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Korach: To Reap Is to Understand

Miriam Aflalo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“In the morning, Hashem will make known who are His.” [Bamidbar 16:5]

“… In the morning,” he [Moshe] said, “G-d [will show that He] knows who is His …” (Bamidbar 16:5).

“In the morning” — This is hinting to the future reward of the tzaddikim.

Today, the world is run in a mode of obscurity, with similar things happening to a tzaddik and to a rasha. Yet, the day will come when the words will be fulfilled: “And you shall distinguish between tzaddik and rasha …” (Malachi 3:18). Chazal comment on this, “There is no comparison between one who reviews a verse 100 times and one who reviews it 101 times.”

In the World to Come, spiritual levels will be recognized with great precision, and even the very subtle difference between reviewing something 100 times and 101 times will be evident. In spiritual matters, every difference matters, even if, according to human perception, it’s considered negligible.

Rav Eliyahu Dushnitzer adds: “In the World to Come, all the actions from Above will be explained, and everyone will see that all that happened was just .

It’s comparable to a person who doesn’t understand the purpose of sowing a field. If he sees a man plowing land, he will think that the man is destroying the soil. On the other hand, when he will see that from one seed many plants sprouted, then he will understand that the plowing and the sowing were essential and that no crop can be produced without them. (Lekach Tov)


A lovely field stretches far into the horizons, dotted with colorful wildflowers. Birds chirp merrily and the perfume of fresh grass fills the air. Suddenly, a terrifying noise! Huge metal teeth fasten onto the soft earth. Clods of soil go swiftly flying, and the birds flee in alarm. The wildflowers are scattered in every direction. Why?! the field tearfully asks the giant, noisy machine. Why destroy a beautiful, flourishing field?! Why turn it into a wilderness of painful, deep-cut furrows?!

Sometimes we’re not able to understand what’s good about a wilted flower, what’s beautiful about overturned dirt. We mourn the multicolored wings that have vanished in a single moment, and we weep over the empty wilderness that the garden has suddenly become.

Rivkah, that wonderful girl, wasn’t accepted to seminary.

But why?! We know how good Rivkah is to her sisters, how beautifully she honors her parents, and how careful she is to dress modestly. Just because she isn’t good at math, English, and grammar, she deserves such a punishment?

And the yeshivah that was closed due to lack of funds. Why? Why destroy a place of Torah learning?

“The master of the fields has sent us,” confidently answer the iron teeth of the plow, ruthlessly wiping out a whole family of thorns that were growing by the wayside, leaving behind them rows of furrows, uncompromisingly straight.

The master of the field wanted this?! But, he loves the soil, every clod of it. Isn’t it his deepest desire that it flourish?

How did such a difficult nisayon become the lot of such a fine family?! we ask, with the perspective of the soil. How can it be that this mother, the tzadeikes, so tzniyusdig and so good-hearted, doesn’t merit to see her son flourishing and blooming in a yeshivah “garden?” To see and to ask, to wonder and to feel pain.

The answer will come in the morning.


Matters of Heavenly Providence are wondrous to the human perspective, because human eyes are unable to see, human vision doesn’t encompass all the generations and doesn’t know all the ramifications of each decision. (ibid.)

Morning. Golden stalks of wheat sway gently, sending golden sparks of consolation into our hearts. The field was plowed with sharp teeth, and now the produce is beautiful. Standing straight and tall, the stalks answer us: The master of the field knows how to grow wheat. Don’t forget this next season.


Thus it is with a human being. His grasp is shortsighted, and therefore, some of Heaven’s dealings seem incomprehensible and surprising to him. In the future, when he sees the reaped produce, he will understand clearly that without plowing, produce will not grow. (ibid.)

Moshe plowed and Korach uprooted. The People grumbled and formed a conspiracy. And the very tent pegs were dumbfounded: This is Torah and this is its reward?!

No. “In the morning, G-d [will show that He] knows who is His.” The ground opened its mouth and demonstrated how great is the Master and how upright are His ways.

Our soil is plowed with tears, and the time to reap has not yet come. But Hashem will yet wipe the tears from our faces, and rows of golden stalks will wave to us in welcome.

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