Korach

©1999 Rabbi David Markel Hall


The story of Korach is a picture of the nature of human beings. The L-rd establishes His order and appoints His leaders and men come in quickly to judge the servants who have sold out their lives to HaShem. The more one sells out his or her life to HaShem the more others voice their complaints and opinions.
What has happened to this time; Then Korach, Dathan, Abiram, and others (two hundred and fifty of the elders of Israel), said, "You take too much on yourself Moshe… all the congregation are holy… Why do you lift yourself up above them?"  Oy Gevalt! When will we ever learn?

Therefore, G-d had to prove to them once again that selecting Moses was truly His idea. He meant it when He said, "touch not my anointed and do my servants no harm." (Psalm 105:15)

HaShem called the entire assembly of those who opposed Moshe and instructed them to bring censers with incense together before the L-rd. He then told the rest of the congregation of Israel to get away from the tents of Korach, Dathan, Abiram, and an amazing thing happened. The earth opened up and swallowed these men and all their possessions. Then the fire of HaShem consumed the rest of the two hundred and fifty opponents of Moshe.

You would think, by now, that the people had gotten the point. Moshe did not say and do these things of himself or of his mind. HaShem selected him to be His servant. But NO! The people did not learn. They complained that Moses killed the people of HaShem.

HaShem was angry with the people and instructed him to get away from the people so He could destroy them. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before HaShem and Aaron ran with incense before the people. Aaron stood between the living and the dead and stopped the plague. Fourteen thousand people died in that plague.
The message for us today is that we must not complain against HaShem or His servants. When someone does the works of HaShem, they are holy and should not be spoken against.

In chapters 17 and 18, G-d selected Aaron and his descendants to be the priesthood. This was to prevent the horrors of Korach and his allies from repeating.

Return to Davarim Index


Even if all you can say to G-d is "Help!" it is still very good.
Repeat this over and over until G-d opens your
lips and the words begin to flow from your heart.
And even when no words come, come back day after day to
your secluded spot and wait. Just waiting to speak
to G-d is in itself a very great thing.
From The Empty Chair By, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov