How to Challenge the Status Quo

When the daughters of Tzelofhad felt their own grievance, they remembered that there had been a similar case of people who had successfully petitioned Moshe. In fact, a careful reading of the text shows that they actually modelled their plea on that petition about Pesach. Yet that is not the only thing they remembered. They also remembered the big question mark that Korach had placed upon the Jews’ ability to know how a grievance could be presented. Hence it was not only enough to follow the example of those who had done it right. It was perhaps even more important to state explicitly that they were not following in the footsteps of Korach as well. For once both models were out there, a very clear distinction was necessary. After all, it was precisely the case of Pesach Sheni that allowed Korach and his assembly to think that they could have their own grievance redressed. Subsequently there was a more urgent need to separate between the two.

There is an important teaching here for those who seek to have legitimate grievances addressed. Because there have been destructive models of improper grievances against the status quo, it is not enough to present proper grievances in a positive way. To read more at the Jewish Press, click here.

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