Parsha of the week

Korach

Numbers 16:1-18:32

Parasha Korach is one of the 4 parshiot named for a person. Korach, from the tribe of Levi, incites a mutiny challenging Moses' leadership and the granting of the kehunah (priesthood) to Aaron. Korach is accompanied by Moses' inveterate foes, Dathan and Aviram, as well as 250 distinguished members of the community. They offer the sacrosanct ketoret (incense) to prove their worthiness for the priesthood. Aaron also prepares an offering, and they all stand outside the Mishkan holding their pans. Suddenly, the earth opens and swallows those rebelling against Moses-Korach, Dathan, and Aviram-and a fire comes out and consumes all the 250 men who are trying to bring a ketoret.

All of the Israelites watch this take place, and most are convinced that Moses is the true leader, appointed by God, and that only a Kohen-Aaron or his sons-is allowed to bring the ketoret offering. Some of the Israelites complain, so a plague begins to spread. Aaron rushes to bring a ketoret offering as atonement for the people and the plague stops. Aaron's staff miraculously blossoms and brings forth almonds to prove that his designation as high priest is divinely ordained.

Rabbi Cantor Robbi Sherwin 1-512-947-7270