Seize Every Opportunity to End a Dispute

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In Parshat Korach, Korach, Moshe and Aharon’s cousin, along with Datan and Aviram, leads an outright rebellion, attempting to overthrow Moshe and Aharon as the leaders of the nation.


Before calling for the destruction of Korach and his followers, Moshe went to the tents of Datan and Aviram to see if he could convince them to stop their rebellion.


“Moshe stood up and went to Datan and Aviram and the elders of Israel followed him. He spoke to them saying: ‘Turn away now from near the tents of the wicked men and do not touch anything of theirs, lest you pesrih because of their sins’” Bamidbar 16:25-26).


Tractate Sanhedrin 110a brings up the above pasuk 16:25: “ ‘Moshe stood up and went to the tents of Datan and Aviram’. Reish Lakish said: From here we learn that one should not persist in a quarrel. For Rav said: Whoever persists in a quarrel (machzik bemachloket) breaks a negative commandment, as it is written (Bamidbar 17:5), ‘and be not like Korach and his company’.”


We see from here that even if one feels he is right, he should not perpetuate a quarrel. Rather he should look for every opportunity to end it. Although Moshe had been slandered by Datan and Aviram, he didn’t wait for them to apologize to him. Rather, he went to them to try to persuade them to end their quarrel. Moshe’s reasoning was that one must seize every opportunity to end a dispute.


Unfortunately, Datan and Aviram did not listen and were therefore punished with Korach and the rest of his company.


We must do our best to resolve any quarrels that may arise and remain in the camp of Moshe and Aharon.