The Counsel of a Wise Spouse

Yael Eckstein  |  June 27, 2022

Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses. — Numbers 16:1-2

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Korach, which means “Korah,” from Numbers 16:1–18:32.

When my husband Amichai and I were young newlyweds, we never imagined everything that life would bring our way. We just knew we loved each other and that we wanted to spend our lives together.

We didn’t give much thought to the big decisions that we would have to make or to the challenges that we would face. As a wise friend of mine once said, “Thank God we don’t know the future.” It would probably overwhelm us if we did.

From making aliyah — immigrating to Israel — to the choice of the community in which to raise our children, we have made some big decisions together, and I’m sure there are many more big decisions to come.

When I took over the leadership of The Fellowship in 2019 after my father, Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, died unexpectedly, Amichai was amazing. He supported me through the combination of pain over my father’s passing and the enormous new responsibilities that I now faced. I needed a boost of confidence and Amichai gave it to me. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve consulted Amichai and been saved from mistakes that I was about to make. Thank goodness for the counsel of a loving and wise spouse!

The Counsel of a Wise Spouse

In the opening verse of this week’s Torah portion, we also see an example of the support of a loving and wise spouse. The Bible lists the participants in the rebellion led by Korach: “Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses.”

As the story progresses, Korach, Dathan, and Abiram are all mentioned again, most notably when they are punished in Numbers 16:24-27. But On son of Peleth is never mentioned. So what happened to On?

The Midrash — the teachings of the Jewish sages from 2,000 years ago — explains that between the beginning of the rebellion and the confrontation with Moses that followed, On’s wife told him that he was being a fool for rebelling against Moses. On followed the counsel of his loving and wise spouse, left the rebellious mob, and became loyal to Moses.

Thank God for the counsel of a loving and wise husband or wife!

Your Turn:

Who do you rely on for wise counsel? Remember, those closest to you are the ones who know you best.

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.