WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING
Torah Portion: Parashat Korach ("Korah")
Shabbat: June 24, 2023 | Tammuz 5, 5783
Torah: Numbers 16:1-18:32
Prophets: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22
New Covenant: Romans 13:1-7
TODAY’S PRAYER OF AGREEMENT
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. Deut. 6:4-5
Courage and Humility | Further Thoughts on Parashat Korach
When Korah asked, "Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD," Moses "heard it and fell on his face" (Num. 16:4). The sages comment that Moses' first thought was that perhaps Korah was sent by God to deliver a rebuke - that Moses was indeed guilty of vanity and therefore he immediately fell on his face and began searching his own heart... In the face of criticism, Moses did not seek to defend or justify himself but instead looked within himself to ensure that his heart and his way was right before the LORD...
How do you react when you are criticized or rebuked? Do you seek to defend yourself or blame the other person for the same failure? The moment you sense pride taking hold of your heart, stop and turn to God. Even if you must turn 70 x 7 times, there is hope, since even the desire of "being willing to do God's will" refines the heart. It is far better to be repeatedly turning to God in brokenness than it is to live under the pretense that you have no need for ongoing deliverance. It has been wisely said that "you cannot widen the narrow way of surrender." Religious leaders are perhaps most at risk here, since often enough they fool themselves into believing that passionate commitment requires they know everything about God, or that they are walking in joy and victory, when the truth is that they are often lonely, hurting, and sometimes unsure of themselves...
I wonder why people are afraid to admit they don't know something, or that they are confused, or sad, or troubled, etc. Any religion that demands its adherents to always be "up" and is simply untrue to the human condition. Reread the Psalms or consider the dark walk of faith that many of our forefathers and foremothers underwent. God wants all our hearts, chaverim, not just the parts we think he wants.... "By the grace of God I am what I am" (χάριτι δὲ θεοῦ εἰμι ὅ εἰμι). "Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are" (Kierkegaard). "O LORD our God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference..." Amen...