Friday, June 20, 2014

Parshat KORACH- "The World Was Created For Me"

פרשת קרח

Numbers: (16:1-18:32)

In this stormy Parsha, Parsha Korah, we see the dark potential of humanity: jealousy and the greedy pursuit of honor. Korah, a cousin of Moses from the tribe of Levi, along with Datan and Abiram and 250 leaders accuses Moses of nepotism:

ויקהלו על משה ועל אהרון ויאמרו אלהם רב לכם כי כל העדה כלם קדשים ובתוכם הומדוע תתנשאו על קהל ה

And they gathered against Moses and Aharon and say, You have taken too much for yourself but you are not the only holy ones for all the congregation are holy, and G-d is among them so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of G-d?(16:3).

Korah declares that the leadership should not be in one persons hands, that everyone in the congregation is equally holy and worthy of leadership. In reaction to Korahs complaints, Moses orders Korah and his congregation to bring incense before G-d:

And it will be that the man that G-d chooses, he is the holy one (16:7).

Moses further defends himself to G-d by saying that he did not even take anything from the congregation, not even a donkey. To prove that Korah and his congregation were wrong, G-d punishes them with an unnatural death. The ground beneath them splits, opens up and swallows Korah, his men, their houses and all their possessions.

The Midrash says that G-d punished themmidah kineged midah, or measure for measure. They opened their mouth against G-d and against Moses so He opened up the mouth of the land to swallow them, as it written:

The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them...(16:32).

G-d sends forth a fire to consume the men who were bringing the incense. He then orders Elazar the priest, son of Aaron, to gather their fire pans and hammer them into sheets to overlay the altar as a sign and reminder for the rest of the Children of Israel.

G-d then tells Moses to speak to the Children of Israel and take a staff from each tribe and to write the name of the tribal leader on the staff of his tribe. The staffs were all to be left in the Tent of Meeting and the man that G-d chooses, his staff will bloom. Moses places the staffs before G-d and returns the next day and behold, the staff of Aaron blossomed for the house of Levi, a blossom came froth, and bloomed buds and bore almonds (17:23).

G-d commands Moses to to place Aarons staff before the Ark of Testimony as a symbol to the rebellious people so that they stop their complaint and so they will not die.

The Parsha also discusses the gifts of the priesthood: terumah, bikkurim (the first fruits) and firstborn among various sacrifices. G-d tells Aaron:

You will have no inheritance in their land...I am your inheritance and portion among the Children of Israel (18:20).

בקר וידע ה את אשר לו

[In the] morning , G-d will make known who is [worthy to be] His... (16:5)

Why did Moses have them wait until the morning? Why was the argument not settled on the spot?

The Or HaChaim explains that G-d gives us time and the opportunity to repent and to teach us that we should not make hasty decisions but rather one should take time to think through ones course of action.

Another explanation is that the result of G-ds choice will be as clear as the morning.

Exerted from "parsha to go app".

Shabbat shalom umevorach 

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