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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Korach 5777
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Korach 5777

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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Don't forget the YouParsha for Korach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NxZG8W0bkM. The connection of Parsha Korach to Shlach

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Parshas Korach, Numbers 16-18, features a rebellion by Moses' cousin Korach. Korach felt that the positions of leadership were doled out through nepotism rather than merit (Korach had been passed over for head of clan in favor of a younger cousin). Moses's response to Korach was that these decisions were from G'd and Moses had no say in the matter.

The Midrash describes how Korach initiated his rebellion. He approached Moses with learned questions, "Does a garment made entirely of blue wool require tsitsits (the fringes on the corners of a garment require one blue thread. Korach rationalized that a completely blue garment would not require another singe thread)? Does a house full of Torah scrolls require a Mezuza, which is a scroll of only two paragraphs?"

Korach missed the point. The Torah was given to the Jewish people on Sinai and is absolute truth. Korach did not need any proofs of the Torah's validity. He saw the plagues of Egypt and the exodus. He walked through the parted water of the Reed Sea, ate manna from heaven and witnessed the giving of the Torah on Sinai. We however, must understand that there is a logical progression to believing the truth of the Torah.

Maimonides, 13th century Jewish scholar, postulated that Jews believe 13 things. Jews do not believe blindly. Our beliefs must have a basis in intellect. First: G'd is the creator. All theories of creation begin with a starting point - a bang, a primordial soup, etc. Renowned physicist Stephen Hawkins now maintains that nothing had to exist before these second steps. Maimonides calls this nothing - the first cause. We call it G'd. Since this cause is first, it always existed - it never started. Something which never started can never be stopped (how can you turn off the car if you never started it?). Something that is not limited by time cannot be limited by space either. We must therefore conclude that our first cause/G'd is beyond time and space, truly infinite.

Next Maimonides posits that there this first cause is unified. The creation does not displace G'd as the creation is totally insignificant qualitatively and quantitatively. The universe is 13 billion light years across. Compared to infinity 13 billion is a very small number. How small? Were Hashem to create an infinite number of creations - they would all be infinitesimally small. G'd created the world through speech. The expression, "and G'd said, 'Let there be…"' appears ten times in Genesis. A person's speech requires a process of only a few steps: that person must have a need that must be filled in order to derive some pleasure from it, he must possess intelligence and formulate his desires into realistic thoughts, then add emotion and enunciation and finally utter the word. Those few words are insignificant to the source of his soul's desire that provided the initial impetus for the utterance. The Kaballa explains that G'd's speech involves an infinite amount of steps to bring about a physical world. How significant can those few words expressing the creation be in comparison to G'd's essence?

Because of the infinite nature we ascribe to our first cause/G'd, we must conclude that Hashem can have no body. The very idea of corporeality implies limits. Since the creator is involved with every aspect of the creation at all times, only to this entity is it is valid to pray.

Now that we believe that there is a creator and that the creator made the creation, there must be purpose to the creation. How could people be expected to fulfill the purpose of creation without knowing what that purpose is? Jews believe that that purpose was conveyed to the world through various individuals called prophets. The system of prophets was very exact. During Biblical times, people went to prophet schools. There, they learned the nuances of receiving prophecy. They graduated when prophecy was conveyed to them. Thousands of prophets foretold the imminent future. They proved themselves as prophets when their prophecies came true. We know of only several dozen prophets. Their words are relevant for all times and were canonized in the 24 books of the Bible. The greatest of these prophets was Moses. Moses' message comprises the first five books of the Bible - the Torah. The Almighty's purpose in creating the word is contained within the five books. It therefore follows that there is no need for another Torah to be given, nor is there need for the one we have to be changed.

Given now that the Torah is true, the last four postulates are a natural progression The Torah says that G'd knows the actions of man. We have the freedom to choose right from wrong. G'd can reward us when we choose the right path. The ultimate reward is when the task of creation is complete. That will be realized when Moshiach comes and we experience the revival of the dead and a world that requires no more rectification. May we merit it soon.

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It once happened that that the young daughter of Nechunya the digger of wells fell into a deep well (Talmud Baba Kama 50A). Some bystanders immediately ran to inform Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, who replied, "She will be fine." After a long time passed, Rabbi Chanina said, “She has come out of the pit.” The girl had managed to climb out of the well. When she was asked how she managed to scale the tall, steep walls, she said that she was assisted by a ram led by an old man (a reference to Abraham and the ram he brought as a sacrifice instead of Isaac). The people then turned to Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, asking if he was a prophet.

He said to them, “I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I made a simple calculation. Nechunya put so much effort into digging wells for the benefit of the pilgrims who come to Jerusalem every year. Shall the thing to which that pious man has devoted his labor become the downfall of his own progeny?”

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It once happened that the daughter of Rabbi Mordechai (Feitelson) of Lieple was gravely ill. Seeing that her days were numbered, Rabbi Mordechai ran to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi to ask him to pray for her recovery. Arriving in the middle of the night, he tried to enter the home of Rabbi Schneur Zalman, but all the doors were locked. He finally found an open window. The desperate father climbed into the house and found Rabbi Schneur Zalman laying on the floor saying, “Nechunya the digger of wells … become the downfall of his own progeny … Mordechai Liepler has done such and such … become the downfall of his own progeny?” Seeing Rabbi Schneur Zalman tearfully praying for his daughter was all Rabbi Mordechai needed. He left the house and returned home; where he found his daughter well on the road to recovery.

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Tune into the JEWISH HOUR - Detroit's only Jewish radio program, with your host, Herschel Finman. Sundays 11:00 - Noon on WLQV 1500 AM/92.7 FM - Detroit and www.faithtalk1500.com. Now available at the iTunes store and on your smartphone - download the free stitcher app.

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