This week we read the Fifth portion in the Chumash of Bamidbar, Korach.

Korach initiated a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, a mutiny based on nepotism and jealousy, which ends in disaster for Korach and all associated with him.

G-d says to Moses, “Remove yourself from this congregation.” (17:10)

Korach called for abolishing distinctions between different groups of Jews. Ironically, he became the classic example of argument and division.

Just as it is damaging to create arbitrary or artificial divisions, it is equally damaging to ignore the divisions that G-d has established in nature or legislated in the Torah. True unity is possible only when each component of a group is fulfilling its designated role. Only then can all the components combine to constitute a well-functioning unit.

Abolishing boundaries does not always produce unity: in fact, it can produce the exact opposite. It is possible to unite fire and water (by heating the water with fire) only if they are separated by a pot. So too, respecting the Torah’s divisions between different groups of people allows for the truest expression of unity and harmony amongst them.

Have a wonderful Shabbos and meaningful week to follow.