Korah – Perasha Synopsis

Perashat Korah, begins describing an outright rebellion with an attempt to overthrow against Moshe and Aharon as he leaders of the Children of Israel. The leader of the rebellion was their own cousin Korah and his family. Like in any political rebellion, the leader of the rebellion must attract a popular following. Korah posed as champion of the masses, and their welfare, and tried to discredit Moshe and Aharon as not being in touch with the people.

Moshe tries to dissuade Korah and his people to no avail. Moshe suggests to Korah, if their intention is to take Aharon’s Priesthood, then they will have to bring a “fire incense offering” each of his individuals and offer it to G-d, together with Aharon. G-d’s response will indicate who will be the High Priest.

The next day, Korah and his 250 followers, brought their fire pans with the incense. Prior to offering it, G-d tells Moshe and the rest of the camp to stay away from Korah, his family and followers. As Moshe instruct the camp to stay away from Korah and declares that if G-d will create a phenomenon where the ground will open up its mouth and sallow them and all that its theirs, then, they will know that Korah and his people rejected G-d leadership. Indeed, the ground under them split open, swallowing them and all that is theirs. A flame then came forth from Hashem, and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

G-d further instructs Moshe to ask from each head of Tribe to give their staff, 12 staffs in total, together with the staff of Aharon. Each staff inscribe with the name of the leader, and Aharon with his name. The staffs will be placed in the Tent of Meeting where the Ark was residing. The man whom G-d shall choose, will blossom. This will proves to the people who is the leader that G-d chose. The next morning, the staff of Aharon blossomed, sprouted a bud and ripened almonds.

After the incident, G-d assigns the gifts to the Kohanim as a reward for their service and as a publicĀ  affirmation that they are His personal legion, as it were. Part of the gifts include the Redemption of the Firstborn in humans and animals

Furthermore G-d institutes the tithes to the Levites, as a reward for their dedication to the service of G-d. From their tithes, the Levites were instructed to give a one percent Teruma – gift to the Kohanim.

The Perasha concludes by stating that the Kohanim and the Levites will not have a portion in the land to be divided by the Twelve Tribes; they will receive a portion of the land mass near every city.

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