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Korach Summaries

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 5776-2016

“Givers and Takers”

The Netziv states that the entire world is divided up between givers and takers. Rabbi Filber shows the great distinction between Moses, the giver, and Korach, the taker.

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Korach 5775-2015

“The Devastating Impact of Dispute”

Why is the dispute of Korach any worse than the other three rebellious outbreaks of the people, the Golden Calf, the Murmurers and the spies? Each one of these was an affront to G-d’s dignity, yet the Al-mighty forgave the people.

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Korach 5774-2014

“Aaron Stops the Plague”

Why does Aaron, the High Priest, risk his life to save many thousands of rebellious and undeserving Israelites, by using the firepans and incense to stop the Angel of Death from destroying the unworthy people?

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Korach 5773-2013

“The Rebellion Against the Lonely Leader”

What sparked the rebellion against Moses? Why was this great man the lonely leader of Israel?

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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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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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Korach 5767-2007

“Agonizing Over Collective Punishment”

The essence of the argument that Moses and Aaron present to G-d to defend the people of Israel from total destruction because of Korach is their statement “Shall one man sin and You be angry with the entire community?” This argument is at the core of a very real dilemma that the Jewish people face today. What are the parameters, limits and morality of “collective punishment”?

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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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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 5763-2003

“Korach’s Rebellion: Why is the Jewish Community Losing So Many of its Best and Brightest?”

According to rabbinic tradition, Korach was a great Torah scholar who went astray because of jealousy. But Korach was only the first of many great Jewish minds and personages who walked away from Jewish tradition. Perhaps the story of Korach can help clarify for us some of the root causes of Jewish apostasy.

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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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Korach 5760-2000

“Controversy Versus Conflict”

The Mishnah in Avot teaches that every controversy that is for the sake of heaven will endure, while those that are not for the sake of heaven will not endure. The example that the Mishnah gives of a controversy that is not for the sake of heaven is the conflict of Korach and his assemblage. Although some of Korach’s points may have been legitimate, the method that he used to drive them home proves that he was not a pursuer of truth, but rather a pursuer of controversy.

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