This is going to be in points because... just because :-)
- A rabbi (I was told the name, but I forgot- the details of the story are hazy, sorry. I'll try and get them tomorrow and update.) had a dream and was told to give the Vilna Goan "Shalom Mishamayim."- Shalom from Heaven. When he asked why he should tell the Gaon this he was told that it was because the Gaon said "Amitah shel Torah" a Complete Truth of Torah thought. The rabbi asked why he should be the one to give the message. He was told it was because he had said Amitah shel Torah.
- The Gaon, in one of his seforim, actually has written on the side that he received Shalom from this Rabbi. Because of the reason given above. Wow.
- The rabbi's son asked him what the Amitah shel Torah. The rabbi said as follows: At the end of this week's parsha, Parshas Balak, the last Passuk in the Parsha says: וַיִּהְיוּ, הַמֵּתִים בַּמַּגֵּפָה--אַרְבָּעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים, אָלֶף. And there were those that died in the plague-- 24,000. The Trop (cantillation) mark under the word בַּמַּגֵּפָה is a pause.
- Why? By Korach, when the Torah says Korach and his men died, did not have this sort of punctuation?
- So, this rabbi's thought was that, the Torah was telling us something.
- There are two different ways someone can die- at their time or not at their time.
- The ones who died in the time of Korah, were exclusively those who were involved with Korah and that whole story.
- The 24,000 who died here, were not only those who were punished for their actions, but those who, even if not for this event, would have died, because it was their time.
- So Hashem showed mercy this time around. 24,000 had to die, but who those 24,000 people consisted of was different than those involved with Korach.
- So now the passuk reads really nicely. There were those that died in the plague. 24,000. Those who died in the plague didn't necessarily die because of the plague, but in it.
I hope that made sense. I'll try and fix it up, but it's something :-)
Have a great Shabbos!