Right off Reisterstown Road, a popular thoroughfare located in the heart of Baltimore, MD, there is a furniture store that has been claiming to be “going out of business” for as long as I can remember! I’ve driven past that store literally dozens of times, and each time, upon seeing the “going out of business” sign, I feel a little sad for them, and also feel like I want to go in to get a good closeout deal on some furniture.

Just recently, though, as I was driving (yet again) past the store, for some reason I decided to read the sign again, and what I noticed was shocking. The sign did not actually say, “Going out OF business,” rather, it said, “Going out FOR business.”

Using falsified advertisements to lure customers into a store is not something new. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported about a store that opened up in Texas a few years ago that was literally called, “Going Out of Business.” After a short while, the Better Business Bureau forced the owner of the store to change the store’s name. “I understand the desire to stay in business,” the BBB official that busted the store told the Journal. “But you can’t do it by going out of business.”

I thought this was such a good mussar for life. You cannot stay in business by going out of business! To excel and succeed at life, you must toil, be involved, and stay in the game. You must work hard, put in the effort, and be busy. You must be honest and true with yourself.

Playing games, falsifying advertisements, and luring in customers through schemes, might make you a few dollars in the short term. But in the long term, eventually the business that claims it is “Going out FOR business” will most likely go out OF business.

In this week’s Parshah, Korach gathers 250 people to rebel against Moshe and Aharon, the leaders of the Jewish people. Korach claimed, “We are all holy. Why should Moshe and Aharon be the leaders!”

On the surface, the claim of Korach sounds legitimate and in line with everything we know about Torah and Judaism. The Torah itself refers to every member of the Jewish people as “holy.” But therein lies the tremendous danger of Korach and how he was able to gather so many followers to rebel against the bona fide leaders of the Jewish people. He used normal, rational, and relatable words. “We are all holy!” Everyone heard that and thought, “Ya! He’s right! We are all holy!” But it was a scheme; it was politically motivated, and egotistically inspired. It was a false advertisement of what the Torah truly means when it says, “You shall be holy!”

Of course, every Jewish person is holy. That is not a question. But there are various levels of holiness and each person must stay in their lane, zone, and ground. Every person has their place, their position, and their space to complete their Divine mission. We are all holy, true. But we are not all equal. We each have our own unique mission to achieve and accomplish.

Let us strive to work hard, apply effort, and put our best foot forward in our Avodas Hashem. Our job is to be honest with ourselves, live with personal integrity, and do the best that we can.

If you are a yid with a Neshama, you are in a safe spiritual marketplace. You are never truly going out of business. Stay connected. Stay truthful. Stay holy.

Have a holy Shabbos!