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Korach. Time to cultivate true freedom

Reading Parashat Korach in a time of electoral turmoil feels particularly resonant today.

In Israel and in France, in the UK and the US, be it surprise elections, electoral debates, or contestation, tensions are high.

So it is among Bnei Israel in our Torah narrative, as Korach challenges the leadership of Moshe and Aharon.

Here the Mei Ha Shiloach invites a famous midrash in which Korach brings to Moshe a tallit entirely blue, as if to prove that if all are blue- that is, if all are connected to God, the People don’t need a thread of blue (tchelet) in the tsitit - representing Moshe.

If all are holy, why should we need a leader, says Populist discourse?

For the Ishbitze rebbe, Korach’s real problem here wasn’t so much bad faith or ego.

His problem - as is often the case for those who hurt others, is that he was lacking self- awareness. He wasn't consciousness. of his own needs to be seen and valued, making him mistakenly seek Power.

Because he was lacking consciousness, daat, his view was distorted, and his actions became incredibly destructive for the community. He wanted to be free from Moshe's leadership. He wasn't free from his own misguided perceptions. He was trapped in his own illusions.

“Our free choice is no more consequential as a peel of garlic” says the rebbe.

“only according to one’s particular consciousness “

ובחירת האדם אינו רק כקליפת השום 

ואינו רק לפי דעתו, 

Look around. So many of us are stuck in our own peels of garlic.

We think we are free, but so often, ego-created illusions (mis)lead us. See what it does when it gets into Politics, Ideologies, and Power-seeking. This is why meditation practice can be so freeing.

When we sit agreeing to meeting what is, clarity can come, and consciousness grows.

All we need to do is be dedicated to that. Sincere in our practice, and to keep showing up for that.

Clarity can free us.

Meditation practice helps us cultivate true freedom. One that doesn't depend on Power games.

As we are about to bless the upcoming month of Tammuz- the month of vision according to the Sefer Yetzirah, this is an opportunity, and a reminder, for us, to cultivate clear vision.

This Sunday, it will be 9 months that Israel was attacked, 9 months that abducted civilians have been retained hostages. May our practice help those who are captive, in the material world, or in their own minds, to be free.

Now is the time. The world needs it.

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