Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Today all of us know how to explain Korach’s mistake. It’s terribly easy today to sit back and explain why most of the spies were in error and that it was a mistake to make the golden calf. But what would we have done had we been there? In the moment of truth, would we have chosen the truth?
Rav Hagai Lundin writes that when speaking about values, it’s worthwhile to pay attention to the historical context: “Korach was the hero of the hour. His ratings and the spirit of the times were on his side. He had followers and admirers and the media embraced him as a brave man who fought against fossilized tradition. We read about him every year and are reminded of an important rule: a lie persists for a time, but not forever. Today we are still astonished to sometimes see how popular views based on lies and hypocrisy win, at least for the moment; it’s enough to see the world’s relationship with Israel as opposed to it’s relationship with her enemies. Every adult individual can talk about how medical, economic, and cultural lies – that rattled all of humanity at the time – eventually disappeared without a whimper. Sometimes it takes years, sometimes as in the case of Korach, the lie is swallowed up in the earth within a short time. But from an eternal perspective, good always triumphs.”