Simcha's Torah Stories - Korach

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Mom, where is the phone book?

Over there in the cabinet, Avi. Maybe I can help you. Whose phone number do you need?

I want to call a boy in my class. He cheated by looking at my paper during the test today. I am so upset. He deserves a punishment. I am really going to tell him what I think about him. That will teach him a lesson.

Let us think about this a minute before you call him, Avi. Are you sure that he cheated?

100% Mom. I saw him looking at my paper and writing down my answers.

I see. The first thing that you should try to do is correct his mistake. I suggest that you wait until you are a little calmer. Then you can call him and explain to him that what he did was wrong.

Mom, I don't want to correct his mistake. I just want to teach him a lesson.

Hmmm. Avi, you know that the Torah forbids that. We are not allowed to take revenge.

But Mom, I'm so upset.

I understand Avi dear. Let me tell you what happened to me yesterday. I hired a woman to help with the housecleaning. We agreed that she would do the dishes, laundry, vacuum the rugs, and mop the floors. She came and did a very good job. Then I asked her to do the windows. Do you know what she said?

It's not my job.

Right. I was a little upset. However, she was 100% right. She never agreed to do windows. She knew very clearly what jobs were hers and what jobs were not.

That is very nice, Mom, but what does it have to do with cheating on the test?

In this week's parsha, Avi, Korach rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu, our teacher Moses. He made false accusations. He started an unjustified argument. He mocked Moshe Rabbeinu. He refused any attempts to make peace. He turned many people against their beloved leader.

Those are all pretty terrible things, Mom. He really deserved punishment for them.

He certainly did, Avi, and he got it.

Who gave it to him? Moshe Rabbeinu?

Not at all, Avi. Moshe Rabbeinu tried to make peace with him. Moshe went to Korach privately, in order to avoid embarrassing him. Moshe answered all of Korach's accusations and patiently explained the reasons for his actions. However, all of his attempts failed.

What happened next, Mom? Did he punish him?

No, Avi. That was not his job. That was G-d's job. Moshe Rabbeinu's job was to try to make peace with Korach. He tried to correct Korach's mistakes and set him on the straight path. He tried to help Korach in every possible way. However, nothing succeeded. There was no choice but to punish him.

Right, Mom. Some people deserve punishment.

Yes, Avi. However, that is not our job. It is G-d's job. He delivers the reward and punishment. G-d punished Korach and all of his followers.

Mom, what you are saying is that I should not try to teach this boy a lesson. It is not my job.

Exactly, Avi.

Mom, sometimes you and Dad punish me. You say that you are only doing it to teach me a lesson. What is the difference?

We are your parents, Avi. We have a mitzvah to educate you properly. Sometimes, punishment is a necessary part of education. Teachers are also trying to help you when they punish you. That is their job. But, it is not your job.

But it is so unfair Mom! How can he get away with that? How can that boy cheat and not pay for it?

Avi, nothing is unfair. G-d is running the world. No one gets away with anything. We all have faith in G-d. He does not allow any wrong deed to go unpunished. Punishment is His job. This is a very important lesson, Avi.

What you are saying Mom, is that we have to do our job, and leave G-d to do His job.

You've got it. This rule will bring you much happiness and peace of mind. You will never get upset like you did today. You will never be trying to do G-d's job.

Mom, from now on I am going to change. I am going to stop trying to do other people's jobs and just concentrate on doing my job as well as I can. Whenever I feel myself wanting to take revenge or teach the other person a lesson, I am going to say to myself, "It's not my job."

Avi, now you've got your job down pat.

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