Numbers 16
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1  Now Korakh, the son of Izhar, the son of Kehat, the son of Levi, with Datan and Aviram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuven, took men;

א  וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם בְּנֵי אֱלִיאָב וְאוֹן בֶּן פֶּלֶת בְּנֵי רְאוּבֵן.

2  and they rose up in face of Moshe, with certain of B’nei Yisrael, two hundred and fifty men; they were princes of the congregation, the elect men of the assembly, men of renown;

ב  וַיָּקֻמוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתָיִם נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם.

3  and they assembled themselves together against Moshe and against Aharon, and said unto them: ‘Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Hashem is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of Hashem?’

va-yi-ka-ha-LU al mo-SHEH v’-AL a-ha-RON va-yo-m’-RU a-lay-HEM rav la-KHEM kee khol ha-ay-DAH ku-LAM k’do-SHEEM u-v’-to-KHAM a-do-NAI u-ma-DU-a tit-na-s’-U al k’HAL a-do-NAI

ג  וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם רַב לָכֶם כִּי כָל הָעֵדָה כֻּלָּם קְדֹשִׁים וּבְתוֹכָם יְהוָה וּמַדּוּעַ תִּתְנַשְּׂאוּ עַל קְהַל יְהוָה.

16:3  Wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?

Korakh rebelled against his cousins Moshe and Aharon, accusing them of taking positions of power for themselves.  He claims that the entire nation of Israel is holy, and therefore questions why Moshe and Aharon have raised themselves above the rest of the congregation.  In making this claim, Korakh is not only implying that Moshe and Aharon chose the leadership positions for themselves, denying God’s role in their appointment, but he is also claiming that every individual in the entire nation was on the same level of holiness.  While it is true that every person has an element of Godliness and innate holiness, it is then up to each person to and elevate himself to even greater levels of holiness.  The exact degree of a person’s holiness, therefore, depends on each person’s merit.  The same is true on a national level.  By following God’s commandments and learning His Torah, the Jewish people elevate themselves in spirituality and Godliness, and by doing so in the Land of Israel, we elevate the land above all other lands as well.

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4  And when Moshe heard it, he fell upon his face.

ד  וַיִּשְׁמַע מֹשֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל עַל פָּנָיו.

5  And he spoke unto Korakh and unto all his company, saying: ‘In the morning Hashem will show who are His, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near unto Him; even him whom He may choose will He cause to come near unto Him.

ה  וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל קֹרַח וְאֶל כָּל עֲדָתוֹ לֵאמֹר בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע יְהוָה אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וְאֶת הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְהִקְרִיב אֵלָיו וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר בּוֹ יַקְרִיב אֵלָיו.

6  This do: take you censors, Korakh, and all his company;

ו  זֹאת עֲשׂוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם מַחְתּוֹת קֹרַח וְכָל עֲדָתוֹ.

7  and put fire therein, and put incense upon them before Hashem to-morrow; and it shall be that the man whom Hashem doth choose, he shall be holy; ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.’

ז  וּתְנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וְשִׂימוּ עֲלֵיהֶן קְטֹרֶת לִפְנֵי יְהוָה מָחָר וְהָיָה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה הוּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ רַב לָכֶם בְּנֵי לֵוִי.

8  And Moshe said unto Korakh: ‘Hear now, ye sons of Levi:

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל קֹרַח שִׁמְעוּ נָא בְּנֵי לֵוִי.

9  is it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Yisrael hath separated you from the congregation of Yisrael, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the Mishkan of Hashem, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them;

ט  הַמְעַט מִכֶּם כִּי הִבְדִּיל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶתְכֶם מֵעֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַקְרִיב אֶתְכֶם אֵלָיו לַעֲבֹד אֶת עֲבֹדַת מִשְׁכַּן יְהוָה וְלַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי הָעֵדָה לְשָׁרְתָם.

10  and that He hath brought thee near, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee? and will ye seek the priesthood also?

י  וַיַּקְרֵב אֹתְךָ וְאֶת כָּל אַחֶיךָ בְנֵי לֵוִי אִתָּךְ וּבִקַּשְׁתֶּם גַּם כְּהֻנָּה.

11  Therefore thou and all thy company that are gathered together against Hashem ; and as to Aharon, what is he that ye murmur against him?’

יא  לָכֵן אַתָּה וְכָל עֲדָתְךָ הַנֹּעָדִים עַל יְהוָה וְאַהֲרֹן מַה הוּא כִּי תלונו (תַלִּינוּ) עָלָיו.

12  And Moshe sent to call Datan and Aviram, the sons of Eliab; and they said: ‘We will not come up;

יב  וַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה לִקְרֹא לְדָתָן וְלַאֲבִירָם בְּנֵי אֱלִיאָב וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נַעֲלֶה.

13  is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but thou must needs make thyself also a prince over us?

יג  הַמְעַט כִּי הֶעֱלִיתָנוּ מֵאֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ לַהֲמִיתֵנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר כִּי תִשְׂתָּרֵר עָלֵינוּ גַּם הִשְׂתָּרֵר.

14  Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards; wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.’

יד  אַף לֹא אֶל אֶרֶץ זָבַת חָלָב וּדְבַשׁ הֲבִיאֹתָנוּ וַתִּתֶּן לָנוּ נַחֲלַת שָׂדֶה וָכָרֶם הַעֵינֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵם תְּנַקֵּר לֹא נַעֲלֶה.

15  And Moshe was very wroth, and said unto Hashem: ‘Respect not Thou their offering; I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.’

טו  וַיִּחַר לְמֹשֶׁה מְאֹד וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל יְהוָה אַל תֵּפֶן אֶל מִנְחָתָם לֹא חֲמוֹר אֶחָד מֵהֶם נָשָׂאתִי וְלֹא הֲרֵעֹתִי אֶת אַחַד מֵהֶם.

16  And Moshe said unto Korakh: ‘Be thou and all thy congregation before Hashem, thou, and they, and Aharon, to-morrow;

טז  וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל קֹרַח אַתָּה וְכָל עֲדָתְךָ הֱיוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אַתָּה וָהֵם וְאַהֲרֹן מָחָר.

17  and take ye every man his fire-pan, and put incense upon them, and bring ye before Hashem every man his fire-pan, two hundred and fifty fire-pans; thou also, and Aharon, each his fire-pan.’

יז  וּקְחוּ אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וּנְתַתֶּם עֲלֵיהֶם קְטֹרֶת וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם מַחְתֹּת וְאַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ.

18  And they took every man his fire-pan, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood at the door of the Tent of Meeting with Moshe and Aharon.

יח  וַיִּקְחוּ אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וַיִּתְּנוּ עֲלֵיהֶם אֵשׁ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עֲלֵיהֶם קְטֹרֶת וַיַּעַמְדוּ פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וּמֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן.

19  And Korakh assembled all the congregation against them unto the door of the Tent of Meeting; and the glory of Hashem appeared unto all the congregation.

יט  וַיַּקְהֵל עֲלֵיהֶם קֹרַח אֶת כָּל הָעֵדָה אֶל פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד וַיֵּרָא כְבוֹד יְהוָה אֶל כָּל הָעֵדָה.

20  And Hashem spoke unto Moshe and unto Aharon, saying:

כ  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר.

21  ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.’

כא  הִבָּדְלוּ מִתּוֹךְ הָעֵדָה הַזֹּאת וַאֲכַלֶּה אֹתָם כְּרָגַע.

22  And they fell upon their faces, and said: ‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be wroth with all the congregation?’

כב  וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל פְּנֵיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵל אֱלֹהֵי הָרוּחֹת לְכָל בָּשָׂר הָאִישׁ אֶחָד יֶחֱטָא וְעַל כָּל הָעֵדָה תִּקְצֹף.

