Mazal Tov to Raphael & Rivki Leibler and families on the birth of their daughter.

Times: Shabbat starts on Friday at 4:49 pm and ends on Saturday night at 5:50 pm. The weekly Torah portion is Korach.

Mincha in the CBD: We hope to resume Mincha as people return to work. The Thursday mincha at L1 28/101 Collins is still in recess. Join the the WhatsApp group to stay across the details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur continues on Wednesday at 1:10pm (note new time)via zoom. BYO lunch. We will switch to combined zoom/in-person based on demand. Details here.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Yehuda Gottlieb. “Man plans and G-d laughs”

Moshe warns Korach prior to his death that if he was not chosen by Hashem then he will die a spectacular and supernatural death. Moshe describes this process to Korach in great detail over several elaborate pesukim. The Midrash quoted by Rashi states that Korach was led astray as he saw that one of his descendants would be Shmuel Hanavi. He thought to himself that since his descenant would be so worthy, then he too must be the Tzadik and chosen by Hashem.

The Sefas Emes asks why did Korach rebel in his day because of a future connection between he and Shmuel. What is the metaphysical connection between a person and their descendants? He says that whatever sins and failures that you have or develop in your life are able to be passed on to your offspring. So Korah thought if he was indeed a sinner, there is no way his descendants could possess the remnants of his spiritual impurity and still become a prophet. So what actually went wrong for Korach?

The sefas emes says the above is all true under normal circumstances – i.e. the way Hashem normally forms the world. However, Hashem can also change the natural world order. Korach’s flaw was that he accepted the natural reality, and didn’t foresee that Hashem could upend the world and change it overnight.  Korach did not appreciate that Hashem is capable of making “new creations”, such as Korach’s pit – i.e. things that come out of nowhere that can change the metaphysical world and upend reality. 

One of the positive things we have learned through COVID-19 is that the world can change in such a short period of time and new creations (or strains as the case may be) can shift our view on the natural world order in an instant. We have been accustomed to not being too reliant on our best laid plans but rather to put our hope and prayers to Hashem as the ultimate master of the world.


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