Parsha Q&A - Korach

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Korach

For the week ending 30 Sivan 5757; 4 & 5 July 1997

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
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    Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents

    1. According to Rashi, where can you look to find a nice explanation of this week's Parasha?
    2. What did Korach 'take'?
    3. Why is Yaakov's name not mentioned in Korach's genealogy?
    4. What motivated Korach to rebel?
    5. What warning did Moshe give the rebels regarding the offering of the incense?
    6. Who was as great as Moshe and Aharon?
    7. What event did Korach not foresee?
    8. What lands are described in this week's Parsha as 'flowing with milk and honey'?
    9. What did Korach do the night before the final confrontation?
    10. Before what age is a person not punished by the Heavenly Tribunal for his sins?
    11. The censers used by Korach's assembly were made into an overlay for the mizbe'ach. This was to serve as a warning. What was the purpose of the sign?
    12. What happens to one who rebels against the institution of kehuna? Who suffered such a fate?
    13. Why specifically was incense used to stop the plague?
    14. Why was Aaron's staff placed in the middle of the other eleven staffs?
    15. Aaron's staff was kept as a sign. What did it signify?
    16. Why are the 24 gifts for the kohanim taught in this week's Parsha?
    17. Who may eat the kodshei kodashim (most holy sacrifices), and where must they be eaten?
    18. Why is Hashem's covenant with the kohanim called 'a covenant of salt'?
    19. What is a 'yekev'?
    20. If a levi comes to the pile of grain on the threshing floor before terumah gedolah has been separated, what must he do before receiving his own tithe?

    Bonus Question
    "But if Hashem creates a new phenomenon, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them... then you'll know that these people have rebelled against Hashem." (16:30)

    What was so unusual about the ground opening up and destroying Korach's followers? Aren't earthquakes somewhat common?

    I Did Not Know That!

    Korach's followers attacked Moshe with their mouths by making fun of him and provoking rebellion against him. Their sin was compounded by their lowly spiritual stature compared to that of Moshe. Therefore, they were punished measure for measure: The 'lowly of lowlies' - the ground - opened its mouth and swallowed them.


    Recommended Reading List

    The Sin of the Congregation
    The Sin of Dasan and Aviram
    A New Creation
    The Gifts of the Kehuna
    Inheritance of the Kehuna
    Sefer Hachinuch
    Defined Roles
    Service of the Levi'im
    Ma'aser Rishon (The First Tithe)

    Nullifying Atonement
    Why Also Their Possessions

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated

    1. 16:1 - Midrash Rabbi Tanchuma.
    2. 16:1 - He 'took himself' out of the community in order to incite dissension.
    3. 16:1 - Yaakov prayed that his name would not be mentioned in connection with Korach's rebellion (Bereshis 49:6).
    4. 16:1 - He was jealous that Elzaphan ben Uziel was appointed as leader of the family of Kehas instead of himself.
    5. 16:6 - Only one person would survive.
    6. 16:7 - Shmuel HaNavi.
    7. 16:7 - That his sons would repent. (Shmuel and the 24 groups of Levi'im were their descendants.)
    8. 16:12 - Egypt and Canaan.
    9. 16:19 - He went from tribe to tribe in order to rally support for himself.
    10. 16:27 - Twenty years old.
    11. 17:3 - To serve as a remembrance of the challenge to the kehuna and that the rebels were burned.
    12. 17:5 - He is stricken with tzara'as, as was King Uziyahu (Divrei HaYamim II 26:16-19).
    13. 17:13 - Because the people were deprecating the incense offering, saying that it caused the death of two of Aharon's sons and also the death of 250 of Korach's followers. Therefore, Hashem demonstrated that the incense offering was able to avert death, and that sin, not incense, causes death.
    14. 17:21 - So that people would not say that Aaron's staff bloomed because Moshe placed it closer to the Shechina.
    15. 17:25 - That only Aaron and his children were selected for the kehuna.
    16. 18:8 - Since Korach claimed the kehuna, the Torah emphasizes Aaron's and his descendants' rights to Kehuna by recording the gifts given to them.
    17. 18:10 - Male kohanim may eat them and only in the azara (fore-court of the Beis Hamikdash).
    18. 18:19 - Just as salt never spoils, so this covenant will never be rescinded.
    19. 18:27 - The vat in front of the wine press into which the wine flows.
    20. 18:29 - He must first set aside 1/50th of the pile - the average amount given as teruma gedolah - before taking his tenth from the pile.

    Bonus Question

    In the case of Korach's followers, "the land covered them up and they were lost from among the community (16:33)." Usually an earthquake results in a gaping chasm, but here the earth opened like a mouth, swallowed them, and closed again, leaving no trace of the people.


    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Eli Ballon, Michael Treblow
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