3 They combined against Moshe and Aharon and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all the community are holy, all of them, and Hashem is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourselves above Hashem‘s congregation?”
ג וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל־מֹשֶׁה וְעַל־אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם רַב־לָכֶם כִּי כָל־הָעֵדָה כֻּלָּם קְדֹשִׁים וּבְתוֹכָם יְהֹוָה וּמַדּוּעַ תִּתְנַשְּׂאוּ עַל־קְהַל יְהֹוָה׃
16:3 Why then do you raise yourselves above Hashem’s congregation?
Korach rebels against his cousins Moshe and Aharon, accusing them of taking positions of power for themselves. He declares 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, Korach not only implies that Moshe and Aharon inappropriately chose the leadership positions for themselves, thereby denying Hashem’s role in their appointment. He also makes the erroneous claim that every individual in the nation is on the same level of holiness. While it is true that everyone is endowed with an element of Godliness, it is up to each person to elevate himself or herself to even greater levels of holiness. The exact degree of a person’s holiness, therefore, depends on their individual achievements.