שלום בשערך - Peace in Your Gates

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Using one's כוחות (energies) properly...
This week's parsha, כי תשא, describes how the entire tribe of Levi answered Moshe Rabbenu's call to punish those who worshipped the עגל הזהב (golden calf). One could argue that the tribe of Levi's motivation was not pure given their past behavior in שכם. However, Rashi quoting the gemara says "שכל השבט כשר", thus indicating that their intentions were, indeed, pure.

What about the tribe of Shimon--shevet Levi's "partner" in the incident at Schem? Why didn't they run to assist Moshe now? Perhaps we can glean an answer from parshas Balak, when the B'nei Yisrael were sinning with the daughters of Midian. There, Zimri, the leader of the tribe, instead of rebuking his people, rose to their defense and challenged Moshe in a most chutzpadik fashion.

Similarly, with Korach, one of shevet Levi's own sons. He allowed jealousy to blind him and likewise entered into a machlokees with Moshe Rabbenu, שלא לשמה.

Seems the vort is one of properly utilizing one's כוחות (energies) AND of having one's שכל (intellect) be נתגבר (rule) over one's מידות (emotions).

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