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Divrei Yoel Parashas Korach


1. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parasha Korach, p. 15) explains that Korach was, in fact, a great tzaddik and servant of Hashem. Korach was a ba'al ruach hakodesh, and saw with this supernatural sight that in the time of Moshiach, he would be the Kohen Gadol. He attempted to bring the world to the point of Moshiach's arrival before the proper time, and herein he stumbled. Although he was well-intentioned and wanted to bring about Moshiach and the rectification of the world that will occur with his coming, he fell since he went about this the wrong way, and improperly attempted to hasten the final redemption.

We must all learn a lesson from this. Korach was one of the greatest men of his generation, equal to Moshe and Aharon combined, yet he fell from his great height through his error in attempting to force Moshiach to come before the proper time. This path has been travelled by many, many people, with the result always being failure. We must take a lesson from the failed attempts to force the coming of Moshiach, and understand that the only way to bring Mashiach is to do teshuvah and perform the mitzvos as they were commanded. Beyond this, the final redemption is a matter that is exclusively in the Hands of Hashem, and it is not our place to attempt to interfere.

2. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Korach, p. 13) cites the Gemara (Meseches Kerisos 6b) wherein R' Shimon Chasidah famously teaches that any fast day that does not include the sinners of Yisrael is not a true fast day. Along these lines, the Rebbe makes reference to the statement made before Kol Nidrei that we grant permission to daven together with the sinners. The Rebbe asks: about what type of sinner are we speaking? We cannot mean the heretics, since they have excluded themselves from the community of Klal Yisrael. Rather, we must be referring to Jews who sinned in other ways and have not yet done teshuvah.

One of the points we can derive from this section of Divrei Yoel is the severity of the sin of heresy. One who commits any other aveira is, at least, still considered part of the congregation, but heretics are not granted this status. Let us take a lesson from this and guard ourselves exceedingly from all traces of heresy.

Understanding the severity of the sin of heresy, we can come to a clearer understanding of the great severity of joining together with the Zionists and their heretical government. The very essence of the Zionist government is heresy since it is forbidden to have independent Jewish rule in Eretz Yisrael today. Sovereign Jewish rule in Eretz Yisrael is prohibited under the oathes sworn by the Jewish People to Hashem. As the Rebbe explains in Vayoel Moshe, violation of these oath is tountamount to heresy. This evil government remains a regime of heresy no matter how many religious Jews involve themselves in it. It simply makes no difference that Charedi Jews are elected to the Knesset, and even if this government would be run by the greatest Tzaddik in the world, it would still be forbidden. The plain truth is that having religious Jews in the Knesset is nothing but a chilul Hashem. These people claim to be stemming the tide of evil, but the truth is, that they constantly cut deals and work together with religious-hating atheists, digging themselves and the other ehrliche Yidden further into the rut.

Let us gather our strength and separate ourselves from the heretics. We will not be able to change the heretics, and so instead, we must at least guard ourselves against the poison of heresy. This is the way ehrliche Yidden have always dealt with the heretics. Let us learn from the previous generations, who were greater and more knowledgable than we are, and insulate ourselves before we are affected by the terrible winds of heresy, R"L.

3. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Korach, p. 43) asks a compelling question regarding the incident of Korach. If only Korach sinned, why did Hashem threaten to punish the whole nation? (Baimdbar 16:21) The Rebbe answers that, in truth, Korach had much power to influence both the great people of Klal Yisroel -- the heads of the Sanhedrin -- as well as the masses. This caused a great prosecution in heaven and the middas hadin was given reign. As a result, the entire congregation of the Jewish People could have been punished, R"L.

We see clearly from the incident of Korach's rebellion the power of a bad leader. An evil leader is able to draw from demonic forces to attract myriads of followers, wiping from their minds, chas v'shalom, the pure ideals of our holy Torah. A leader has the power to influence all who follow him -- either for the good or for the bad. The Satmar Rebbe in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Terumah, p.191) brings in the name of the Targum Yonasan that when the Torah states that after the Jewish People worshipped the golden calf and ate around it, the people "arose to revel," the meaning is that they committed the three cardinal sins of idolatry, immorality, and murder. The Rebbe explains that it was possible for the Jewish People to sink to such a low spiritual level because the Satan infused himself into the eigel, and by accepting the eigel upon themselves as a leader, they accepted a satanical leader, and this caused them to sink into the lowest depths of sin. This is the power of a satanical leader.

On the reverse side, if we accept upon ourselves Torah-true leaders, we will be able to rise to great spiritual heights through this acceptance. We must learn to distinguish between the Talmidei Chachamim and Tzaddikim, and, l'havdil, the evil Zionist leaders. Let us commit now to accept the Torah and the Tzaddikim, and at the same time, to distance ourselves from the evil heretics.

4. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Korach, p. 56) explains that at one time, true prophets led and guided the Jewish People. After a time, however, false "prophets" of the idol Ba'al arose and confused the people, and from then on, it has not been prophets that lead the Jewish People, but rather the Talmidei Chachamim without prophesy. The Rebbe explains that the reign of Talmidei Chachamim, which is based solely on their Torah knowledge, is what has sustained us throughout the generations, and the continuity of such a social system is the only way to ensure spiritual sustainment for the future Jewish generations.

This is, unfortunately, a fact that is often not understood by many people. The true Jewish leaders are the Tzaddikim and Talmidei Chachamim who guide us on the proper path. We must look only toward them for guidance. We must not look towards the foolish politicians for guidance, for they seek only good for themselves, and in truth, have no comprehension of the Torah, which is the only doctrine which defines us as Jewish. Obviously, those who are expert in our Holy Torah are the only ones fit to lead us as a nation.

5. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Korach, p. 29) explains that when Moshe rebuked Korach and his followers, for taking a "great" portion, (“it is too great for you, sons of Levi”) more than was their share (see Rashi), he was referring to Korach's efforts to bring Moshiach before the proper time (for the day of Moshiach's arrival is also called "great"). This shared phraseology of the word "great" indicates to us that Moshe was rebuking Korach for improperly attempting to hasten the final redemption.

In the end, after Korach and his followers were swallowed by the ground, they finally admitted to Moshe's truth and acknowledged that they had been incorrect in their warped arguments and wicked actions. We must follow only the Torah of truth, and we must not deviate from the straight path, as brought down to us by our parents and teachers.