Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Korach: Morning and Evening

One evening, a man entered a store to purchase fabric for his wife. The storekeeper turned on all the lights for the customer. "What kind of fabric are you looking for? High quality, durable material, or just simple cloth?"

The man responded, "Oh, it's all the same. There's no real difference between one fabric and the next. I'll take whatever I feel like."

"And since it's all the same," the customer added, "there should one price for everything."

The storekeeper was taken aback when he heard this last comment. He walked over to the switch and shut off the overhead lights.

"Why did you do that?" asked the startled customer.

"You claim there is no good material and poor material. It is all the same, and you'll pay the same price, no matter what. So what do you need the lights on for? I only light up the store so that my customers can distinguish between the different qualities of fabric. But since you insist that it's all the same, you don't care about quality...

Korach's Claim

Korach announced, "The entire nation is holy."  He claimed that there is no difference between great and small, Kohanim and Israelites.  God is with all people equally.

Therefore Moses warned Korach, "Morning will come, and God will inform who is close to Him." There are differences between people. Some are wise, and some are foolish. Some are great, and some are small-minded.

As long as God separates between morning and evening in this world, there is a distinction between light and dark, holy and profane, wisdom and foolishness.

(Adapted from Mishlei Ya'akov, pp. 347-348)