Torah: Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) Haftarah: (I Samuel 11:14-12:22)
Wishing Everyone a Safe and Joyous 4th of July!
The Torah parsha continues with the rebellion of Korach, Dathan, Abiram, and On. The destruction of the rebels, the vindication of Aaron, additional rules for the Levites, and the priestly tithes and tithes for the support of the Levites.
Korach’s uprising came immediately following the frightened report brought by the twelve scouts (a member from each tribe to view Cannan). Korach exploited the people’s despair, sensing that this would be an opportune time to spur a revolt. Challenging the authority of Moses, Korarch’s clear intent was to undercut Moses and gain the priesthood for himself. Woven into this battle was a second protest against Moses led by Dathan, Abiram, and On. They accused him of promising the people a land flowing with milk and honey, but instead exposing them to death in the desert. Like Korach, they too were intent on stirring up a revolt against Moses’ leadership. Ultimately, the rebellion of all these men were thwarted by G-d, who “drowned” them in a massive earthquake.
This story comes to warn us to exercise caution in times of national and domestic crisis. There will always be contemporary Korachs who will attempt to collapse the prevailing leadership. We must do all that we can to thwart their efforts.
Our Torah is Holy, and the Torah gives us guidance and enlightens our lives.
While G-d gave human beings the freedom to make their own choices, people sometimes do not choose the righteous path. Is it because people were not taught in their homes by their parents? Is it possible they did not learn well during their school years? Perhaps, it is the people that they associate with that fill them with erroneous ideas and hate toward other people. Even today, we need to be on guard against those who would use their power through spewing lies and forceful ways. Jewish Law guides us to become “the kingdom of priests and holy people.” G-d wants us to strive for goodness, to be dugmahot/role models for others to emulate.
May our Sabbath bring us health, happiness and peace. See you on Zoom!
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder
On July 3 at the Tabernacle in St. George on Main Street the program of “Prayer for Religious Freedom” will start at 7pm. I will be offering the closing prayer. The St. George Interfaith Choir will be singing. The program will end around 8pm. Let us show how religious freedom is so important for Jewish people, and all faiths. I will arrive earlier.