Korach 2021 Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
Internal Peace and the Amino Acids
This parsha teaches us many lessons about the ways of controversy versus peace. Our Sages question why Korach’s lineage is elaborated as far back as Levi, but not to Levi’s father, Yaakov. Our Sages answer that Yaakov had already foreseen the conflict of Korach in his lifetime and thus prayed “in their (Korach’s and his people’s) gathering my honor shall not unite” (Bereshit 49:6). Indeed, this prayer was answered, and Yaakov is not mentioned in this conflict whatsoever, even in Korach’s lineage.
But this matter still needs further explanation: Yitzhar, Kehat, and Levi were all righteous figures, and even if they did not foresee this episode, why do they “deserve” to be listed in the lineage of Korach? One answer to this question is that Korach indeed had great spiritual potential, as his lineage suggests; however, he used this potential improperly for his own egocentric purposes.
If so, why is Yaakov given the gift to foresee this episode and the opportunity to pray to be excluded from Korach’s lineage? The Shaar Hachatzer, by R. David Shimon, author of the Tzuf Devash, explains that in truth, all our Patriarchs, including Yaakov, were especially careful not to be involved in any way with conflict and controversy. He further says that Hebron too, “the City of the Patriarchs,” contains this attribute of peace, as is also hinted in the numerical value of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov which is identical to “Shalom BeHebron” (peace in Hebron) and “Nezer HaShalom”(the crown of peace). He continues by saying that the Patriarchs “desire that there be peace in Hebron, and therefore no conflict will last in the holy city of Hebron.”
Taking from the spirit of Hebron, we can find internal peace and harmony between the Torah/Kabbalah and science. This time we will show the parallelism between the amino acids that form the DNA/RNA and the four letters of Hashem’s Name. The Kabbalists tie a connection between fire/human and the first letter of God’s Name -yod, between wind/animal and the second letter – heh, between water/vegetation and the third letter – vav, and between earth/solids and the last letter – heh. The common elements of the amino acids are Carbon – C, Nitrogen – N, Oxygen – O, and Hydrogen – H. Before we continue, please note that, in order to keep matters very brief and understandable by the common reader, we are only providing one explanation for each link between the Kabbalah and science, even though these matters have been thought through many other considerations and reasons. Also, note that the correlation between C, H, N, and O and four letters of Hashem’s name may not be in all cases, for there are more than a hundred more elements in science. Rather, in the specific context of the amino acids, these elements are the most dominant, and we may draw such a correlation in this context. Carbon is solid at room temperature, whereas the other elements are not. Therefore, we may tie the last heh related to solids/earth to this element. Nitrogen is a primary element in chlorophyll which gives vegetation its green color, and the color green is, according to the Kabbalah, associated with the letter vav. Oxygen is the beneficial substance of “wind” that allows animals to live, and therefore it seems to parallel the first heh. Hydrogen is highly flammable, more than the other elements, and therefore it seems that it corresponds to the yod/fire aspect. To be continued.
Real Stories from the Holy Land:
The time to daven Mincha was about to pass. I knew that if I remained where I was to daven with a minyan, I would miss the direct bus from Har Nof to Beitar (where I live), forcing me to take multiple buses instead and wasting much time in traveling. I “paskened” (ruled) to myself that it would be better that I daven alone on the bus. However, then a voice entered my head with Chazal’s teaching, “one who listens to me does not lose,” so I dragged my legs to the nearest shul to find a minyan. Immediately when I finished davening, a voice called out to me: “Need a ride home?” It was none other than my neighbor…”A.B.