- even to his own inner voice -- he is liable to be convinced. Therefore, he clogs all his senses and continues on his merry way.
This is the sickness our Rabbis referred to when they said that "truth will be absent" in the days preceding the Messiah's arrival (Sotah 49b). It is important to realize that they did NOT mean that the truth ITSELF will be absent. G-d forbid!!! The truth will EXIST and will be ACCESSIBLE. What the Rabbis meant is that we will create a world WITHOUT TRUTH -- by ignoring it, concealing it, mocking it, and banning it from being heard by the masses....
Never before in our history was there a period of time when the truth was so obvious and necessary, yet at the same time so absent. This is because our leaders are terrified of it. It is obvious to them that if the truth were heard, it would conquer the hearts of the masses. Those in power, therefore, exercise all measures necessary to silence the truth. Disqualification, mockery, defamation, harassment, and imprisonment. With these tools, they avoid the painful truth so as not to get "confused by the facts."
"When Moses saw there was no point, he separated himself from him." The moment Moses saw that the problem was not Korach's error but rather his WILL to be in error, he left him alone and let the ground swallow him up.
But people do not always wish to remain in error. Sometimes a person harbors false beliefs and attitudes due to his education and environment but is willing to listen and learn. He has no special interested in remaining mired in falsehood. For such a person, there is hope!
Darka Shel Torah 1998
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!
Please remember to pray for Rabbi Meir Kahane hy”d and Rebbitzen Libby Kahane’s daughter, Tzipora Feige bat Liba. She had a stroke and is in a coma and on a respirator. Please pray for a complete recovery and pray with all your heart.
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