Parshas Korach-Excerpts from Likkutei Torah

Selected Excerpts from Likkutei Torah Parshas Korach

 

Explorations of the Excerpts:

1.      What change transpired to our reward in Gan Eden due to the sin of Adam?

2.      What is the meaning of the Mitzvah of Tiztzis, the garment, the strings, the Techeiles, and what does it accomplish?

3.      How does Hashem judge each person according to his current spiritual level?

4.      Why was Korach jealous of Ahron’s beard?

 

 

  1. The difference between Gan Eden before and after the sin of knowledge:[1]

Adam Harishon was originally created in Gan Eden. Gan Eden is the area one receives his reward after his passing. Why then was Adam created in his place of reward, if he was prior to doing the work for which the reward is given? In truth, even Adam Harishon was given a set of tasks to perform while in Gan Eden. The verse states that Hashem placed him there “Leavda Ulishmara/To work it and to guard it.” Chazal state that Leavda means that Adam was given the task to fulfill the 248 positive commands and Leshamra means he was given the task to fulfill the 365 negative commands. [Obviously these Mitzvos contained a different connotation prior to Matan Torah, and the intent is for Adam to fulfill these Mitzvos in their spiritual root, similar to the Avoda of the forefathers.] Now, although Adam was already created in Gan Eden, which is the location of our reward, for Adam this was his natural world in which his Avoda was to take place similar to us being in our world in which our Avoda is to take place, and Hashem designated for him a much higher reward than his current world of Gan Eden. However after the sin, Adam was ousted from Gan Eden and was placed in our world, and now the reward for our Avoda became the Gan Eden that Adam was originally located in, which was his natural world.

 

  1. Atzilus of today will become the Assiya of tomorrow:

Just as the Gan Eden of today used to be the natural world of previous times, and the sin of Knowledge caused a descent of worlds, similarly on the opposite scale, the coming of the redemption will herald a change of status of the spiritual worlds. The world of Atzilus of today will become the world of Assiya of the future, which will then be our natural world, and the world of Atzilus of the future will be of infinitely greater than its current revelations.   

 

  1. Tallis-The garment versus the fringes:[2]

The garment of the Tallis corresponds to the level of Sovev Kol Almin. Just as the Tallis encompasses one’s body, similarly it draws down a Divine light that encompasses the person’s soul, without penetrating into his distinct traits and personality. The fringes on the other hand correspond to the 32 paths of wisdom, which represents the level of Mimalei Kol Almin. The fringes of the Tallis are the sublime level of Saaros/Hairs which draw Elokus from above Seder Hishtalshlus, from the level of Erech Anpin. It is for this reason that it states the Tzitzis are to be “Haknaf Min Knaf”. The term Knaf refers to the garment which is the level of Sovev and the Tzitzis draw down Elokus from this level of Sovev. The fringes are thus called “Min Knaf” “Similar to the Knaf” as they draw down the Elokus of Sovev, which is above Hishtalshlus, into Seder Hishtalshlus in an internal way.

 

  1. The colors of the fringes-White versus Techeiles:[3]

The reason why the Tzitzis are white is because they represent the level of “Rav Chesed”, Chesed that is above Atzilus. The Techeiles of the Tzitzis represents the level of Makifim which blind the eyes of the Kelipa and draw one fear of Heaven. It is the most powerful form of Makifim. This is because this Makif comes from the level of Malchus, and descends to the worlds of Biyah to prevent the nurture of the Kelipos from the G-dliness found in those levels. The spiritual effect of Techeiles assists a person in fulfilling the verse of “Lo Sasuru”, not to stray after one’s heart or eyes.

 

  1. The four sets of strings:[4]

The four sets of Tzitzis found on the four corners represent four distinct spiritual effects. The two sets of Tzitzis found by one’s back represent love and fear of G-d. The left fringe draws down fear of Heaven to one’s soul, while the right fringe draws down love of G-d to one’s soul. The two sets of Tzitzis found by one’s front side are there to draw down the effects of the back Tzitzis into one’s heart. The two back Tzitzis draw down love and fear which is above comprehension while the two front Tzitzis draw down this love and fear into one’s realm of intellect and comprehension.

