Parashat Korach; Numbers; Chapter 16 Verse 1 – Chapter 18 Verse 32

06/12/2018 09:41:03 AM


General Overview: Korach stages a rebellion against Moshe, accusing him of a power grab. He and his entourage are swallowed up by the earth. The people protest, and a plague kills almost 15,000 people. Of the staffs submitted by all the tribes, only Aaron's blossoms; proving that he is G‑d's chosen. The Jewish people are instructed the various presents due to the Kohanim and Leviyim.

1st Section: Korach, along with Dattan, Aviram, and 250 men from the Tribe of Reuven, challenged Moshe and Aaron’s leadership. Moshe set the next day for a showdown, hoping that the rebels would reconsider their rebellion.

2nd Section: After attempting to convince Korach to reconsider, Moshe attempted to sway Dattan and Aviram. Moshe’s efforts were rebuffed.

3rd Section: The next day G-d instructed Moshe and the nation to separate themselves from the tents of Korach, Dattan, and Aviram. Moshe proclaimed that his and Aaron’s leadership would be Divinely confirmed through the way in which Korach and his followers would die. Korach, Dattan, and Aviram, along with their entire families were swallowed up by the earth, while the 250 men from the Tribe of Reuven were consumed by a heavenly fire.

4th Section: A rebellion broke out among the people, and Aaron had to intervene in order to stop the plague sent as a punishment against the people. 14,700 people perished in the plague.

5th Section: Aaron’s appointment as Kohen Gadol (The High Priest) is reconfirmed through the test of the staffs. Aaron’s staff was the only staff that miraculously sprouted almonds.

6th Section: Aaron’s staff is placed in the Holy of Holies. The duties of the Kohanim and Leviyim are stated along with a list of the Kohen’s share in the nations produce and livestock.

7th Section: The Levite’s share of the nation’s produce and the gifts given by the Leviyim to the Kohanim are stated.

Special Maftir: This Shabbat is actually Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, and therefore after the seven sections of this week’s Parasha are read, we read the special Torah portion that is read on Rosh Chodesh (Numbers; Chapter 28 Verses 9-15).

Maftir Summary: The Rosh Chodesh sacrifices are detailed.

Haftara: Special Haftara for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (Isaiah; Chapter 66 Verses 1-24).

Haftara Summary: This Haftara mentions the sacrificial worship that will occur every new month (Rosh Chodesh) after the ingathering of the exiles. The Haftara was addressed by the prophet Isaiah to the Jewish people in Babylon after the exile, at the end of the 6th-century B.C.E.

The Haftara opens with G-d’s proclamation of omnipresence and the insufficiency of one House to contain Him. G-d will turn His attention to those that fear Him, and all types of insincere worship are abhorred by Him. Those who fear G-d will ultimately be joyous, but those who hate and ostracize G-d’s servants will be chastised by a “voice from the Temple”. Zion’s deliverance is compared to that of a mother who gives birth without pain, and the rejoicing at Jerusalem’s rebuilding is depicted. All enemies and idol-worshipers will be punished and the nations that remain will come to Zion, bringing the Jewish people along with them. New priests will be appointed, and all mankind will worship G-d. The rebels’ corpses will remain in the valley of Yehoshafat as an ominous remainder to all mankind. Verse 23 in then repeated, to finish on a positive note.

Thu, June 21 2018 8 Tammuz 5778