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ZionTimes Torah Archive Torah Archive - Parashas Korach ZionTimes Torah Archive

Bamidbar/Numbers  16:1 - 18:32

Chapter 16

1 Korah son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi separated himself, with Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, the offspring of Reuben.  2 They stood before Moses with two hundred and fifty men from the Children of Israel, leaders of the assembly, those summoned for meeting, men of renown.  3 They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, "It is too much for you! For the entire assembly — all of them — are holy and Hashem is among them; why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of Hashem?"

4 Moses heard and fell on his face.

5 He spoke to Korah and to his entire assembly, saying, "In the morning God will make known the one who is His own and the holy one, and He will draw him close to Himself, and whomever He will choose, He will draw close to Himself.  6 Do this - Take for yourselves fire-pans — Korah and his entire assembly,  7 and put fire in them and place incense upon them before Hashem tomorrow. Then the man whom Hashem will choose — he is the holy one. It is too much for you, O offspring of Levi!"

8 Moses said to Korah, "Hear now, O offspring of Levi.  9 Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has segregated you from the assembly of Israel to draw you near to Himself, to perform the service of the Tabernacle of Hashem, and to stand before the assembly to minister to them?  10 And He drew you near, and all your brethren, the offspring of Levi, with you — yet you seek priesthood, as well.  11 Therefore, you and your entire assembly that are joining together are against Hashem! And as for Aaron — what is he that you protest against him?"

12 Moses sent forth to summon Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, "We shall not go up.  13 Is it not enough that you have brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to cause us to die in the Wilderness, yet you seek to dominate us, even to dominate further?  14 Moreover, you did not bring us to a land flowing with milk and honey nor give us a heritage of field and vineyard! Even if you would gouge out the eyes of those men, we shall not go up!"

15 This distressed Moses greatly, and he said to Hashem, "Do not turn to their gift-offering! I have not taken even a single donkey of theirs, nor have I wronged even one of them."

16 Moses said to Korah, "You and your entire assembly, be before Hashem — you, they, and Aaron — tomorrow.  17 Let each man take his fire-pan and you shall place incense on them and you shall bring before Hashem each man with his fire-pan — two hundred and fifty fire-pans; and you and Aaron, each man with his fire-pan."

18 So they took — each man his fire-pan — and they placed fire on them and put incense on them; and they stood at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, with Moses and Aaron.  19 Korah gathered the entire assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Hashem appeared to the entire assembly.

20 Hashem spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,  21 "Separate yourselves from amid this assembly, and I shall destroy them in an instant!"

22 They fell on their faces and said, "O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with the entire assembly?"

23 Hashem spoke to Moses saying,  24 "Speak to the assembly, saying, 'Get yourselves up from all around the dwelling places of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.' "

25 So Moses stood up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.  26 He spoke to the assembly, saying, "Turn away now from near the tents of these wicked men, and do not touch anything of theirs, lest you perish because of all their sins."  27 So they got themselves up from near the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, from all around. Dathan and Abiram went out erect at the entrance of their tents, with their wives, children, and infants.

28 Moses said, "Through this shall you know that Hashem sent me to perform all these acts, that it was not from my heart.  29 If these die like the death of all men, and the destiny of all men is visited upon them, then it is not Hashem Who has sent me.  30 But if Hashem will create a phenomenon, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them and all that is theirs, and they will descend alive to the pit — then you shall know that these men have provoked Hashem!"

31 When he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open.  32 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all the people who were with Korah, and the entire wealth.  33 They and all that was theirs descended alive to the pit; the earth covered them over and they were lost from among the congregation.  34 All Israel that was around them fled at their sound, for they said, "Lest the earth swallow us!"

35 A flame came forth from Hashem and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering the incense.

Chapter 17

1 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying,  2 "Say to Elazar son of Aaron the Kohen and let him pick up the fire-pans from amid the fire — and he should throw away the flame — for they have become holy.  3 As for the fire-pans of these sinners against their souls — they shall make them hammered-out sheets as a covering for the Altar, for they offered them before Hashem, so they became holy;they shall be for a sign to the Children of Israel."  4 Elazar the Kohen took the copper fire-pans that the consumed ones had offered and hammered them out as a covering for the Altar,  5 as a reminder to the Children of Israel, so that no alien who is not of the offspring of Aaron shall draw near to bring up the smoke of incense before Hashem, that he not be like Korah and his assembly, as Hashem spoke about him through Moses.

6 The entire assembly of the Children of Israel complained on the morrow against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You have killed the people of Hashem!"  7 And it was when the assembly gathered against Moses and Aaron, they turned to the Tent of Meeting and behold! the cloud had covered it, and the glory of Hashem appeared.  8 Moses and Aaron came before the Tent of Meeting.

9 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying,  10 "Remove yourselves from among this assembly and I shall destroy them in an instant!" They fell on their faces.

11 Moses said to Aaron, "Take the fire-pan and put on it fire from upon the Altar and place incense — and go quickly to the assembly and provide atonement for them, for the fury has gone out from the presence of Hashem; the plague has begun!"

12 Aaron took as Moses had spoken and ran to the midst of the congregation, and behold! the plague had begun among the people. He placed the incense and provided atonement for the people.  13 He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was checked.  14 Those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand, seven hundred, aside from those who died because of the affair of Korah.  15 Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Assembly, and the plague had been checked.

