If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that machlokes is rampant.

After Korach “went down” in his altercation with Moshe and Aharon, Hashem declared that this episode would be an everlasting lesson that “there will not be [another incident] like Korach and his crowd” (Bamidbar 17:5). 

It was a stormy night, and a battleship was on exercise at sea. The captain stood on the bridge, peering into the foggy night ahead. Suddenly, he heard the look-out shout from the observation post. “There’s a light on the starboard side!”

Have you ever felt on top of the world, energy pulsing through your veins, ready to take on any challenge that comes your way? Most people, at some point in their lives, have felt invincible, unstoppable, almost Godly. And yet, at other times, these very same people have felt weak, incapable, deflated, and worthless. If we take a step outside ourselves, and realize that everyone experiences this, we are likely struck by how strange and paradoxical this phenomenon is. How can we feel so capable and then so powerless, so brilliant and then so worthless, so full and then so empty, in such a short span of time [or maybe even simultaneously]? There is a fundamental idea that lies at the root of this experience, one that sheds light on the inner meaning of a strange event in Parshas Korach.

Even in their 80s, siblings don’t always get along.

 At the end of the parshah, Miriam and Aharon speak lashon hara about their brother, Moshe, and are swiftly struck with tzara’as. The verses only mention explicitly that Miriam was punished, but Chazal say that Aharon was as well (Shabbos 97a).

Wouldn’t it be easier to just find a new homeland?

Parshas Sh’lach is a good opportunity to reaffirm our special connection with Eretz Yisrael. After all, it was this core value that the 10 meraglim (spies) nefariously convinced the nation to reject. Before unleashing their terrible lies about the Land, the spies began their report with a seemingly innocuous statement. “We came to the land to which you sent us, and it also is flowing with milk and honey” (Bamidbar 13:27). This may sound like a compliment at first glance, but take note of the word “also” - what does it imply? 

Imagine a life beyond the one you currently experience – one with new senses and sensations, new colors added to your field of vision, new sounds to your range of hearing. What if you had abilities that far surpassed anything you can imagine? Consider a reality in which you had access to all wisdom and could experience and grasp it all instantaneously. It is so difficult to imagine this, because it is nearly impossible to think about something that you have never experienced before – just try thinking of a color that doesn’t exist.