Action vs. Affection - קרח

Friday, 23 June, 2023 - 8:35 am

Action vs. Affection 

You may have heard, or experienced, one version or another of this story.

Spouse 1 says (or thinks): why don't you express your appreciation and love? 

Spouse 2 responds: Don't you see how much I am doing for you? Don't you see how I take every action possible to ensure that you are not inconvenienced and that you can enjoy and do the things meaningful to you?  

Spouse 1 thinks (or says): Action is great, but that is no substitute for expressing love and affection. 


Korach was infuriated that Moses and Aaron enjoyed leadership positions, so he went on to spark a rebellion. "The entire congregation are all holy, and the Lord is in their midst," cried Korach, "So why do you raise yourselves above the Lord's assembly?"

Chassidic philosophy explains that Korach's rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, who by then were leading the people for a few years, was possible only at this specific point in time, after the episode of the spies, whose position to remain in the desert and live a spirituality-based lifestyle, was utterly rejected. Only when it became clear that G-d desired that the people enter the land of Israel and engage in action, could Korach claim "why do you raise yourselves above the Lord's assembly?" 

Everybody, including Korach, would readily admit that Moses was far superior in his love, awe, and intellectual awareness of G-d. No one would ever claim to be on the spiritual level of Moses. But, if, as they have now learned, action is superior, then Moses and Aaron are no more significant than any other Jew since every Jew performs the same action-based commandments. 

While Korach was correct that action is superior, he was wrong in his anarchistic claim. Because while action is superior, it is most meaningful when imbued with "light", with emotional excitement and intellectual awareness. Moses and Aaron were selected specifically to inspire, illuminate, and infuse the deeds of the Jewish people with enthusiasm and love. 

Korach was like the spouse who felt that action is enough. But, as I'm sure you would agree and intuit, action should be illuminated and inspired by awareness and love.

(Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe, Lekutei Sichos Shelach 4)


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