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Korach • 5773 • קורח
Korach, Datan, Aviram, and 250 leaders of Israel rebel against the authority of Moshe and Aharon. Datan and Aviram refused Moshe’s summons to negotiate. Korach and the Rebels appeared next day to undergo sacrificial contest test to determine G-d’s chosen. The rebellion results in their being swallowed by the earth. Many resent their death and blame Moshe. G-d’s “anger” is manifested by a plague that besets the nation, and many thousands perish.
The incense censers of the 250 men were collected by Eleazar, the priest and made into plates for the covering of the Altar of burnt-offering, as a warning that only Aaron and his descendants were permitted to burn incense before G-d.
When some blame Moses and Aaron, many were punished by a plague. Moses told Aaron to take a censer of fire and incense from the Altar moving among the people and prayed for their forgiveness, but not before 14,700 people had died.
Each prince of the twelve tribes brought a rod inscribed with their names along one with the name of Aaron, and were deposited before the ark. In the morning, Aaron’s rod alone was found to have sprouted buds, blossoms and almonds – a clear sign that G-d had chosen him to be the High Priest.
Because the kohians receive no portion of the land they are to receive the Meal-Offering, Sin Offerings and Guilt-Offerings, the portions of the Peace-Offerings waved on the Altar; the first-fruits of oil, wine and corn; firstlings of clean animals and the redemption price of the firstborn of men. In return for their service in the Tabernacle, the Levites were to receive from the Israelites 1/10 of the produce of the fields, and from this the Levites set aside 1/10 for the priests.
MAFTIR Numbers 18:30 – 32 ~ page 648
HAFTARAH Isaiah 66:1 – 66:24 | Shabbat Rosh Chodesh
Parashah Study Questions
1. Besides being commanded in both renderings of the Ten commandments (Ex. 20:12 and Deut. 5:16), can you think of any other mitzvah to respect, honor or revere one’s father (Lev. 19:3)?
2. Do you agree with the statement “Jewish culture appears to emphasize the “yiddishe mamma” but not the “yiddishe pappa”?
3. In Parshat Korach, which famous midrash attest to the “Yiddishe Mamma” ideal? Is there a ‘father ideal’ in today’s parsha?
4. Why are there only 3 Patriarchs? Should additional Biblical figures been included? Whom?
5. Was Korach a good father?