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Korach 5770

Korach (Numbers 16-18 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! I asked a young lady - who was dating for purposes of finding a spouse - what she was looking for in a husband. She replied, "A nice guy." Even if I wanted to choose a dog, I'd look for more than a good disposition. Is the dog house-broken? Did he have his shots? What's his pedigree? Is he healthy?

Who one marries is probably the most important decision a person will make in life. This is your companion, confidant, mother or father of your children - the person who will help you fulfill your potential and complement (and hopefully compliment, too!) you.

It is often hard for singles to meet high quality matrimonial prospects (of course, one can always try the local Aish HaTorah branch). However, I thought that it would be very helpful to share some questions so that you or someone you love can decide if that "nice guy" or "nice girl" is the right one to marry.

Here are some questions developed by my dear friend, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, that one should ask him/herself before deciding to marry someone. Please feel free to copy it and give to those you care about.



  1. What are my major reasons for wanting to marry this person?
  2. Why do I think that I will have a good marriage if I marry this person?
  3. What are my major expectations about this person after marriage? Is he or she aware of these expectations?
  4. How does my potential spouse view my role in marriage?
  5. Do I know this person's: (a) goals and aspirations, (b) main strengths, (c) main weaknesses?
  6. What do I like/dislike about this person?
  7. In what ways are we similar/different? What difficulties will be caused by differences?
  8. What is my ideal picture of the person I wish to marry? Is this person similar/different?
  9. What positive traits are most important in the person I marry? Does the person have/not have these traits?
  10. What negative traits would I not want in the person I marry? Does the person have them?
  11. Which of my negative traits is the person not aware of? What will the reaction be?
  12. Does the person accept the real me?
  13. Am I hoping this person will change in important areas after marriage? On what do I base this hope? If the person doesn't change, then what?
  14. In what ways do we think alike/different?
  15. In what ways are our family backgrounds similar/different? What difficulties can arise?
  16. What faults & weaknesses in myself might be at the root of my wanting to marry this person?
  17. Do I have any inner feelings that I am likely making a mistake?
  18. Are there external pressures influencing my decision? Would I marry the person anyway?
  19. How does the person bring out my virtues and strengths/faults and weaknesses?
  20. Which reliable and unbiased people have I consulted or could I consult about this person?

For more on "Marriage" go to!


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Torah Portion of the Week

There are two rebellions this week. First, Korach, a Levite who was passed over for the leadership of his tribe, challenges Moshe over the position of High Priest. No good rebellion can be "sold" as a means for personal gain, so Korach convinces 250 men of renown that they must stand up for a matter of principle - that each and every one of them has the right to the office of High Priest (which Moshe had already announced that God had designated his brother Aharon to serve as the High Priest).

Fascinatingly, all 250 followers of Korach accept Moshe's challenge to bring an offering of incense to see who God will choose to fill the one position. This meant that every man figured he would be the one out of 250 to not only be chosen, but to survive the ordeal.

Moshe also announces that if the earth splits and swallows up Korach and his rebels, it is a sign that he (Moshe) is acting on God's authority. And thus it happened!

The next day the entire Israelite community rises in a second rebellion and complains to Moshe, "You have killed God's people!" The Almighty brings a plague which kills 14,700 people ... and only stops when Aharon offers an incense offering.

To settle the question once and for all, Moshe has the head of each tribe bring a staff with his name on it. The next morning only Aharon's staff had blossomed and brought forth almonds. The people were shown this sign. Aharon's staff was placed in front of the curtain of the ark as testimony for all time.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"And Korach, the son of Izhar, the son of Kehas, the son of Levi, took ..." (Num. 16:1).

Why does the Torah give us Korach's genealogy here?

Rashi explains that the key reason for Korach's rebellion against Moshe was his envy of a relative who received honor which Korach believed should have belonged to him.

Envy is destructive. It prevents a person from enjoying his own blessings. When you focus on the success of another person and feel pain because of it, you are likely to do things that are highly counterproductive. Envy is one of the three things that totally destroy a person (Pirkei Avos 4:28). The downfall of Korach was because of this trait. Not only did he not get what he wanted, but he lost everything he already possessed.

How does one overcome envy? The key is to focus on what you have and on what you can accomplish in this world. Envy arises when a person looks at others and compares himself to them. The ultimate that anyone can have in this world is happiness. When you master this trait by focusing on those things conducive to happiness, you need never to envy another person.


(or go to

Jerusalem 7:10
Guatemala 6:13 - Hong Kong 6:48 - Honolulu 6:54
J'Burg 5:04 - London 8:58 - Los Angeles 7:46
Melbourne 4:49 - Mexico City 7:56 - Miami 7:54
New York 8:09 - Singapore 6:53 - Toronto 8:41


If you give everyone a piece of your mind,
you have no peace of mind.


With Special Thanks to

Lance Anisfeld

Great Britain


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Kalman Packouz

Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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