22 June 2009

Gimmel Tamuz 5769 - June 25

The Rebbe

Gimmel Tamuz is Wednesday night, Thursday. All week there will be trips to the Ohel for everyone to visit. The buses leave from in front of 770.

Rabbi YY Jacobson 
has prepared a week of special classes:

Monday, 22 June at 8:30 PM

"The Soul & Song of Our People: A Live Evening of Music & Inspiration"

Join 50,000 Jews In the Song & Soul of Our People, An Evening of Music & Inspiration Commemorating the 15th Yartzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Wednesday, 24 June 9:30 PM 

"Special Gimmel Tamuz Class"

And the Weekly Essay on Korach:

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe and His Opponents"

The Mutiny
The narrative is dramatic, tragic and unmistakably Jewish. Four individuals -- Korach, Dathan, Abiram and On -- lead a mass mutiny against Moses, the leader of the Jewish people, and his brother Aaron, the High Priest. What else is new, right?

"They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron," the portion of Korach records, "and said to them, 'It is too much for you! The entire community is holy, and G-d dwells among them, why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of G-d?"

Moses responds to Korach in brief and moving words. He attempts to persuade Korach, who happens to be his first cousin, that Aaron was appointed to his position by the instructions of G-d. Nepotism was not a factor.

"Then Moses sent word to summon Dathan and Abiram," the Bible records (1). "But they said, 'We won't come! Is it not enough that you [Moses] brought us out of [Egypt], a land flowing with milk and honey, just to kill us in the desert?! What right do you have to set yourselves above us? Even if you would gouge out our eyes, we shall not come!'"

These are bald and vicious words. Clearly, Dathan and Abiram won't surrender. They are determined, together with Korach, to overthrow Moses and Aaron.

As usual in the wilderness, G-d intervenes. He decides to wipe out the rebels who are attempting to invalidate Moses as the leader of the Jewish people and the communicator of G-d's law. G-d instructs Moses to announce to the entire community, "Withdraw from the pavilion of Korach, Dathan and Abiram." A tragic fate awaits them.

But before Moses moves to execute G-d's instruction, the Bible inserts an unexpected scene in the narrative:

"Moses stood up and went over to Dathan and Abiram."

Why? Didn't G-d instruct him to ensure that everybody withdraw from their dwellings? What exactly did Moses do when he approached them?

The Bible leaves the answer to our imagination, but the message is clear. Moses was attempting, one last time, to persuade Dathan and Abiram to terminate their crusade against him. He made one final attempt save their lives. It was to no avail. They would not budge.

The Talmud, commenting on this scene, states: "From here we learn that one should never keep up a quarrel."

Yet here is the simple question: Must we derive this noble injunction from this incident? Hasn't the Bible already stated explicitly, "You shall not hate your brother in your heart... You shall love your fellow as yourself." Does this straightforward commandment not teach us already that we ought never to maintain a quarrel or perpetuate a dispute, but must always attempt to eradicate the animosity and create love? Why would the Talmudic rabbis feel compelled to derive this injunction from the particular verse, "Moses stood up and went over to Dathan and Abiram"?

For the full shiur 
and to participate in this week's special commemorative classes, 
please join us at The Yeshiva

If you want to send a letter to The Rebbe, 
you can fill out a form here 

A beautiful video:  Return of the Souls - Yechidus

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