In this week's Parsha, we are introduced to a Levite named Korach, who challenges Moses’ leadership and the Priesthood of Aaron. Korach, along with Datan, Abiram, and 250 other members of the community came together and offered a ketoret (incense) to G-d in a bid to prove their worthiness to be Priests. As a result of this, the earth opens up and swallows them. A fire also consumes the ketoret offerings.
A plague is brought upon the Israelites, and is stopped by Aaron’s very own ketoret offering. Aaron’s staff blossoms and brings forth almonds, which helps prove that his Priesthood is divinely ordained.
Like Moses, Korach and the other men wanted to be leaders of the Jewish People. Instead of using this as his real desire, Korach’s argument revolved around the idea that Moses was unable to do the job properly.
We often find ourselves in the same situations as Korach, disguising our real reasons for wanting things. Instead of taking ownership, we find ourselves finding other excuses or other reasons why. In Korach’s case, his whole motivation was to bring down Moses.
It is easy to highlight problems with what others are doing and use these as excuses. One cannot grow as a person if we don't stand up for what we believe in, as well as reflecting on how we as individuals can improve.
The next time we want to do something, it's important to be truthful to ourselves and to others on why we would like to do so. And whilst it is important to be ambitious, it's important to be ambitious for the right things and for the right reasons.
Benjamin, Grade 10