The Portion of Korach

Numbers 16:1-18:32

This portion deals primarily with the rebellion of the eponymous Korah and his followers against the authority of Moses and Aaron. A cousin to the leading brothers, Korah protests Moses’s concentration of power in the family, insisting the entire nation is holy. Only God’s intervention succeeds in putting down the insurrection and restoring unity to the camp. The portion ends with a reiteration of Aaron’s priestly duties in the service of God, as well as specific gifts to be apportioned to the priests and Levites.

 

 

Topic 1: Rebellion

The Torah tells the tale of Korah, cousin to Moses and Aaron, who leads a rebellion against their authority. Gathering to himself other disgruntled members of the community, notably three men from the tribe of Reuben and 250 others, Korah accuses Moses of hoarding positions of power over a nation that is ostensibly all holy.… Read More »

 

 

Topic 2: Aftermath

Following the deaths of the rebels, God commands Eleazar, son of Aaron, to collect the copper fire-pans that had been used for the rebels’ incense, as they had become sanctified. He instructs Moses to hammer them out into sheets to plate the altar, as a reminder and a warning of what will happen to any… Read More »

 

 

Topic 3: Priests and Levites: Duties and Gifts

God reiterates to Aaron the role he and his descendants will play in the Tabernacle for all time. They are to perform the rites of atonement, and while the Levites are to offer support to the priests, it is the responsibility of Aaron and his descendants to ensure they do not come in contact with… Read More »
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