web analytics
May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Korach and the Three-Fingered Salute

Since the three fingered salute is being used as a sign for evil – as the Primordial Snake was in years past – our work now is to invest ourselves in publicizing the opposite.
Air France union officials perform the reverse Nazi Quenelle salute at a union rally.

Air France union officials perform the reverse Nazi Quenelle salute at a union rally.
Photo Credit: EJP

Jewish thought is filled with examples of opposites. We can either listen to the good or evil inclination, a tzadik (righteous person) or rasha (evil person), etc… there are no shortage of examples. But it appears that we now have one more.

If arabs have made a three finger salute to celebrate the kidnapping of three precious Jewish boys, then with the intention of counteracting the evil of this salute, we should promote the opposite. Since the three fingered salute is being used as a sign for evil – as the Primordial Snake was in years past – our work now is to invest ourselves in publicizing the opposite.

We should learn to “live with the times,” to live life in the light of the weekly Torah portion. Thus we would expect to find some allusion (and rectification) to this recent headline in the timeless teachings of the Torah.

But before we discuss the Torah portion of Korach that we are now in, let’s first quote something from the sages related to our present Hebrew month of Sivan.

Blessing Threes

When beginning the Hebrew calendar from Nisan, Sivan is the third month. But this isn’t the only three for Sivan. As the sages state:

“Blessed is the Merciful one who gave a threefold Torah to a threefold people, by the third, on the third day, in the third month.”

In this quote, God is referred to as the “Merciful One.” God’s attribute of mercy is itself related to the number three, for it is the third of the seven emotive attributes of the soul.

Thus this is our first prayer for this post is that our three — Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali — should immediately be blessed and redeemed by the Merciful One.

One People United

Now we turn to our present Torah portion of Korach.

Korach’s claim was that “The entire congregation are all holy,” but why isn’t this claim considered just?” On Mt. Sinai it says, “And you shall be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” and in the Torah Portion of Kedoshim the entire congregation were told, “Be holy”!

The truth is that each member of the Jewish people does have something in common. Each and every one of us is a part of the “holy nation,” and everyone has a Divine soul that is “an actual part of God above.” Nonetheless, holiness comes at various levels: there is the special holiness of every Jew; there is the special holiness of the kohanim (priests) that ordinary Jews and Levites don’t have; and there is the holiness of Aaron, the High Priest, which is referred to as “holy of holies.”

But while Korach’s egalitarian approach may seem more considerate of the “individual rights” of every Jew, it promotes the opposite. Korach could only see individuals that live individual lives. From his perspective, we live in a divided world in which there are only individuals and countless details.

This week, however, we witnessed true unity. Not from the arabs who claimed to have become “united” together, but from the true unity of the Jewish people rallying around, and praying for, these three boys.

Thus how would we envision a rectified, holy version of the three finger salute? That it should serve as a reminder as to true Jewish “salute” of unity. While there are some Jews who serve as the heads (i.e., leaders) of the Jewish people, and others as the feet to carry out the directives of these heads, we all share the same body. Whereas the ‘unity’ of the arabs is the height of disunity, the unity of the Jewish people remains always an essential part of our being.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and publishes his writings on InwardNews.com, a new site he co-founded.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Korach and the Three-Fingered Salute”

  1. Hesh Meister says:

    The three-fingered salute, Jewish style, signifies the letter Shin, first letter of G-d's name, as it appears on the mezuzah.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been pleasantly astounded at the unity of the Israeli (and other Jewish) people since this horrendous kidnap. Ignore Ban Ki Moon and his gang of ne'er-do'well in NY. Cry out to the Almighty One Who said He will rescue you from the pit. Read and recite Psalm 57 for those boys. They may be doing that just that as well. After all, they are students of the Word.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Ben & Jerry's new flavor: Bernie Sanders
Ben & Jerry’s Launches New Flavor: Bernie Sanders
Latest Indepth Stories
J-Street

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

Abbas and Obama

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Ronal Shoval Voting

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

Ronen Shamir’s just the latest tenured Leftist convicted of sexual misconduct with his own student

NY Times precious front page ink is only reserved for portrayals of Israel as the aggressor.

Although I loved law school, I doubted myself: Who would come to me, a chassidish woman lawyer?

American Jews who go gaga for Obama are first and foremost “Liberals of the Mosaic Persuasion”

“Illinois is the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against the BDS campaign”

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Skateboard king at Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva in Jerusalem

I envision a Kiruv approach perceiving a world filled with Godliness instead of issues to be avoided

Whereas we didn’t expect much from HarperCollins, we need to expect more from ourselves.

What does it mean “to fight as a Jew”? Fighting with the power of voice, the “voice of Jacob.”

San Francisco schools transformed by power of daily meditation,successfully reducing school violence

Pop culture teaches “thought creates reality;” Chassidut: “Divinity’s a given,reality’s a novelty”

“Deliberance” means to be inspired by “hearing the great shofar blast” ushering the Redemption

There is no difficulty today recognizing the “doubled and redoubled” darkness of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/korach-and-the-three-fingered-salute/2014/06/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: