Thought of the Week: Korach - 5783

Korach in a Nutshell

Bamidbar 16:1–18:32

Artscroll (Stone), Page 820 (Parsha)

Page 1186 (Haftorah)

The name of the Parshah, "Korach," refers to Korach, head of the rebellion against Moses and Aaron, and is found in Numbers 16:1.

Korach incites a mutiny challenging Moses’ leadership and the granting of the kehunah(priesthood) to Aaron. He is accompanied by Moses’ inveterate foes, Dathan and Abiram. Joining them are 250 distinguished members of the community, who offer the sacrosanct ketoret (incense) to prove their worthiness for the priesthood. The earth opens up and swallows the mutineers, and a fire consumes the ketoret-offerers.

A subsequent plague is stopped by Aaron’s offering of ketoret. Aaron’s staff miraculously blossoms and brings forth almonds, to prove that his designation as high priest is divinely ordained.

G‑d commands that a terumah (“uplifting”) from each crop of grain, wine and oil, as well as all firstborn sheep and cattle, and other specified gifts, be given to the kohanim(priests).

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