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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Korach (June 20, 2015)
by Rabbi Rena Y. Rifkin

KORACH ORGANIZES A GROUP of chieftains against Moses. They complain about the power structure. Moses refutes them, and God opens the earth to swallow them up. Korach and his faction are seen as rebels who cannot be tolerated in the community. They are removed and never heard from again. Some commentators tell us that the faction’s public repudiation of Moses and Aaron is irresponsible and inappropriate. Others argue that Korach and his followers are trying to start a coup. The text and many commentators tell us simply, Korach and rebellion are bad, and their punishment is justified.

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