קרח

Reading this week’s parsha with Rashi brought up an interesting point for me, one to do with how the early commentators read the text more than with the topic of this week’s parsha specifically (the haiku reflects the theme of the parsha).  Rashi goes out of his way to defend Korach (see 16:7) and this is striking for a few reasons.  First, because the text itself does not present a positive picture of him, as he is the ringleader of the rebellious group that challenges Moshe and Aharon, creating further strife in the camp shortly after the episode of the spies.  Second, Rashi makes no similar effort to defend Datan and Aviram, the other named leaders of the rebellion.  Finally, this is in stark contrast to other figures like Yishmael and Eisav, which Rashi purposefully depicts as worse than the text makes them out to be.  So the question remains: what did Korach symbolize for Rashi that he felt the need to defend him beyond what the text seems to suggest?

Challenge leadership
For your own selfish purpose
Earthquakes to follow

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One thought on “קרח

  1. I think it is mentioned that the earth opening up to swallow Korach was created before the first Shabbat or in other words in advance of the episode. Perhaps Rashi is expressing in this way to evoke a bit of compassion for his soul which otherwise seems to have been prepared for doom.

    just a thought

    I love the Haiku with a theme from the Parsha !

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