Parashat Korach tells of a major revolt led by Korach against the leadership of his cousins, Moses and Aaron, accusing them of putting their own interests before those of the people. Jealousy, insecurity and misguided ambition were at the source. A lesson we can learn from this
parasha - one that evaded Korach himself - is that differences do not necessarily need to cause strife. We would do well to examine our motives so that the arguments we choose to pursue are
le-shem shamayim - for the sake of heaven and for the betterment of our world.
It is increasingly difficult in this age of social media with quick, not well thought out and often 'off the cuff' and cruel responses, to maintain a balanced, nuanced perspective.
There are many things in our world that are frightening and upsetting, even to the point of outrage, as they perhaps merit. A congregant asked for my advice when feeling outrage. The first thing is to breathe and level your head. And, be sure that you have all of the facts. Oftentimes, when we read or hear the news via social media or even broadcast journalism, the very messages themselves are meant to arouse and incite and often we don't have all the facts. What appears, on the surface, to be an outrage, maybe is only part of a story or misleading, intentionally or otherwise. So, first breathe, and then get the facts from reliable sources.
After ascertaining the facts, if you still feel that action is warranted, consider what that action might look like. What resources (monetary, time, petitions, other) do you have and how much can you afford to allocate? What is the best use of those resources in order to make impactful choices? Ultimately, the action should not be about making us feel better or expressing our anger, but about how to use our resources to make meaningful contributions to heal/improve that part of the world that is the focus of our concern.