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5 elements of this Shabbat and the coming week

פרשת קורח

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

1. This week's Torah portion in Israel is Korach. It's the fifth parasha in the book of Numbers (Bamidbar).
2. The primary focus of this week's Torah portion is the opposition posed by Korach and his followers to Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon HaCohen. This rebellion has become a symbol of the destructiveness of controversy throughout the generations. This is "controversy not for the sake of heaven" since it arose out of jealousy, the pursuit of honor, and a desire to usurp the authority of Moshe and Aharon. This is in contrast to "controversy for the sake of heaven." a blessed controversy or sincere disagreement whose sole purpose is to arrive at the truth.
3. How was Korach able to succeed in inciting a rebellion? In last week's Torah portion, after the nation's acquiescence to the dismal report of the spies regarding the Promised Land, the nation received its punishment of having to wander for 40 years in the desert. Our commentators explain that it was the ensuing boredom, without any immediate goal, that allowed Korach to succeed in fanning the flames of discontent. When there is nothing to do, the vacuum is filled with an abundance of time to think and hatch a plot.
4. Toward the end of the parasha, we read the following admonition: "Do not be like Korach and his company." This is a warning to avoid controversy at all costs.
5. On Monday and Tuesday of next week, the new month will be observed. The month of Sivan will end and the month of Tammuz will begin.
Shabbat shalom and have a wonderful month.


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