Do Jews ever argue? With the popular expression—“2 Jews, 3 opinions” or “The only thing 2 Jews can agree on is how much money the third Jew should give to charity,” it seems clear that even we perceive ourselves as susceptible to makhloket (disputes).
Certainly arguments have their place. We have many ethical teachings on the subject. Our Rabbis use this week’s Parasha is its basis.
In this week’s Parasha, Korach challenges Moses’ power and authority. Moses is known as and is even called by God the “most humble man to have ever lived.” Yet, Moses does not step down when challenged.
Being humble does not mean being a pushover either.
What are the bounds of propriety in an argument or dispute? The Torah values argumentation so long as it is L’shem Shamayim—for the sake of heaven, but what does that even mean? Pirke Avot gives the arguments of Hillel and Shammai as an example of good faith arguments characterized by mutual honor and respect.
This Shabbat we are privileged to learn with Andy “Rav Abdul” Pass who will help us learn about “dissent in the ranks.” This will be a fascinating discussion. I am sure nobody will disagree about that. However, arguments l’shem shamayim are all welcome.
9:45 a.m. Don’t argue with me about it. Just be there! Come as you are. Stay as long as you like.