16 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying,  17 "Speak to the Children of Israel and take from them one staff for each father's house, from all their leaders according to their fathers' house, twelve staffs; each man's name shall you inscribe on his staff.  18 And the name of Aaron shall you inscribe on the staff of Levi, for there shall be one staff for the head of their fathers' house.  19 You shall lay them in the Tent of Meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you.  20 It shall be that the man whom I shall choose — his staff will blossom; thus I shall cause to subside from upon Me the complaints of the Children of Israel, which they complain against you."

21 Moses spoke to the Children of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a staff for each leader, a staff for each leader, according to their fathers' house, twelve staffs; and Aaron's staff was among their staffs.  22 Moses laid their staffs before Hashem in the Tent of the Testimony.  23 On the next day, Moses came to the Tent of the Testimony and behold! the staff of Aaron of the house of Levi had blossomed; it brought forth a blossom, sprouted a bud and almonds ripened.  24 Moses brought out all the staffs from before Hashem to all the Children of Israel; they saw and they took, each man his staff.  25 Hashem said to Moses - "Bring back the staff of Aaron before the Testimony as a safekeeping, as a sign for rebellious ones; let their complaints cease from Me that they not die."  26 Moses did as Hashem had commanded him, so he did.

27 The Children of Israel said to Moses, saying, "Behold! we perish, we are lost, we are all lost.  28 Everyone who approaches closer to the Tabernacle of Hashem will die. Will we ever stop perishing?"

Chapter 18

1 Hashem said to Aaron, "You, your sons, and your father's household with you shall bear the iniquity of the Sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.  2 Also your brethren the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, shall you draw near with you, and they shall be joined to you and minister to you. You and your sons with you shall be before the Tent of the Testimony.  3 They shall safeguard your charge and the charge of the entire tent — but to the holy vessels and to the Altar they shall not approach, that they not die — they as well as you.  4 They shall be joined to you and safeguard the charge of the Tent of Meeting for the entire service of the Tent, and an alien shall not approach you.  5 You shall safeguard the charge of the Holy and the charge of the Altar, and there shall be no more wrath against the Children of Israel.  6 And I — behold! I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the Children of Israel; to you they are presented as a gift for Hashem, to perform the service of the Tent of Meeting.  7 You and your sons with you shall safeguard your priesthood regarding every matter of the Altar and within the Curtain, and you shall serve; I have presented your priesthood as a service that is a gift, and any alien who approaches shall die."

8 Hashem spoke to Aaron - And I — behold! I have given you the safeguard of My heave-offerings, of all the sanctities of the Children of Israel; I have given them to you for distinction and to your sons as an eternal portion.  9 This shall be yours from the most holy, from the fire - their every offering, their every meal-offering, their every sin-offering, their every guilt-offering, that which they return to Me — as most holy it shall be yours and your sons.  10 In the most holy shall you eat it, every male may eat it, it shall be holy for you.  11 And this shall be yours - what is set aside from their gift, from all the wavings of the Children of Israel, have I presented them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as an eternal portion; every pure person in your household may eat it.  12 All the best of your oil and the best of your wine and grain, their first, which they give to Hashem, to you have I given them.  13 The first fruits of everything that is in their land, which they bring to Hashem, shall be yours, every pure person in your household may eat it.  14 Every segregated property in Israel shall be yours.

15 Every first issue of a womb of any flesh that they offer to Hashem, whether man or beast, shall be yours; but you shall surely redeem the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of an impure beast shall you redeem.  16 Those that are to be redeemed — from one month shall you redeem according to the valuation, five silver shekels by the sacred shekel; it is twenty gera.  17 But the firstborn of a cow or the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy;their blood shall you throw upon the Altar and their fat shall you cause to go up in smoke, a fire-offering, a satisfying aroma to Hashem.  18 Their flesh shall be yours; like the breast of the waving and the right foreleg shall it be yours.

19 Everything that is separated from the sanctities that the Children of Israel raise up to Hashem have I given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an eternal portion; it is an eternal salt-like covenant before Hashem, for you and your offspring with you."

20 Hashem said to Aaron, "In their Land you shall have no heritage, and a share shall you not have among them; I am your share and your heritage among the Children of Israel.

21 "To the sons of Levi, behold! I have given every tithe in Israel as a heritage in exchange for the service that they perform, the service of the Tent of Meeting,  22 so that the Children of Israel shall not again approach the Tent of Meeting to bear a sin to die.  23 The Levite himself shall perform the service of the Tent of Meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity, an eternal decree for your generations; and among the Children of Israel they shall not inherit a heritage.  24 For the tithe of the Children of Israel that they raise up to Hashem as a gift have I given to the Levites as a heritage; therefore have I said to them - Among the Children of Israel they shall not inherit a heritage."

25 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying,  26 To the Levites shall you speak and you shall say to them, When you accept from the Children of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them as your heritage, you shall raise up from it a gift to Hashem, a tithe from the tithe.  27 Your gift shall be reckoned for you like grain from the threshing-floor and like the ripeness of the vat.  28 So shall you, too, raise up the gift of Hashem from all your tithes that you accept from the Children of Israel, and you shall give from it a gift of Hashem to Aaron the Kohen.  29 From all your gifts you shall raise up every gift of Hashem, from all its best part, its sacred part from it.

30 "You shall say to them - 'When you have raised up its best from it, it shall be considered for the Levites like the produce of the threshing-floor and the produce of the vat.  31 You may eat it everywhere, you and your household, for it is a wage for you in exchange for your service in the Tent of Meeting.  32 You shall not bear a sin because of it when you raise up its best from it; and the sanctities of the Children of Israel you shall not desecrate, so that you shall not die.'"


Haftarah for Korach

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