Topic: Well Being | Posted:June 18, 2014
It says that after Korach failed, the earth swallowed him up; it’s a very dark, sad ending. And there’s a little bit of confusion about this. Korach, as the Ari (Rav Isaac Luria) explains in the Likkutei Torah, was actually a part of Abel - Moses was the corrected part of Abel and Korach was the uncorrected part of Abel. And it says that when Korach fell, he took upon himself the negative aspects of the soul of Cain.
I heard a beautiful thing - that when Cain killed Abel, Cain didn’t know that there was such a thing as death. Nobody had ever died, so he wasn’t even aware of the concept. As such, although he was upset at his brother Abel and wanted to hit him, he didn’t think there was even a possibility that he would never get up, so when he hit Abel, he expected him to get up. It says in the Midrash that Cain sat there for days crying, “Abel, get up!” And it says that when Mashiach comes, all the people who have hurt other people, certainly people who’ve murdered other people, will go to their grave, cry for them to wake up, and they will. And Cain will go to the grave of Abel and revive him.
The first murder that ever occurred in humanity was the murder of Abel, and, therefore, the first burial, the first funeral in the world was that of Abel, and the earth had to open itself up to take in his body. However, the earth doesn’t want that - it doesn’t want the darkness of murder and death - so there was a tremendous amount of pain that was created for the earth having to swallow up Abel’s body. And since Korach had the aspect of the soul of Cain in him, he was swallowed up by the earth when he died; therefore, the eating up, the death of Korach, was actually a correction of Cain’s killing Abel.
So, if you look at this with a bigger perspective, the perspective of not just the hundred years or whatever amount of time of the interaction between Moses and Korach, but if you can take the bigger perspective of thousands of years, Korach had to be killed by Moses in order to correct his soul. In order for Cain, who came back as Korach, to be corrected, he needed to be killed by Abel, who came back as Moses. And in order to correct the earth from that murder, Korach had to be swallowed up by it.
Therefore, forget everything you learned about this until now. Korach’s life had to end in this way in order to correct what he did to his brother Abel in a previous incarnation as Cain. So when you understand it like this - that what was happening here wasn’t the story of Korach and Moses, but was actually the story of the correction of Cain for the killing of Abel - now it’s not sad anymore that Korach was swallowed up by the earth and killed indirectly by Moses... because he needed this correction.
There is really such beauty to the levels and depths of this portion of Korach. We know, for instance, that Korach’s correction also begins with the prophet Samuel, who was a descendant of his. We also know that Dathan and Aviram, the two other leaders, were reincarnated into the cows, the bulls, that Elijah brought as a sacrifice to prove the existence of the Creator to the evil prophets. It’s a beautiful story, where they decide they want to come into those animals to begin their correction.
So the idea is that when we start seeing our own lives from this perspective, we really begin to have more appreciation for ourselves. Currently, we think our story is just one of the number of years we have been alive. However, that’s not true. Our story is a story of thousands of years; who knows how many incarnations and what kind of pain and suffering our soul went through just to be here at this moment?
When we see the story of Cain and Abel – and all of us, to one degree or another, are parts of Cain and Abel – we begin to realize that the stories we have surrounding situations we find ourselves in and the people we find ourselves around aren’t stories from only right now. They’re stories spanning hundreds or thousands of years. If we really appreciate and begin to see the story of Korach and Moses from this perspective, and we begin to see our lives in this perspective, then we can begin to see the people who come into our lives as a completely different opportunity.