Early Bloggers: Dasan and Aviram

29 Jun

It’s only been a few days and already I miss them. What can I say? Good ol’ D ‘n’ A are very likeable guys. In fact, the Medrash says that while Moshe and Aharon were chosen by God, Dasan and Aviram were chosen by the people.

First off, they’re the funniest people in the Torah. The humor really tanks after they go off-screen. Who can forget the classics like, “Were there no graves in Egypt, that you needed to bring us out to the desert to die?”* And after Moshe says, “Is it too small a thing that God has done for you, to do the service…that you also seek the priesthood?”, D&A answer, “Is it too small a thing that you have brought us out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us, that you want to lord yourself over us as well?” Ah, those were some good lines. A little dark, but still pretty good for ad-libbing ex-slaves from 3000 years ago.

They get a bad rap of course, but I think they’re just misunderstood. Sure Moshe is the hero of the Torah, and he’s pretty hard not to like, but I think Dasan and Aviram are easier to relate to. They’re not bad guys, they’re just totally distrustful of authority and have enough guts to say it. When God is helping them, they trust Him- they make it out of Egypt, after all. But they don’t want to put all their cards in anyone else’s basket. When Hashem tells Moshe to make them into bait to trap Pharaoh, they complain. When God says they should trust in Him to give them food every day, they balk and leave over food*. They don’t want to rely on other people’s (or God’s) goodwill.

Apparently they tapped into something that many people were feeling to some extent. They were “Kriai Eidah”, elect members of the congregation and, as such, they became folk heroes, unafraid to stand up for the people. I think that Moshe, “the most humble of all men”, didn’t take offense at their behavior because he understood where they were coming from.

What went wrong? I think that Korach was a good politician and made them believe him. Korach saw that he was being cut out of the privileged caste, and decided he would make his own. But he needed the people on his side to overthrow Moshe. And which better running mates to get than Dasan and Aviram? His platform suddenly became “We’re all equal”. Of course, D&A were interested in that socialist platform. Unfortunately, they got eaten up by something bigger than themselves. That should be a good lesson to all bloggers who support Narcissistic politicians like Al Gore, and the causes they chew up and spit out.

I guess that ruined the mood for some of you. I’m sorry. I’m cynical and mistrustful as well, and I can’t seem to keep my opinions to myself either.

*People blame them for it, so I’ll give them the credit.

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