23  And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, saying:

כג  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר.

24  ‘Speak unto the congregation, saying: Get you up from about the dwelling of Korakh, Datan, and Aviram.’

כד  דַּבֵּר אֶל הָעֵדָה לֵאמֹר הֵעָלוּ מִסָּבִיב לְמִשְׁכַּן קֹרַח דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם.

25  And Moshe rose up and went unto Datan and Aviram; and the elders of Yisrael followed him.

כה  וַיָּקָם מֹשֶׁה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרָיו זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

26  And he spoke unto the congregation, saying: ‘Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be swept away in all their sins.’

כו  וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל הָעֵדָה לֵאמֹר סוּרוּ נָא מֵעַל אָהֳלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָרְשָׁעִים הָאֵלֶּה וְאַל תִּגְּעוּ בְּכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם פֶּן תִּסָּפוּ בְּכָל חַטֹּאתָם.

27  So they got them up from the dwelling of Korakh, Datan, and Aviram, on every side; and Datan and Aviram came out, and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, and their sons, and their little ones.

כז  וַיֵּעָלוּ מֵעַל מִשְׁכַּן קֹרַח דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם מִסָּבִיב וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם יָצְאוּ נִצָּבִים פֶּתַח אָהֳלֵיהֶם וּנְשֵׁיהֶם וּבְנֵיהֶם וְטַפָּם.

28  And Moshe said: ‘Hereby ye shall know that Hashem hath sent me to do all these works, and that I have not done them of mine own mind.

כח  וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה בְּזֹאת תֵּדְעוּן כִּי יְהוָה שְׁלָחַנִי לַעֲשׂוֹת אֵת כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים הָאֵלֶּה כִּי לֹא מִלִּבִּי.

29  If these men die the common death of all men, and be visited after the visitation of all men, then Hashem hath not sent Me.

כט  אִם כְּמוֹת כָּל הָאָדָם יְמֻתוּן אֵלֶּה וּפְקֻדַּת כָּל הָאָדָם יִפָּקֵד עֲלֵיהֶם לֹא יְהוָה שְׁלָחָנִי.

30  But if Hashem make a new thing, and the ground open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into the pit, then ye shall understand that these men have despised Hashem.’

ל  וְאִם בְּרִיאָה יִבְרָא יְהוָה וּפָצְתָה הָאֲדָמָה אֶת פִּיהָ וּבָלְעָה אֹתָם וְאֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם וְיָרְדוּ חַיִּים שְׁאֹלָה וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי נִאֲצוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֶת יְהוָה.

31  And it came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground did cleave asunder that was under them.

לא  וַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַתִּבָּקַע הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר תַּחְתֵּיהֶם.

32  And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korakh, and all their goods.

לב  וַתִּפְתַּח הָאָרֶץ אֶת פִּיהָ וַתִּבְלַע אֹתָם וְאֶת בָּתֵּיהֶם וְאֵת כָּל הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר לְקֹרַח וְאֵת כָּל הָרְכוּשׁ.

33  So they, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit; and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the assembly.

לג  וַיֵּרְדוּ הֵם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם חַיִּים שְׁאֹלָה וַתְּכַס עֲלֵיהֶם הָאָרֶץ וַיֹּאבְדוּ מִתּוֹךְ הַקָּהָל.

34  And all Yisrael that were round about them fled at the cry of them; for they said: ‘Lest the earth swallow us up.’

לד  וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתֵיהֶם נָסוּ לְקֹלָם כִּי אָמְרוּ פֶּן תִּבְלָעֵנוּ הָאָרֶץ.

35  And fire came forth from Hashem, and devoured the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense.

לה  וְאֵשׁ יָצְאָה מֵאֵת יְהוָה וַתֹּאכַל אֵת הַחֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם אִישׁ מַקְרִיבֵי הַקְּטֹרֶת.

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Numbers 15
Numbers 17

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Numbers 16