Same, Same but Different

June 11, 2018 at 2:11 AM , , ,

“…In the morning, G-d will make known who is His…” – Bamidbar 16:5

בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה’ אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ – במדבר טז, ה

Korach and his followers took issue with Moshe’s authority over Bnei Yisrael. They acknowledged that G-d communicated the Torah directly to Moshe, and that Moshe was therefore superior to the rest of the nation in his understanding of G-d’s wisdom. But in practical observance of the mitzvos—a Jew’s primary charge in this world—everyone is equally capable, Korach argued rightfully. If so, what What makes Moshe so much greater than “the entire congregation, whom are all holy”?

The answer to Korach’s question is hinted in Moshe’s response, “In the morning, G-d will make known who is His.” With these words the Torah hints that even in the performance of a mitzvah there could be differences as vast as night and day.

Same but Different
A mitzvah is comparable to a diamond. If a diamond is dirty, the filth on its surface obscures light instead of brilliantly dispersing it. The same is true of mitzvos. The Halacha states that when a wicked person observes mitzvos, he temporarily draws additional energy to the negative forces of kelipah that animate and dominate his life at that time (see Hilchos Talmud Torah4:3). Likewise, if observance of a mitzvah makes a person proud and conceited,his ego obscures and obstructs the light of G-d’s infinite presence from being revealed. (When a person repents, his previous mitzvos are “reclaimed” by the forces of holiness.) Moshe’s performance of the mitzvos, however, was not clouded by any ego or insincerity. Therefore, “In the morning, G-d will make known”—through Moshe’s mitzvos, G-d is made known in the world.

True, we are obligated to fulfill the mitzvos regardless of our spiritual state. Yet the home that G-d desires in this world is not only a place where He will “be,” but also where He will be manifest and felt. This was the uniqueness of the mitzvos performed by Moshe, whose spiritual greatness made him superior to the rest of Bnei Yisrael even in the realm of practical mitzvah observance. His mitzvos shone bright like the morning; they refined him and illuminated his life with G-dliness, and thereby brought light to the world around him.

—Likutei Sichos, vol. 4, pp. 1049-1055



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