Jealousy, Lust and Honor
הקנאה והתאווה והכבוד
Rabbi Eliezer (Avot 4.27) teaches us that:
Jealousy, lust and honor drive a man from this world
הקנאה והתאווה והכבוד מוציאין את האדם מן העולם
3952+8 words=3960=18 (final letters)
The joint gematria of these three words:
· Jealousy- הקנאה= 161=8 or + 1 word=1+8
· Lust- התאווה = 423=1+8 or +1 word=10=1
· Honor- הכבוד= 37=10=1
The number 621 alludes to the 216 letters of the Explicit Name of Hashem.
These three human failings of self importance lack all ethical boundaries when taken to their extremities. So we witness in this and the previous two Parshot. The sin of lust we witnessed in Parshat B'ha'alotcha as the Children of Israel lusted for meat; the sin of honor we witnessed in Parshat Shlach in the Sin of the Spies who thought they would lose their positions of status once they came into the Land of Israel and thus slandered it; and the sin of Jealousy we witness here with the affair of Korach and his assembly.
Lust is a sin of craving of the body; Honor is a sin of warped intelligence; Jealousy is a sin of the soul.
What began with a physical sin then turned into a sin of warped intellect which finally manifested itself in a sin of the soul. The “mixed multitude”- Erev Rav (lust for meat), took hold of the distinguished men (intellect of the spies) which eventually enveloped the highest echelons of society (jealousy of Korach the Levite). One sin led to another which caused a breakdown in all levels of society and drove them all out of this world both naturally and unnaturally.