Korah – Thoughts on the Perasha

In this week’s Perashat Korah, we learn the difference between a selfless leader and a selfish one. A selfless leader is the one that either finds himself in that position or was chosen for it even at times against his own inclination. He is the leader that cares about his people and fights for them, he represents their interest and he puts the interest of the people before his. On the other hand, a selfish leader is the one who seeks the position, motivated by self-interest, who cares about his own welfare and benefits, who fights for himself before the interest of the people and who ultimately betrays his people for his own self-aggrandizement.  The example of the first type was Moshe, of the second was Korah, who had self-serving interests and was motivated by greed and jealousy.  Korah complained against Moshe and Aharon, upset that they were chosen to lead Bene Yisrael. He gathers 250 people to join him in rebelling against the leadership of Moshe and Aharon. His interests did not lie within the 250-people’s interest; his interest was his only desire to rule. Of course, his plans and desires were thwarted by G-d Himself as the earth opened and swallowed up all those that rebelled.

How similar is the world in which we live in. We have selfless leaders who see that their people flourish and succeed in life and then we have selfish leaders who usurp the power, abuse their citizens, violate their human rights, have no respect for human life, and place their own self-interest above the welfare of their people and citizens. They unfortunately, make the majority of world leaders today and as such they create an environment where power and greed is respected, criminality and violence is justified and justice and truth is overlooked. The minority of selfless leaders and righteous people are sidestepped, ignored and out rightly, unjustly accused of the crimes of the selfish leaders; and the world turns a blind eye.

We are not privy to the outright revelation and miracles of Hashem.  It is our responsibility to navigate through life in the direction of Hashem, with truth, justice and respect for human life.

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