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The first half of the month of Tammuz is a pleasant continuation of Sivan; the month of מתן תורה, the Revelation at Sinai.  Historically it is the time when Moshe Rabbenu is still on the Mountain receiving the Tablets, לוחות הברית.  It is the time when the people are awaiting the return of their revered leader Moshe.  When he seems to be late in coming, comes the disaster, the sin of the Golden Calf.  It occurs on the seventeenth of Tammuz, a day designated for the future disaster; the siege on Jerusalem.

Even the first day of the month rings an alarm bell: On this day Moshe Rabbenu sent the מרגלים, the spies, who returned after forty days, on the ninth of Av, yes, תשעה באב, which became a day of בכיה לדורות,  weeping , mourning for generations. 

When our Sages analyze the cause of our national misfortunes they blame it on שינאת חנם, baseless hatred which was manifest by מחלקת, division, lack of unity – אחדות.

In the פרשה, Torah portion that we read on שבת ראש חודש, we see the most serious example of ,מחלקת מחלקת קרח ועדתו, the revolt of Korach and his cohorts.

Moshe Rabbenu, in spite of being the greatest נביא, prophet, praised by HaShem: בכל ביתי נאמן הוא , the most trustworthy, was not immune to complaints and criticism.  Korach was very hurtful.  Moshe who did not look for power and honor, who had to be persuaded to accept the leadership, is accused of elevating himself, his brother and close relatives to positions of power

ויקהלו על-משה ועל-אהרן, ויאמרו אליהם רב-לכם--כי כל-העדה כלם קדשים, ובתוכם ה'; ומדוע תתנשאו, על-קהל ה'

(במדבר טז:ג)

“They gathered together against Moshe and against Aharon and said to them, “It is too much for you! For the entire congregation – all of them are holy and HaShem is among them why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of HaShem?”

Korach uses the name of HaShem, but actually he implies that Moshe and Aharon were self-appointed, not chosen by HaShem, so were the appointments of their close relatives from the tribe of Levy. Moshe protests, He did not intend to dominate or benefit; did not take advantage of his service to request or take a donkey for his travels.

It happens too often that good and talented people are disgraced many times by false accusations.  We should be careful not to listen to false accusations that bring מחלקת  and שנאת חינם.

May we all have a happy peaceful summer and see all the sad dates in our calendar turn into days of joy.

Miriam Hauer

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