Project Genesis




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Jewish Texts

How Evil were Dasan and Aviram?

Question: How did Dasan and Aviram leave Egypt

Answer: Hi! You’re asking a very interesting question. You didn’t explain, but I think you’re assuming that Reshaim (sinful people) didn’t get to leave Egypt. It isn’t so. The sages of the Talmud say that four-fifths of the Jewish People died in the plague of darkness, but they didn’t say that the other fifth were perfectly righteous. I’m assuming that the four-fifths that died had descended so far into the immorality of Egypt that they were incapable of rising to levels of spirtuality. They were, let’s say, spiritually dead.

Those who did leave were not quite dead. Some of them must have been pretty close. And of course some of them were our most saintly, people like Moses and Aharon and Miriam and Calev and Nachshon son of Aminadav.

Everyone who left Egypt was still capable of being inspired, was capable of growing. Every one of them brought a Paschal lamb in the face of the Egyptians, crossed into the Sea of Reeds, and said accepted the Torah with one heart with the rest of the nation. But some of them still had a long way to go, and could still make very serious mistakes. Some of them weren’t as sure as Hashem was that they were capable of rising to great heights. That was the party of Dasan and Aviram.

Best wishes,
Michoel Reach

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