Korach & Pride by Deena Klein
In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Korach, there is an incredible connection to the message of Pride, which many of us in the PHS community will be celebrating this weekend.
During one of the holiest moments of the year, right before the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh Hashana, we find ourselves saying Tehillim perek 85 “Lamnatzeach Livnei Korach”/ “For the leader. A Pslam for the sons of Korach”. Not just once… but 7 times!
What is the significance of Korach at this moment and why does he merit such a holy opportunity? Korach is widely viewed as a Rasha for challenging Moshe Rabeinu.
When Korach comes to Moshe with a protest he says “The entire nation is holy and G-d is among them..why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of G-d?”. This is famously viewed as a complaint.
But there is something very profound to Korach’s message. Korach was looking at the inner beauty and holiness of every Jew. Every Jew is holy and in the time of Moshiach, we will come to see that Korach was right, he was just was ahead of his time.
There are two aspects to our relationship with Hashem: Yediya & Bechira.
At the holiest moment of the year- pre Shofar- we are reminding Hashem, with Korach’s message, that we are his children and he is our father. Don’t look at our actions, just look at a parent-child relationship and forgive us and love us. The Shofar sound which comes from our innermost selves goes to that same point.
Yediya focuses on our inner essence. Hashem loves every one of us simply because we are his child. Unconditional love.
Bechira is about reward and punishment based on personal choices.
With this Shabbos being Pride, it is an opportunity to reflect on this precise message. What the LGBTQ community is asking from the Jewish community is to love us as people and as Jews, the exact same way that Hashem does. Don’t judge us by our actions, the same way we are not judging yours. We are all children of Hashem and we should treat each other accordingly. Look at each person’s Neshama and not at each person’s actions.
Deena lives with her wife Sima in Crown Heights. They're expecting their first child in August.