• August 28th, 2022
  • Elul 1st, 5782

KORACH

The Rebellion

Presented By
Torah Contributor

He Took

This week’s Torah portion is primarily focused on Korach’s rebellion against Moses and Aaron and G-d’s subsequent reaction. The portion commences with the word “vayikach” in the first sentence, meaning “he took”. In spirituality we know that “giving” or “sharing” is the optimal path to the Light and to higher levels of consciousness, while “taking” is a selfish act which often leads to darkness. Specifically, we read how Korach was upset that Aaron and the Levites (the priestly caste), were “raised above the congregation”. Korach was jealous and wanted to “take” the role of priesthood for himself and his followers. He believed that since the path to G-d and Holiness was through elevating the mundane, that he and his followers were capable of achieving this on their own and should not be required to give offerings to the priesthood for their service. Although his general idea about holiness being found in the mundane was correct, his consciousness was wrong and served to cause division amongst the people. Just because we are able to raise our consciousness while toiling in our day-to-day lives, we must always look to others that are fully immersed in their connection with G-d to help lead the way for us. It is not enough to just be Holy or to just be mundane, we must have both elements present to reveal the greatest amount of Light. Korach, which means “bald spot” tried to create separation through two factions, where there was previously unity – similar to a bald spot that creates a separation within a person’s hair. As a result of creating this division, G-d created an opening in the earth which swallowed up Korach and his followers. The lesson here is to share, as opposed to take, and to create unity over division in all that we do and within all our relationships.

A Wife’s Influence

The Talmud states that Korach’s wife goaded him and encouraged him to take a stand against Moses – suggesting that Moses and Aaron were corrupt and keeping the money given to the Levites for themselves. It is important to learn from this that a wife or anyone close to us has the power to be either a positive influence, helping us to achieve a higher state of consciousness, or a negative influence, attempting to advance their ego and personal agenda. We see how Korach’s wife created negative thoughts which resulted in ruin, but could have just as easily provided a positive influence on the situation for the ultimate benefit of Korach, his family and followers. The lesson from the Gemara is that “[T]he wisdom of a wife can save a household”. We should always question the possible personal agenda of a person who instills negative thoughts and ideas with us and seek to avoid negativity at all costs.

Power of Tithing

Following the death of Korach, G-d reconfirms Aaron and the Levites as the holy priests to conduct the service of the Tent of Meeting, distinct from the “common man”. They were empowered to keep charge of the Holy things as the Priesthood. The portion further describes how G-d provided a tithe to the Levites as an inheritance in return for their service and how the Levites were to make a “tithe of a tithe” to which they were to set it apart as a gift to G-d and give it to Aaron, the Kohen HaGadol or High Priest. We learn two lessons here. First, we see the importance of making a tithe or giving away 10% of our earnings in money, time or gifts. By contributing 10% to a higher purpose we can bring protection and blessings to our lives and ensure continued prosperity. Second, the concept of making a tithe is so important that G-d instructs the Levites to also tithe from the tithe they receive from the community. This demonstrates the importance of tithing to an organization or person with similar consciousness – whereby the organization tithes from the gifts they receive. The on-going tithe creates continuity and establishes an endless stream of blessings and Light in the world.