The theme of divisiveness once again dominates the Torah narrative as the people struggle with their journey in the wilderness. This week, Korach, a close relative of Moses and Aaron, supported by 250 tribal leaders, challenges their leadership. This challenge questions the hierarchical society that Moses and Aaron have set up.
Korach aspires to become the High Priest who Moses would be replaced by, is not discussed. It is an extraordinary challenge that has its merits, as well as its failings, at this tender formative period in the nation's history. While it seems they are advocating for a more democratic society, their display of naïveté and pretentiousness undermines their goal. They have no plan. And they show a deep disrespect for their leaders who lead the liberation movement. A true flaw in their leadership is that they didn't see it coming, which Moses and Aaron should have foreseen. Perhaps they could have worked more closely with these young Turks to avoid this.
Divisiveness, in any society can also be a healthy thing. Without it, a more harmonious and equitable society cannot be achieved. Peace cannot be true without a struggle.
Korach's rebellion is suppressed. The Torah describes how the earth swallows him, his family plus their followers. This is a metaphor for returning to the womb to be born again, similar to a perennial blooming again after the frost (the name Korach also means frost or frozen). Korach descendants are among the Levitical psalm writers of the Temple.
On a more personal level, when we are unhappy or angered by something, we are tempted to see the flaws in others rather than flaws we may harbor within ourselves. Imagine a narrative where Korach and other leaders asked to meet with Moses and Aaron where they could discuss their feelings.
Try to come to come to Sanctuary for Shabbes. The June Appeal is still happening! Please show your support if you haven't as of yet. Also, if there is something you would like us to do, or improve upon, please let us know. Sincerely, Reb David