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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Parshas Korach: ‘Impulsive Wealth’

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In our world we are infatuated by dreams of striking it big in a hurry. There are numerous advertisements for programs and jobs which can make you rich and successful quickly. “All you need is a dollar and a dream.” As if in one moment all of your problems can be solved. It is not uncommon for people to forfeit their life’s savings in one of such luring programs.

This mode of thinking seeps into the world of spirituality as well. We search for “instant wisdom” and yearn for quick ways to become righteous and scholarly. The reality is however, that greatness is the product of struggle and perseverance.

In our impatient world many often conclude that if they cannot master Torah or levels of greatness quickly they must not be “cut out” for it. The verse[3] states “Wealth gathered by hand will accumulate”. Ibn Ezra explains that only when one works hard at gradually accumulating wealth will he be successful.

Rav Pam notes that the same applies to Torah knowledge and serving G-d. Every little bit of toil and effort is part of the arduous journey toward greater levels of spiritual attainment. But one must be ready for the journey and not seek shortcuts.

There is a great quote which states that, “Success is a road not a destination, and the road is always under construction.” There is no sure-fire, universal road that everyone can take. Everyone must painstakingly seek out his own path and be prepared for the expedition. But above-all one must have patience with himself. Korach wanted to have it all, and to have it now, and that proved to be at the root of his tragic downfall.

Dovid Hamelech stated[4] “The joyous heart is the one which seeks G-d.” Happiness lies in the pursuit, fraught with all of its challenges and difficulties. One only senses joy when he takes up the journey.

[1] 16:1

[2] “Rav Pam on Chumash” by Rabbi Sholom Smith

[3] Mishley 13:11

[4] Tehillim 105:3 (Also Divrei Hayamim I 16:10)

Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead and the Social Worker at Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch in Monsey. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. His website is www.stamtorah.info.

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead, as well as Guidance Counselor and fifth grade Rebbe in ASHAR, and Principal at Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. Visit him on the web at www.stamtorah.info.


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