Our Parsha describes how Korach, a descendent of Levi, challenged the authority of Moshe Rabbeinu. Specifically, he questioned Moshe’s appointment of his brother Aharon as the Kohen Gadol.
To counter the accusation, Moshe prays that Hashem send a clear message to the entire nation and that Korach not be allowed to succeed in his deception.
After fulfilling Moshe’s request, Hashem proceeds to reaffirm Aharon’s appointment and to delineate the various priestly gifts to which he, and his descendents, will be entitled.
This arrangement is referred to by the Torah as “ברית מלח עולם”, (an eternal covenant of salt). Rashi explains that just as salt never spoils, similarly, the covenant between Hashem and Aharon will never expire.
The NETZI”V, Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, offers an additional significance to this reference. Just as salt is used to improve the taste of food, but, if it is used in incorrect proportions it can spoil the food. The same can be said of the responsibility and authority of Aharon’s lofty status. As a leader, Aharon has the ability to raise the people to great spiritual heights. If however, these gifts are exploited or abused, they can ruin the people, just as too much salt will ruin the meal.
We each have aspects of our lives that will put us in a leadership role. This may be as
employers, parents and confidants or as organizational leaders. In each of these we have the power to influence and create. The advice or direction that we dictate can shape the future for an individual or for a group. It is vital that we learn from the mistake of Korach and from the successes of Aharon, to apply ourselves fully and unselfishly in our responsibility to those who rely upon us. Just as a master chef is able to combine the perfect balance of flavors to create a masterpiece, so does the seasoned leader know to measure the perfect balance of patience, wisdom and compassion.
Rabbi Don Pacht