“For the sake of His great name, the Lord will never abandon His people seeing that the Lord undertook to make you His people.” I Samuel 12:22.
This week’s parashat Korah illustrates the importance of knowing history in order to avoid the mistakes of the past. Korah and his people questioned why Moses and Aaron had placed themselves above the others. Instead of trusting in God, they succumbed to the fear that they had been taken from a land flowing in milk and honey only to die in the wilderness. This angered the Lord and the ground opened up sending Korah and his men alive into Sheol.
The problem is resolved in Prophets I Samuel. The people of Israel were now asking for a leader and Samuel delivered to them their king Saul. They were reminded of the past and did not make the same mistakes.
This parsha is relevant to what is going on in our society today. The people are consumed with fear. Fear of those who are different, fear of people being placed in positions of leadership, fear of losing power and fear of losing their status in society. We are focusing on the wrong things. Instead of fearing what is different in others, we could be focusing on what we have in common and how we can build upon that to make our communities thrive. Our country is dividing itself and the only solution to the problem is to remember the mistakes of the past to better our future.