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Korach: The Sensitivity of a Leader

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Aleh neshomos vos kumen arein in der velt un gayen arois fun der velt, gayen durech dem tzimer (all souls that enter this world and leave this world go through this room)…

Der adres vu tzu shiken di briv veistu me’stameh nisht, b’meila loz zei doh (you probably don’t know the address where to send these letters [to those souls that have already left this world], so leave these letters here)…

These two unforgettable stories of the Rebbe, among some others, offer us some of the most vital lessons in life that we will ever hear.

With all our advanced communication and hi-tech tools – with Facebook, Twitter and Google putting us in instant touch with each other – we are witnessing an unprecedented lack of sensitivity to one another. How many of us are suffering silently due to the inhumane insensitivity and callousness that daily life brings? How much humiliation and indignity do we endure?

We can learn tremendous lessons in sensitivity from the way Moses reacted to the mutiny of his rebellious cousin Korach and his cohorts, which is related in this week’s Torah reading.  When challenged with the most outrageous accusations and arrogant mockery, Moses did not fly into a rage. Rather, he humbly buried his face and grieved over the actions of the rebels.

Why did he grieve? Why didn’t he squarely place the responsibility on those clearly culpable? Again and again Moses bent over backwards to reach and accommodate them.  And from his behavior we can derive some of the greatest lessons in life – for how to treat others and ourselves.

As we honor the 23rd anniversary of Gimmel Tammuz this coming Tuesday blessed by this Shabbos of Parshat Korach, we can identify uncanny parallels between the Rebbe’s and Moses’ humility as a leader, their ultra sensitivity to every single soul, offering us indispensable lessons in discovering new levels of gentleness in our own lives today.

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