Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32)
Korach is the story of a rebellion against the authority of Moses and Aaron. The ground beneath Korach’s feet literally gives way, a symbol of the rootlessness of his rebellion. Moses on the other hand, stands on solid ground, sure of his footing because he leads in God’s name.
After the rebellion, Moses gathers the staffs from each of the Tribes of Israel inscribing the name of the leader upon each staff, with Aaron’s name representing the Tribe of Levi. Miraculously, Aaron’s staff sets roots and bears fruit, a symbol of the strength of their leadership which is rooted in God’s law. The Torah is called “a tree of life to all who hold fast to her” (Proverbs 3:18). May all our leaders be rooted in the justice and righteousness which we call by the name of Torah.
Korach and his followers, Dathan and Abiram, lead a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God punishes the rebels by burying them and their families alive. Once again, God brings a plague on the people. (16:1-17:15)
The chief of each tribe deposits his staff inside the Tent of Meeting. Aaron’s staff brings forth sprouts, produces blossoms, and bears almonds. (17:16-26)
The Kohanim and Levites are established and assigned the responsibility of managing the donations to the Sanctuary. All of the firstborn offerings shall go to the priests and all the tithes are designated for the Levites in return for the services they perform. (18:1-32)
TOPICS: Plague, Rebellion, Tithe