To Save Those You Love

June 13, 2018 at 12:48 AM , , ,

“…“Speak to the congregation saying, ‘Withdraw from the dwelling of Korach, Dasan and Aviram.’” And Moshe arose and went to Dasan and Aviram and the elders of Israel followed him…” – Bamidbar 16:24-25

דַּבֵּר אֶל הָעֵדָה לֵאמֹר הֵעָלוּ מִסָּבִיב לְמִשְׁכַּן קֹרַח דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם: וַיָּקָם מֹשֶׁה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרָיו זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל – במדבר טז, כד-כה

The fate of Dasan and Aviram was sealed. Moshe had tried to warn them to abandon their belligerence but they shunned Moshe’s messengers. Now, G-d instructed Moshe to instruct all of Bnei Yisrael to distance themselves from the dwellings of Dasan and Aviram, lest they be punished along with them. Moshe had no choice but to immediately oblige.


The Torah notes, however, that when Moshe went to warn the people gathered near Dasan and Aviram to leave, he did not simply go. Rather, he “arose” and went, with an entourage of the elders of Bnei Yisrael; meaning, he made a stately and regal appearance. For although he could not engage Dasan and Aviram directly at this point, he hoped that his impressive presence alone might arouse their respect for him and save them from their impending doom. As Rashi comments on the words, “And Moshe arose”: “He thought that perhaps they would act toward him in deference, but they did not.”

Moshe’s conduct teaches us the true meaning and extent of the mitzvah to love your fellow Jew. Even after G-d forbade anyone from approaching Dasan and Aviram to caution them to repent, Moshe still dreamed and conspired of ways to try to save them.

If this was Moshe’s approach toward rebels against G-d, then we are certainly obligated to go to any length save our fellow Jews whose only crime is that they were never given a proper Jewish education. Determinedly and creatively, we must seek out every possible means to touch the heart of every Jew and draw him nearer to the true Source of Life.

—Likutei Sichos vol. 28, pp. 101-103


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