(16:33) ‘And they were lost from among the community/nation/people.’ Whatever ‘Kahal’ means. I know this congregation does not have much understanding, as they have not given me a raise, in the past five years…
After a whole story of the earth swallowing up Korach and all that was with him, it ends with ‘and they were lost from among the community.’
What is the curse? What is the punishment? They were swallowed up by the earth already. They should not care about not being part of the congregation…Bernie’s grave has not been visited once by a member of this congregation. All he has a plaque which gets lit and left on, because the gabbai doesn’t remember to change the lights to match the Yahrtzeits…
When are you swallowed up?
And then the rest of the followers went up in flames. Oh, how that thought of getting rid of the dissenters passes through my mind…My wife and myself are thinking of having more children so that there will be more people who agree with me. I am sick of arguing…At least this way, people will agree with my opinions for a good 13 or so years.
But we see a blessing:
(17:3) The firepans of the sinners turn into a covering for the altar, as a sign.
(17:2) It is after this episode that these firepans become Holy.
Sins when used as an example and learned from, turn to blessings for the people.
Oh how I hope this is true in this congregation. Maybe one of you will put a stone on Bernie’s grave site, to make it look like somebody cared that he lived.
It is the congregation that continues your legacy. By Korach and his followers- aka the Kiddush Club and Sisterhood- we remember their bad. They are lost from the congregation. However, the blessing is what we remember. The blessing of rightful leadership…May this congregation merit to see the gabbai go up in flames…
(17:5) Holy, because it is a remembrance to the children of Israel to not sacrifice if you are not a cohen.
Oh- if we can use the examples of the sins to teach.
This congregation would have never went back to the breadbasket cloth head-coverings.
This congregation would have never went back to early summer Shabbis… It is already a good 25 hours to begin with. To add on another two hours of suffering without the internet is…
We have to learn from our sins, to make them holy. We have to live a life, not like the gabbai, to make our lives holy. So that we are not lost from the congregation.
If we don’t, then we too are swallowed up by the earth and lost in the dirt of the abyss. The dirt that the janitor left on the floor…hasn’t cleaned in…
(17:6) The next day, the people complain.
It is too much for them to see what is right…And I know, that everyone of you that has been lost from this congregation will be complaining about this sermon. Just like the sinners in the desert.
Every one of you wants to make the decisions around here…
***These are excerpts from the sermon. For the sermon in its entirety, come see David Kilimnick perform at the Off The Wall Comedy Basement, in downtown Jerusalem.
David also tours as a Maggid with very few stories, if you invite him.