Korach and his assembly complain against Moses and Aaron: “You have gone too far! All the people in the community are holy, and the L-rd is with them. Why are you setting yourselves above the L-rd’s congregation?” Seemingly they are right. After all, the Jewish People had previously been told, “You will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to Me” (Exodus 19:6). Likewise, it says, “Your people are all righteous” (Isaiah 60:21). Yet Korach and his assembly, in their pursuit of honor, spoke only a half-truth, and as we all know, a half-truth is worse than a lie.
It is true that the Jewish People are all holy and all righteous. Yet within the Jewish People there are different levels. There are kohanim [priests], Levites and Israelites. There are different jobs. There are political leaders and spiritual leaders.
Whoever tries to blur the differences and the spiritual levels within the Jewish People not only brings about anarchy but is trying to blot out the different levels within Creation, as in Rashi’s exposition on Moses’s words:
“‘In the morning the L-rd will show that He knows who is His and who is holy, and He will bring them close to Him’ (Numbers 16:5): Moses said to them: G-d set up His world with boundaries. Just as you cannot change morning to evening, so you cannot nullify, ‘Aaron was set apart, that he should be sanctified as most holy’ (I Chronicles 23:13).”
The aim of the arguments of Korach and his assembly was to blur the differences and the boundaries within the Jewish People. Today as well, those arguments are heard, in the form of arguments setting out to blot out the sanctify of time, place and person. Some argue that there is no difference Sabbaths and holidays, on the one hand, and weekdays on the other. They thus allow themselves to publicly profane Sabbath and festivals. Others blot out the distinction between Eretz Yisrael and all other lands. They permit themselves to leave the Land or to partition the Land, G-d forbid. Likewise, still others blot out the Jewish identity, saying there is no difference between Israel and the nations. They believe that the State of Israel has to be “a state of all its citizens.” It shall never be!
Yet all of these views, with all their insincerity, are akin to the arguments advanced by Korach and his assembly. Ultimately they will be blotted out. In their place, Israel and the world will all recognize that it is G-d who “distinguishes between the holy and the profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, and between the Seventh Day and the Six Days of Creation” (Havdalah). For “He created us and we our His, His people, the flock of His pasture” (Psalm 100:3).