I’m going to keep it relatively short this week, and rehash some old territory. Sometimes I think we’ve got it all wrong. Korach isn’t the bad guy.
I keep playing the story over and over in my head, and no matter how hard I try, I wind up convinced that G”d is in the wrong here, and not Korach. The rabbis and commentators like to write between the lines here, and ascribe to Korach and his followers all sorts of negative intentions which are just not there in the p’shat.
Korach has every right to question why Moshe is in charge and his brother Aharon gets to be the big kahuna. G”d seems to have a very big feeling of entitlement. I created you. I led you out of harsh slavery. My every whim should be your desire.
Yes. You created us. Then you set us up with this test (any tree but that one) which you knew we would fail, because You Yourself know that a perfect creation would be boring for all parties. Then, as an inevitable result of being forced out of the paradise You created, we challenged You. We built a tower, so You confounded our speech so we couldn’t challenge You as a united front again. We misbehaved, so you destroyed the world with a flood, so now, instead of all being descendants of Adam and Chava, we’re all descendants of a naked drunk.
Yeah, You got us out of slavery in Egypt. But that’s only after allowing us to get into it in the first place, and allowing us to languish there for 4 centuries. You inflicted needless additional suffering upon the Egyptians to prove Your point with added oomph!
We even think the whole “spies” thing was a setup. You knew even before we accepted the negative concerns of the tribal chieftains over the glowing reports of Yehoshua and Kalev that we were gonna have to wander and be winnowed before entering the land You promised us.
So pardon us if we question why Moshe should be the only one in charge, and his brother, coincidentally, gets to be the high priest. Are we not all a holy people, a holy nation?
This is not new territory for me. I’ve mused about this several times in previous years. See:
I heard someone the other day liken our current @POTUS to Korakh – reckless and selfish. In reality, I’d say the man currently occupying the oval office is acting more like G”d in this scenario, and we, the people questioning his motives and methods, are the Korachs of our time. We must therefore be alert, lest we too are swallowed up by the earth.
These, and other musings I have written about parashat Korach and it's accompanying haftarah, are among some of my favorites. and I commend them all to you.
©2018 by Adrian A. Durlester
Other Musings on this parasha:
Korach 5777 - Revisiting B'tzelem Anashim
Korakh 5775 - Purposeful Unpleasant Reminder?Korakh 5769 - And who Put G"d In Charge (or 2009: A Space Odyssey)
Korach 5774 - Still a Loose End
Korakh 5773 - B'tzelem Anashim (Redux 5764)
Korakh 5772 - B'nei Miri
Korakh 5771 - Supporting Our Priests and Levites
Korakh 5770 (Redux 5758/62) Camp Rebellion
Korakh 5769 - And who Put G"d In Charge (or 2009: A Space Odyssey)
Korakh 5768-If Korakh Had Guns
Korach 5767-Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad, Tabernacle?
Korach 5766 - Investment
Korah 5765 - Stones and Pitchers and Glass Houses
Korach 5764-B'tzelem Anashim
Korach 5761-Loose Ends