Right after the deception of ten of the finest leaders of Israel which we read about in last week’s parasha a new crisis took place. About this one we can ask the famous question: why is this crisis different from all other crises? And it is. The themes of all other crises were specific complaints: fear of the enemy and lack of trust in last week’s parasha, absence of water, no food, fear of being left alone without leader and without G-d compensated by eggel masecha, the molten calf of gold.

This time Moshe was confronted with people who had an authority problem. People with authority problems are pathetic. They will never be able to get what they aim at. They will never be able to express what they mean. And they will never be trustworthy: their yes is not yes, their promises mean nothing, loyalty does not exist. And that is because they do not trust G-d who is the one who appoints. People who do not accept whom G-d has appointed will always be disappointed. They are not secure about the important things in life.

This crisis is an outright rebellion lead by family of Moshe and Aharon. Korach was their cousin. Perhaps he was encouraged by the way ten of the twelve spies were able to deceive the people by speaking propaganda against G-d’s plans. Also Korach was able to get the masses behind him. Fortunately not his own children. Why do people sometimes follow the wrong man so easily? Because the authority problem is a very common problem of insecurity.

Leadership invites resistance in people who do not accept whom G-d has appointed. And they will always be disappointed. Or they fall into a hole, like Korach’s followers. Part of the problem of people like Korach in the past and his followers in the present time is that they don’t give much for leadership in general, not for their own leadership either. If you handle leadership so badly that easy it says something about you. But in due time evil will be punished and condemned. Like with Korach. For sure.

Shabbat shalom,
Lion S. Erwteman, Rosh Kehilla of Beth Yeshua
Amsterdam, Holland