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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach



“…you are taking too much for yourselves (rav lachem), you sons of Levi!” (Numbers 16:7)

According to the Talmud (Sotah 13b) Moses was punished for saying these words and they came back to haunt him. When he was praying to be able to enter the Holy Land, G-d answered him with the same expression and said “rav lach” – you are taking too much! (Deuteronomy 3:26).

It would seem, however, that while Moses’ request was justifiable – the demand of Korach and his followers for higher spiritual status was out of line.

However, according to Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, even if someone’s spiritual ambition is inappropriate – they should never be derided or put down for their striving. In truth, no one should ever be satisfied with their spiritual level and we should always be yearning for more. Instead of chastising Korach for his ambition, Moses should have sought ways to channel it in healthier and more appropriate directions. But for putting Korach down, Moses was reprimanded by God.

.By Rabbi Michael Skobac

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