PARSHAT KORACH: “IF YOU SPOT IT, YOU GOT IT!”
By Sherrie B. Miller
“And they gathered against Moshe and Aharon and they said to them you have taken
too much power for yourselves. The entire congregation is holy, and the Almighty
is in their midst. Why do you take leadership over the congregation of the Almighty?”
Korach is extremely bitter and lashes out at the two G-d chosen leaders of all time.
He argues that they act haughtily in seizing the leadership of the Israelites for
Korach felt that his pedigree was equally as stellar and worthy of such honor; after
all he was a cousin to Moshe and Aharon. Yet, while Korach “cries out” for equality,
he did not protest the honor given him over all other Levites and Israelites to
carry the Ark!
The Torah tells us explicitly that Moshe was the humblest of all men and by virtue
of the fact that Aharon was a peace seeker par excellence, he demonstrated tremendous
humility as well. This being so, how dare Korach accuse them of arrogance and being
We learn from this that when someone speaks against another or notices flaws in
the other, he/she is usually projecting his own faults on to them. As Rav Zelig
Pliskin notes: "if you spot it, you got it." It is easier to attribute a fault within
us, to someone on the “outside”, than doing the work of introspection and repairing
the flaw within. “Tikkun Atzmi” is a most arduous task!
Chazal reenforce this modern day psychological notion of projection and teach: “kol
hapossel, b’mumo possel.” This means that one who finds faults in others, is really
(often subconsciously) revealing his own fault. Korach was actually the power hungry
and arrogant one.
Think of someone you find difficult. What is the trait that is most difficult for
you to handle in them? What does it make you think about them? Then, think honestly
of instances in which you find yourself, or even just imagine yourself acting in
the very same way, exhibiting the same behavior.
When Hashem created us, He created us in such a way that we comprise the entire
Universe. Each of us is said to be an “olam umlo’oh”, a complete world unto ourselves.
When G-d said, “let us make man”, He requested that all His creations give a part
of their spiritual essence to Man, and “wired” this essence into each of us. This
is why we become uncomfortable with other’s flaws: we can identify with the flaw
and it resonates within because we possess it. It is like having a mirror held up
in front of our face, which enables us to see our true inner “self.”
Sarah Schneider in her book, “Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of Masculine &
Feminine”, quotes the Baal Shem Tov who says: “A person completely free of blemish
and sin would never encounter vice in the world. He would not see it in others nor
even hear of its occurrence. Consequently, when a person witnesses wrong doing (or
even hears about it) he knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that that very same flaw
exists, now, inside himself. Even if he is a tzaddik, the flaw is there, though
in an infinitely more subtle form. He also knows that Hashem arranged the encounter
between himself and the sinner to communicate to him, in no uncertain terms, that
he must find the place inside himself that parallels the sin he witnessed and repent
While “sin” is too harsh a term to be used in our context of dating and marriage,
the Baal Shem Tov nevertheless heeds us to look inside ourselves when confronted
with an unpleasant character trait of another. This will surely take the “wind out
of the sails” and create a much less judgmental and more accepting attitude of the
In a dating situation, even if we choose not to pursue this relationship, we can
and we must deepen the learning about our selves, which will in turn give us the
ability and power to move forward with added clarity! If we believe that there are
no coincidences in life, (mikre=rock mi Hashem!) then each date has a purpose and
a reason. I must always learn something new about myself, even if the date is not
my bashert. If we adopt this philosophy in the framework of marriage, we will stop
trying to change our partner and focus inward in the realization that the only one
that we can change is ourselves. When we accept the fact that what displeases me
regarding my partner, is nothing more than a reflection of myself and an invitation
by Hashem to correct “me”, it can be a catalyst for self growth leading to growth
and development as a couple.
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai
and a dating coach in Jerusalem. She received her counseling degree from the Michlala
in Jerusalem and an M.A. in Jewish Education from Touro College. Sherrie is certified
by Midreshet Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital
couple’s counselor and Kallah teacher.