Weekly Torah Parashat

Parashat:                       Qora – Bamidbar (Nu.) 16:1 – 18:32

Haftarot:                         Shemu’ĕl Aleph (1 Sam) 11:14-12:22

Ketuvim Netzarim:   Ma’asei (Acts) 5:11

                                                                             TORAH

ALIYOT[1]  

1ST RISHON      

The Rebellion of Qora: Bamidbar 16:1-2

 And, Qora son of Yitshar, son of Qehath, son of Lĕwi, took both Dathan and Airam the sons of Eliya, and On, son of Peleth, sons of Re’uḇĕn, and they rose up before Mosheh with some of the children of Yisra’ĕl, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, called ones of the meeting, men of name. (Num 16:1,2 [TS2009])

 There are several points to be made in this Aliyot, but two of them immediately stand out from the others.

The first is that Torah is our teacher, and this lesson is no different than many others in which YHVH presents us with a concept and then expects us to react in a certain way, so that we may reap the harvest or benefit/blessing of that concept. In other words, the promise is made, but it requires that we must take some action for that promise to be realized. B’ney Yisra’el were given the promise that YHVH would be with them as they entered the Promised Land of Kannan, but of course, they did not follow through; and by not following through, they lost the blessing.

The second would be that we should never expect the majority to be correct! We are each held accountable for the decisions that we make, regardless of how many there are around us making the same decision. The death of Qoraḥ and those who joined his confederacy was tragic and easily could have been avoided.

Factions and discontent, Jealousy and envy, prove to be the seeds that land on fertile ground within the family of Korach and a rebellion fomented. As these seeds take root, they grow ideas such as, “if I were in charge things would be done differently,” or, “If I were in charge of things, I would give the people what they want, and they would have more respect for me”. But there is someone in charge, and that someone is Moshe, followed by his brother Aaron, both appointed by YHVH Elohenu HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

Our last Parashah described the mission given to the 12 spies, or ‘scouts’ as I would prefer to call them, and the reports they brought back with them. Ten of them brought back a report that again fanned the flames of doubt within the Camp, While two of those reports offered encouragement of reliance upon the El of Yisra’el to deliver Kanaan to them if they but go forward in the belief that His promises are true.

It’s difficult to comprehend that of all the tribes, this sin fomented in the mind of Qoraḥ of the Tribe of Levi and spread to anyone who would listen. It’s even more difficult to make an attempt at rationalizing this rebellion in that Yisra’el had just been delivered from the hand of oppression in Mitzrayim; from Paro and his army through the walls of water parted for them by Elohim. They had seen His mighty power again at Raphidim as water gushed from the desert rock, they had seen the top of Har Sini on fire, the dark clouds lit with flashes of lightning, and in fear, they tried to hide as they heard His voice speak to them. And now, as they were about to enter into the promised land, they were torn apart again by the same symptoms of doubt, and lack of faith. The same old cry of “We should never have left Mitsrayim” rang out throughout the Camp of Yisra’el.

A few of the tools satan used as a wedge to divide and conquer in this Parashah were; speaking Lashon Harah (the evil tongue), self-pride, division, confusion, disloyalty to the common cause and those appointed over them.  But we see the same thing happening today. The need exists for us to stay focused on YHVH Y’shuati and His Torah at all times. Never follow another human without question! We are all mortal beings, subject to error and the wrath of His Righteous Judgement.

YHVH Himself has appointed the leaders who are over us, and our duty to them has been outlined within His Word, HaD’var YHVH. Our allegiance in all cases is always first and foremost to YHVH and His Mitzvot.

Shalom U’vrachot (Peace and Blessings to You)

Sha’ul

[1] Aliyot refer to smaller sections of the weekly Parashah that are assigned to members of the congregation (who make aliyah by going UP to read), for the Torah Reading part of the service. For Shabbat services, there are 7 aliyot. The Maftir is the concluding aliyah and usually includes the reading of the Haftarot portion as well. In second Temple times, the 7th aliyot was the Haftarot portion with no Maftir in the reading.