Parsha Q&A - Parshat Korach
In Israel for the week ending July 1, 2000 / 28 Sivan 5760
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- Why did Datan and Aviram join Korach?
- Why is Yaakov's name not mentioned in Korach's genealogy?
- What motivated Korach to rebel?
- What did Korach and company do when Moshe said that a techelet garment needs tzizit?
- What warning did Moshe give the rebels regarding the offering of the incense?
- Did Moshe want to be the kohen gadol?
- What event did Korach not foresee?
- What does the phrase rav lachem mean in this week's Parsha? (Give two answers.)
- What lands are described in this week's Parsha as "flowing with milk and honey"?
- When did Moshe have the right to take a donkey from the Jewish Community?
- What did Korach do the night before the final confrontation?
- What sin did Datan and Aviram have in common specifically with Goliath?
- Before what age is a person not punished by the Heavenly Court for his sins?
- What happens to one who rebels against the institution of kehuna? Who suffered such a fate?
- Why specifically was incense used to stop the plague?
- Why was Aharon's staff placed in the middle of the other 11 staffs?
- Aharon's staff was kept as a sign. What did it signify?
- Why are the 24 gifts for the kohanim taught in this week's Parsha?
- Who may eat the kodshei kodashim (most holy sacrifices) and where must they be eaten?
- Why is Hashem's covenant with the kohanim called "a covenant of salt"?
(kasha means "question")
Farrel Werner asked:
What did the people mean when they told Moshe, "You killed Hashem's People?" (17:6) Obviously, Moshe didn't kill them. Korach's followers died by Divine decree: The ground swallowed some and fire from Heaven killed the others?
Dear Farrel Werner,
Those who complained reasoned as follows: Although the first-born lost their rights as kohanim (priests), they should retain the right to serve as levi'im. Thus, they felt the test Moshe had proposed, that his detractors offer incense, was unfair. The incense offering was designated specifically for kohanim, so it wasn't a true test for those who deserved at least to serve in the lesser capacity of levi.
Based on Ramban
Korach's followers attacked Moshe with their mouths, making fun and provoking rebellion. Their sin was compounded by their lowly spiritual stature compared to that of Moshe. They were punished measure for measure: The ground -- the "lowly of lowlies" -- opened its "mouth" and swallowed them.
All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated
16:1 - Because they were his neighbors.
16:1 - Yaakov prayed that his name not be mentioned in connection with Korach's rebellion (Bereishet 49:6).
16:1 - Korach was jealous that Elizafan ben Uziel was appointed as leader of the family of Kehat instead of himself.
16:1 - They laughed.
16:6 - Only one person would survive.
16-6 - Yes.
16:7 - That his sons would repent.
16:7,3 - Rav lachem appears twice in this week's Parsha. It means "much more than enough greatness have you taken for yourself (16:3)" and "It is a great thing I have said to you (16:17)."
16:12 - Egypt and Canaan.
16:15 - When he traveled from Midian to Egypt.
16:19 - Korach went from tribe to tribe in order to rally support for himself.
16:27 - They all blasphemed.
16:27 - Twenty years old.
17:5 - He is stricken with tzara'at, as was King Uziyahu (Divrei HaYamim II 26:16-19).
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 it is sin, not incense, which causes death.
17:21 - So people would not say that Aharon's staff bloomed because Moshe placed it closer to the Shechina.
17:25 - That only Aharon and his children were selected for the kehuna.
18:8 - Since Korach claimed the kehuna, the Torah emphasizes Aharon's and his descendants' rights to kehuna by recording the gifts given to them.
18:10 - Male kohanim may eat them and only in the azara (fore-court of the Beit Hamikdash).
18:19 - Just as salt never spoils, so this covenant will never be rescinded.
Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane & Rabbi Reuven Subar
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Michael Treblow
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