Can the Bible teach us anything about the riots today? – The Times of Israel

Posted By on June 15, 2020

The name Korach, which when translated from the Hebrew means baldness, ice, hail, or frost, is the 38th weekly Torah portion (, parashah in Hebrew) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the fifth in the Book of Numbers. It tells of Korachs failed attempt to overthrow Moses.

It constitutes Numbers 16:118:32. The parashah is made up of 5,325 Hebrew letters, 1,409 Hebrew words, 95 verses, and 184 lines in a Torah Scroll ( , Sefer Torah) It is generally read in the synagogue in June or July.

The study of the biblical account of Korachs rebellion against Moses, and of the numerous Midrashim and Commentaries describing Korachs personality and actions, yields a complex, even contradictory picture. Korach was no ordinary rabble-rouser. He was a leading member of Kehatites, the most prestigious of the Levite families. Joining him in his mutiny against Moses and Aaron were two hundred and fifty men of Israel, leaders of the community, of those regularly called to assembly, men of renown. Korachs difference with Moses was an ideological one, driven by the way in which he understood Israels relationship with Gd and by the manner in which he felt the nation ought to be structured.

Yet Korach is regarded as the father of all quarrelers: his very name is synonymous with disharmony and conflict. The Talmud goes so far as to proclaim: Anyone who engages in divisiveness transgresses a divine prohibition, as it is written: And he shall not be as Korach and his company.' But if there is more to Korach the person and the idea than a jealousy-drive power struggle, why does every petty squabbler fall under the umbrella of Dont be like Korach?

Obviously, there is something at the heart of Korachs contentions that is the essence of all disunity.

The particulars of Korachs campaign also require explanation. What exactly did Korach want? His arguments against Moses and Aaron seem fraught with contradiction. On the one hand, he seems to challenge the very institution of the kehunah (priesthood), declaiming to Moses and Aaron: The entire community is holy, and Gd is within them; why do you raise yourselves over the congregation of Gd?

(Moses had divided the people of Israel into several classes of holiness: ordinary Israelites, Levites, Kohanim (priests) and, at the pinnacle of this pyramid, the Kohen Gadol (High Priest). The Israelites the farmers, merchants, craftsmen, soldiers, and statesmen of Israel were to pursue the normal existence of physical man a life and vocation that involve the bulk of a persons time and talents in the material world.

The tribe of Levi, however, was distinguished by the Gd of Israel from the community of Israel, to be brought closer to Him, to serve as spiritual leaders and priests, instructing Your laws to Jacob and Your Torah to Israel; placing incense in Your nostrils and burnt offerings upon Your altar (Numbers 16:9; Deuteronomy 33:10). Within the tribe of Levi itself, Aaron and his descendants were consecrated as Kohanim and entrusted with the primary role in serving Gd in the Sanctuary. Aaron himself was appointed Kohen Gadol, the greatest of his brethren in this hierarchy of holiness. Korach seems to be objecting to this spiritual elitism.)

But from Moses response (Is it not enough for you that the Gd of Israel has distinguished you from the community of Israel that you also desire the priesthood?) we see that Korach actually desired the office of the Kohen Gadol for himself!

This paradox appears time and again in various accounts of Korachs mutiny in the Midrashim and the commentaries. Korach comes across a champion of equality, railing against a class system that categorizes levels of holiness within the community. Yet, in the same breath, he contends that he is the more worthy candidate for the High Priesthood. Do we find anything like that today in the claims for equalism in the riots going on?

Our Sages have said: Just as their faces are not alike, so, too, their minds and characters are not alike. Such is the nature of the human race: individuals and peoples differ from each other in outlook, personality, talents, and the many other distinctions, great and small, which set them apart from each other.

It is only natural to expect these differences to give rise to animosity and conflict. And yet, at the core of the human soul is the yearning for peace. We intuitively sense that despite the tremendous (and apparently inherent) differences between us, a state of universal harmony is both desirable and attainable. Let us hope that the differences between us can soon stop and the world can finally achieve peace. This is why we pray for the Moshiach to come daily, as it looks like that is what it will take to bring peace.

Here is one way to make your point:

Like a SurgeonMorty Applebaum was laying on the operating table, about to be operated on by his son David, the surgeon.

Morty said, David, think of it this way: If anything happens to me, your mother is coming to live with you.

Yehuda Lave writes a daily (except on Shabbat and Hags) motivational Torah blog at YehudaLave.comLoving-kindness my specialty.Internationally Known Speaker and Lecturer and Author. Self Help through Bible and Psychology. Classes in controlling anger and finding Joy. Now living and working in Israel. Remember, it only takes a moment to change your life. Learn to have all the joy in your life that you deserve!!! There are great masters here to interpret Spirituality. Studied Kabbalah and being a good human being with Rabbi Plizken and Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, my Rabbi. Torah is the name of the game in Israel, with 3,500 years of mystics and scholars interpreting G-D's word. Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement

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Can the Bible teach us anything about the riots today? - The Times of Israel

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