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Wednesday, Sivan 30, 5778 / June 13, 2018


Today (Wednesday) & tomorrow (Thursday) is Rosh Chodesh Tammuz.


The first half of this week’s Parsha, Korach, is about the controversy which Korach and his 250 people caused against Moshe and Aaron. Most of the 250 people who were influenced by Korach were from the tribe of Reuben, his neighbors.  


From the story of Korach’s negative influence on his neighbors, we learn the importance of having a good neighbor.  The sage Nittai HaArbeli tells us in Pirkei Avot, “Keep away from a bad neighbor; Do not associate with a wicked person.”


Korach and some of his people were buried alive, when the earth opened its mouth and consumed them and their families. The 250 men perished by fire.


The Torah tells us that there is no greater blessing than the blessing of peace. The Three-Fold-Priestly Blessing to the Jewish people which ends with the blessing of peace.  “May G-d bless you and safeguard you.  May G-d cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May G-d lift His face toward you and grant you peace.


Our sages relate the following:  When Aaron saw two people quarreling, he would go to one of them and say, “My son, you should only know how upset your friend is, he is tearing his hair out about the quarrel.  He is embarrassed to face you because of what he did to you.” Aaron would sit and talk to him until he removed all anger and bitterness from him.  Then Aaron would go to the other person and do the same.  In the end, he would make sure that they made peace between them.     


In Pirkei Avot, Hillel the Elder says, “Be among the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and bringing them closer to the Torah.”


On the lighter side:  A 90 year old man comes to the doctor. The doctor gives him a complete physical, puts him through all the tests and is amazed to see that the man is in perfect health.


“You’re in perfect shape.  It’s amazing. I don’t even see younger patients looking so good.  You must be doing something right.  Keep up what you’re doing.”


Then he asks the old man, “Can you tell me your secret?”


“It’s simple.  It’s the fresh air. You see, when my wife and I got married seventy years ago, we decided that whenever we get into an argument, one of us will go outside until we both cool down.  Now, spending most of my seventy married years outside in the fresh air, that kept me in great shape!”