Just days before the holiday commemorating the destruction of the Holy Temples, Tisha B'Av, a group of Jewish priests and Levites hurried across the centuries-worn cobblestones of this holy city to prepare to bless the people of Israel.
A rabbinical colleague of mine tells me that he's had extensive contact with one of the most popular and renowned entertainment celebrities of our time. This star is not only hugely famous, wealthy and successful, but has been acclaimed around the globe for his rare talent and genius. Hundreds of thousands of fans wish they could have his life; that they could be him.
In the course of their conversations, the rabbi asked this man what it is that he constantly wishes for in life. His answer: Obscurity. His dream is to fade from the limelight, and lead a simple, anonymous, man-on-the-street, white-picket-fence existence.
In this week's Torah portion, Korach, we meet a man who, by all accounts, was a very intelligent, affluent and gifted individual. A Levite by birth, he already occupied a position of prominence and prestige within the community of Israel. Yet, he rallies together a band of fellow Levites to challenge the leadership of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron.