Monday, June 23, 2008

Korach's Wife

Our landlord recently mentioned to me (prior to the incident noted in "Two Israelis") that men always say they are looking for an asheyt chayil, but he reminds them that they must first be an "ish" chayil for their woman to be an asheyt chayil. Definitely a good sound bite, I thought.

Applicable to this week's parsha too. It is certainly a mitzvah, as we are all painfully aware, to propagate shalom bayis. And, to that end, one should support and respect one's spouse. When we look at Parshah Korach, we see that Korach's wife is characterized as a woman who built up her husband constantly in her speech. However, she also erred in doing so: she bolstered his self-confidence and displayed respect for him by cutting down Moshe and Aharon. Now, Hashem detests Lashon Hara. Indeed, as much as one should go to all lengths to preserve shalom bayis, one must similarly refrain from Lashon Hara. In Korach's wife then, we see the epitome of the wife who builds up her home at the expense of others.

Contrast Korach's wife with Onn's. The latter persuaded her husband to quit the rebellion by highlighting that whether Aharon or Korach was Kohen Gadol in the end made no difference to Onn's existence. Such phrasing, like that of Korach's wife, stresses the benefit to one's husband. However, unlike Korach's wife, Onn's wife chose to persuade her husband to side with Moshe and Aharon, and in turn with Hashem. Korach's wife, on the other hand, chose words that created a home environment that was ripe for rebellion.

In the end, we see that is important to choose a spouse whose words are both productive and l'shaym shamayim. Only then can a peaceful home, one that epitomizes the symbol of the family as a microcosm of the Beit HaMigdash possible. Korach and his wife, as rashoyim, rebelled against Hashem and consequently created a home equivalent to a house of idol worship: one wherein Lashon Hara instilled hatred, and in turn a denial of Hashem. We should all merit to refrain from their example and instead bolster each other into becoming an ish and ashet chayil.

1 comment:

  1. A woman of wise words and a soft voice constructs. I see the writer knows the secret of a true wife and woman.