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Numbers 16:3 – Check you Kindness Meter

30 Sivan 5783 – 19 June 2023

“…Why do you raise yourselves above the congregation of the L-rd?

According to R’ Simcha Bunim of P’shischa, people oppose righteous individuals, they will often impugn their character and accuse them of having traits that are actually the opposite of their true character.

How ridiculous it was to accuse Moses of being someone who craves honor and glory. The Torah tells us that he never wanted to be a leader and that he strongly resisted God’s appointment (Exodus 4:10-16). G-d Himself testified that Moses was the most humble human being who would ever live (Numbers 12:3).

The Talmud provides a clue to help explain the genesis of Korach’s accusation. “One who seeks to disqualify someone is actually projecting their own defect upon that person” (Kiddushin 70a). Or, as the popular expression goes: When you point your finger at someone, you’ve got three pointing back at yourself! Korach accused Moses of seeking honor because he himself was craved honor and recognition.

Along these lines the Baal Shem Tov elucidated the verse in Psalms (121:5) that “Hashem is your shadow.” Just as a person’s shadow follows their movements, G-d structures the world so that everything we experience in life acts as a mirror reflecting ourselves back. If we see someone acting dishonestly – we need to reflect on how scrupulously truthful we are. If we witness someone acting cruelly, it’s time to check our kindness meter.


By Rabbi Michael Skobac

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