Tzizit and Mezuzah. These are two of the most popular and easy to fulfil mitzvoth. Thankfully even Jews who are very far removed form traditional practice tend to have a 'mezuzah' (whether it is kosher is a different story) on their front door (at least) proclaiming to all that they are proud Jews. Similarly even though there is no obligation to wear tzizit unless one is wearing a four cornered garment - something that went out style years if not centuries ago- the Jewish people across the religious spectrum specifically buy a four cornered garment in order that they may attach the tzizit and literally wrap themselves in a mitzvah. So why would Korach in his attempt to discredit Moshe Rabbeinu pick on these two mitzvoth. Why not mount an attack on those incompressible chukim like shatnez, parah adumah or even what once was a favourite mitzvah to discredit, namely kashrut. Most Jews actually like these two mitzvoth of Tallit and Mezuzah - yet Korach specifically attacked them!
Korach seems to have foreshadowed a claim that would become prevalent at the beginning of the emancipation. Be a Jew at home but a man on the street. Korach was willing to have a home full of books. He may even have studied them. But that was in the privacy of his home when no one was looking. On the outside he looked no different than his non-Jewish neighbours. Unfortunately climbing the social ladder often did mean not displaying Judaism so openly. Many abandoned the mezuzah, containing the Shma and its declaration that we should "speak of them when you are at home, when travelling on the road" (Devarim 6:7). This is apparently too much for the Korach's of this world who fear outward displays of their Jewishness. It is no accident that putting a sign on our doorposts is the marker that distinguished Jewish and Egyptian homes on the night of redemption from captivity. Did Korach not see the irony in attacking that which saved him, a firstborn no less?
Apparently he was afraid his followers would see this argument for what it is worth so he devised another plan of attack. Tzizit. He asked Moshe if a garment that is made of 100% techelet needs tzizit. When Moshe answered in the affirmative Korach mockingly laughed replying that if one string of techelet is enough surely an entire garment of techelet would not need an extra techelet fringe.
Tzizit is meant to ensure that we "do not stray after your heart and eyes which lead to immorality" (Bamidbar 15:39). As Rashi points out "the eyes see, the heart desires and the body commits sin". Korach and his ilk are not willing to accept any form of limitations. We see, we like and we do. The blue of the tzizit is meant to remind us to pursue spiritual goals which means that there have to be some limits on material ones. Our material blessings must be used primarily to enhance mitzva performance. A bigger income must guarantee 'higher marginal tzedakah rates' as 20% can no longer be adequate. Extra vacation time should be seen as an opportunity to spend more hours learning, vacation properties as an opportunity to fulfill mitzvat yishuv Haaretz . To Korach the material and spiritual worlds were separate. There is the world of religion, of Torah (techelet), and then there is the world of business. A world in which greater fidelity to the shulchan aruch does not necessarily mean a greater mensch . Thus Korach was willing to wear a big blue garment as long as the tzizit remained all white. To separate the material and spiritual worlds. However tzizit must combine the blue and the white. They must hang together as the material makes the spiritual possible and the spiritual makes the material meaningful. Seeking G-d for longer and longer periods is only meaningful if it leads to serving man. Mitzvot are not the end goals (though a necessary step) separate form our inner selves but must serve to refine our character. As soon as our material blessings impede spiritual growth - an not uncommon phenomenon - we know we have reached our limits.
Mezuzah and tzizit are the twin pillars of religious growth. We must first and foremost be proud Jews wherever we may find ourselves. We must then ensure that our Judaism integrates all aspects of creation as we constantly strive to reach the seat of glory of G-d Himself. Shabbat Shalom!