Losing Gracefully

Numbers Hizkuni: Korach

Losing Gracefully

A child loses while playing a board game. In a fit of fury he flips over the board, sending the pieces flying in different directions. If such reactions repeat themselves, other children learn not to play with the petulant child. The child grows to be lonely, avoided, socially inadequate and ruled by his passions and anger.

In the power play between Korach’s followers and Moses a similar struggle unfolds. Rabbi Hizkiyahu ben Manoach (Hizkuni) explains that Korach’s group were nothing more than sore losers.

Hizkuni wonders as to the identity of the rest of Korach’s esteemed assembly. He answers that they were none other than Firstborns who had lost the honor and responsibility of serving in the Tabernacle. These Firstborns wanted to flip the board, scatter the pieces and reclaiming the role they had lost. Their inability to lose gracefully led them to an unnecessary and damning confrontation.

Winning rarely comes easy, but a clear prerequisite to winning at all is to know how to lose first.

May we be on the winning side of things, but when not, may we take it well.

Shabbat Shalom,

Bentzi

Dedication

To pitcher Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers. As reported, he threw a ‘perfect game’ but his amazing achievement was ruined by an erroneous call by the umpire. He nevertheless kept his cool. That’s the making of a real winner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s