 

  1. “Do not be adulterous after your eyes”- Hashem judges based on each person’s level:[5]

In the Parsha of Vayomer, the third Parsha of Shema, the verse states “Velo Sasuru Acharei Levavchem Veachareiy Eiyneichem Asher Atem Zonim Achareichem/Do not stray after you heart or eyes of which you perform acts of adultery.” The word Zonim literally comes from the word Zonah, which means a harlot, or one who performs adultery. The verse is teaching us that when one sins, he is considered similar to a married woman who has committed adultery. Just as a married woman is in a relationship with her husband, and breaks the trust and bond of that relationship through adultery, similarly a Jew is in a relationship with Hashem and when he sins he breaks the bond and trust that was shared with Him. A sin substitutes the love of Hashem for the love of the physical and corporeal world similar to a woman who has left her husband’s love and gone astray with the love of another man. Nonetheless, only a Jew that first attained a relationship with Hashem can be truly viewed as a Zonah and adulterer when he sins, as only in such a case he is truly substituting his current relationship with Hashem with that of another. However one who has never merited seeing the light of G-d, and is not found in a relationship with Hashem, cannot be called a Zonah when he sins, as he has never seen the light, and hence substitutes darkness for light. It is therefore understood that the former type of sinner causes a lot more pain to Hashem than the latter, and he must do greater Teshuvah in order to be ready to be reaccepted by Hashem and receive from His Divine light. Now, although in truth every Jew is in a constant relationship with Hashem, even if he is unaware of it, nonetheless one can’t compare the quality of the relationship between one who knows of his relationship and one who does not. Thus the more a Jew internalizes his relationship with Hashem the more he must distance himself from straying from Him in even subtle matters. 

 

  1. Why did Korach argue on Moshe and Ahron and why were the Levim hairless?[6]

In the inauguration process of Korach and the Levim they were commanded to be shaved from head to toe, leaving not one stand of hair on the body. Ahron on the other hand had a long beard. The Zohar states that Korach was jealous of Ahron’s beard. This was not just a mere jealousy of Ahrons facial hair, but represented a jealousy of great spiritual powers that was represented by this hair. The hairs represent a channel for G-dliness which dilutes infinite G-dly levels into small quantities so that the creations can internalize the revelation. Ahron and the Kohanim needed these hairs, as the Kohanim represented the level of Rav Chesed, Chesed of Atzilus, and the hairs were the channels through which the revelation to the Jewish people would be diluted so they could internalize the revelation. The Levim however were from Gevura of Atzilus and did not have a need to dilute their level of Gevura, as Gevura is already contracted. On the contrary, further diluting this level would be damaging and allow the Kelipos to nurture from the holiness, and for this reason the Levim had to be shaved. Thus Korach’s jealousy of Ahrons beard represented jealousy of Ahrons high position of Rav Chesed, which he did not have.  

 

  1. What was Korach’s claim against Ahron?[7]

The entire purpose of the Kohanim was to draw down internal G-dliness into the Jewish people. Korach claimed that in truth it is more important to have a high level of external G-dliness than to have a minute level of internal G-dliness. Hence he stated that a Tallis of Ticheiles does not need Tzitzis, as if the Ticheiles represents such a high level, then why would you need a contracted and minute level of revelation found in the strings of Ticheiles if you already have a full garment of Techeiles, of which the revelation is infinitely greater. The mistake of Korach’s claim was that in today’s times it’s not possible for a Jew to internalize a vast level of G-dliness, and the main purpose of the revelations is for a Jew to internalize it.

 

  1. In the future the Levim will become Kohanim:[8]

The Arizal states that in the future, the Levim will become Kohanim. This is because the Levim contain a higher revealed level than the Kohanim, just as Gevurah contains more strength than Chesed. In the future the Jewish people will be on a level that they can receive from the Gevuros and hence the Levim will become the Kohanim, the ones who channel G-dliness to the Jewish people. The mistake of Korach was that he desired to become like the Kohanim even now, before the redemption, when the Jewish people are not yet ready for such revelation.

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[1] Likkutei Torah 54b

[2] Likkutei Torah Korach “Vayikach Korach” 54b

[3] Likkutei Torah Korach “Vayikach Korach” 54b

[4] Likkutei Torah Korach “Vayikach Korach” page 54a

[5] Likkutei Torah Korach “Vayikach Korach” page 52b

[6] Likkutei Torah 54a

[7] Likkutei Torah 54a

[8] Likkutei Torah 54a

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