קרח

This week’s parsha focuses on the famous rebellion of Korach and his company, challenging the authority of Moshe and Aharon.  Hashem punishes the rebels dramatically, by having the earth swallow them alive – but only after once again being calmed down by Moshe and Aharon.  Hashem first seeks to destroy the entire community (16:21).  What struck me was how much the content of the plea made by Moshe and Aharon on the people’s behalf reminded me of another, similar instance in the Torah.  Here we have “And they fell on their faces and they said to the Lord of the winds of all living creatures: ‘one man sins and you will strike the entire community?'” (16:22, translation mine).  In like fashion, in the most famous case of bargaining with Hashem, concerning the people of Sdom and Amorah (Sodom and Gemorrah) Avraham urges “Be it far from you to do a thing like this; to kill the righteous with the wicked, and the righteous would be like the wicked [in their fate] – be it far from you, that the judge of all the earth shall not do justice!” (Bereishit / Genesis 18:25, translation mine).  I was surprised that I could not find any commentary speak to this connection, as it seems to me that these are two instances of the greatest of Israelite leaders pleading that Hashem not exact communal punishment, one in the case of a wicked city, and one with respect to the Israelites themselves.  While you could argue that this parsha shows that Moshe has what to learn as a leader – I think this episode, and the fact that it is hardly unique in the Torah, shows the Hashem has something to learn as well.

Anger can lead

To an over-reaction

Even in Hashem

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