Korach 5780-2020

“Achieving the Good Life by Picking the Right Mate”
(updated and revised from parashat Korach 5761-2001)

The Midrash highlights the roles that two women played in the rebellion of Korach. Mrs. Korach is depicted as having provoked her husband into rebellion, while the wife of On, the son of Pelet, is portrayed as having saved her husband from destruction, and preventing him from joining Korach’s rebels. By carefully choosing our friends and mates, we are often

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Korach 5778-2018

“Where Did Korach Go Wrong?”

Korach, who was reputed to be a very wise man, failed to understand that the leadership role that Moses played was not based on power, but was derived from being a devoted mentor and a master teacher.

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Korach 5777-2017

“Mrs. Ohn: The Unsung Hero”

Without faith, the people cannot overcome their fears that are stoked by a slave mentality. This is not a people who can succeed in the Promised Land. Only a new generation, who have a relationship with the Al-mighty based on a loving faith will enter the land.

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Korach 5772-2012

"Jealousy, Lust, and Thirst for Honor"

There is a remarkable confluence between the story of Korach and the statement of Rav Elazar Ha’Kapar that is recorded in Mishnah Avot: “Envy, lust and obsessive desire for glory, remove a person from this world.”

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Korach 5771-2011

“The Preciousness of Peace”

Because of the focus on the viciousness of the rebellion of Korach and his cohorts, few recognize the tireless efforts of Moses and Aaron to dissuade the rebels from rebelling and save them from destruction.

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Korach 5770-2010

"And Behold the Staff of Aaron had Blossomed"

What is the point of the staff that blossoms, the new sign that G-d employs to prove Aaron's leadership? After all, there have already been three very definitive proofs confirming the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

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Korach 5769-2009

"A Controversy with an Ignoble Purpose"

In Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, we learn what the rabbis regarded as legitimate disputes and illegitimate disputes. The lesson that rabbis in Avot teach not only clarifies the issue of disputes, but also clarifies much of what took place at the rebellion of Korach.

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Shelach 5769-2009

"Long-Term Consequences"

When the ancient Israelites heard the evil reports of the ten scouts, they stayed up all night and cried. The Talmud states that G-d reacted to this crying by declaring "You cried for no reason, I will give you good cause to cry." That very day, the 9th of Av, was consequently designated in Jewish history as a day of evil in which many calamities occurred, including the destruction of both Temples. Although G-d forgave the young generation of the wilderness, He still held the people accountable for what they had done. Contemporary Jews must also consider the role they play and the long-term consequences of their actions.

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Korach 5768-2008

"Datan and Abiram: The Protagonists"

Datan and Abiram, two members of the tribe of Reuben, are caught up in the rebellion of Korach and are swallowed along with Korach when the earth opens. The Midrash sees Datan and Abiram as the paradigm of effrontery, rebellion, and brazenness, the ultimate ingrates who devote their lives to undermining Moses and the authority of G-d.

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Shelach 5767-2007

"The Ma'ah'peelim: Forcing Their Way Into the Promised Land"

Because of the evil reports of the ten scouts recorded in parashat Shelach, G-d decrees that the generation of the wilderness shall not enter the land of Israel. Nevertheless, the next morning, a large group of people arise early to force their way up the mountain toward Canaan and are smitten by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. These rebels are known as the "Ma'ah'peelim." Why were they not allowed into the land of Israel, and why were they punished so severely?

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Korach 5766-2006

"The Lesson of the Fire-pans"

How strange is it that the fire-pans that were used by Korach and his evil associates to test G-d were eventually fashioned into a cover for the holy altar? Shouldn't they have been banished or destroyed? What do the fire-pans come to teach?

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Va’eira 5766-2006

"Becoming Accustomed to the Burdens"

Why had the time now come to free Israel from bondage? While many reasons are offered, Rabbi Simcha Bunam of Peschischa suggests that G-d felt that the ancient Hebrews were becoming too accustomed to suffering--so it had to stop. A parallel may be drawn to contemporary times, when people become indifferent and unresponsive to the immorality of our own environment.

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Korach 5765-2005

"Lessons from the Rebels"

The sad story of the rebellion of Korach and his tragic demise are remote and far-removed from the minds and experiences of most contemporary men and women. There are, however, many profound lessons to be learned from the Korach saga regarding individual destiny choices, living up to one's potential and working within given structure.

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Korach 5764-2004

"The Power of Strife"

Korach was unable to control his rage and his wrath. He succeeded in stirring up hundreds of people. Had he been willing to meet with Moses and discuss his differences, there might have been a reconciliation and a much different end for himself and his followers.

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Korach 5762-2002

"The Origin of the Big Lie"

According to the Midrash, Korach was a brilliant provocateur who was able to convince the hordes to believe that he was rebelling for the sake of the common folk, instead of for his own personal benefit. By drawing a distorted caricature of the mitzvot of the Torah, Korach was able to convince the people that Moses and Aaron were personally benefitting from the mitzvot and observances that they were advocating.

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Korach 5761-2001

"Achieving the Good Life by Picking the Right Mate"

The Midrash highlights the roles that two women played in the rebellion of Korach. Mrs. Korach is depicted as having provoked her husband into rebellion, while the wife of On, the son of Pelet, is portrayed as having saved her husband from destruction, and preventing him from joining Korach's rebels. By carefully choosing our friends and mates, we are often able to determine our own fate and ensure our own good fortune.

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0 Comments9 Minutes