Don’t be like Korach - ולא יהיה כקרח
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler zt”l (Michtav Me’Eliyahu vol. 4) explains how it happened that a smart man like Korach acted so foolishly. What he says, applies to each of us as well - so listen carefully!
He quotes Rav Hai Gaon (in his responsa), who brings the following story:
A lion wanted to tear apart a fox. So the fox says to him, “Why settle for a skinny body like mine? Over there is a fat man.” Replied the lion, “I am fearful of his prayers - I may be punished through him.” Said the fox, “The punishment will not come upon you, only on your children or grandchildren.” The lion went towards the fat man, and fell into a trap - a pit covered with branches and leaves. The fox went and peeked at the lion in the pit. Said the lion to the fox, “But you said that the punishment will not come upon me, but on my children or grandchildren!” Replied the fox, “You are not being punished for your sins, but for the sins of your forefathers.” Said the lion, “Fathers ate sour grapes and the teeth of the children get the chills?” Replied the fox, “But you agreed that your children should be punished for your sins!”
And Rav Hai Gaon concludes, “How much mussar lies within this!”
And R’ Dessler explains: This is the power of ‘taivoh’ (desire) - it blinds the eyes of one’s mind. Same with the Korach. He was a wise man, so why did he act so illogically? Because the ‘taivoh’ corrupted the eyes of his mind.
So where do we fit in? Or rather, let’s not fit in.