1)

Why does the Torah juxtapose the Parshah of Korach to that of Tzitzis?

1.

Because Korach and his men mocked the Mitzvah of Techeiles that Moshe taught. Refer to 16:2:1:1 & 2.

2)

What did Korach take?

1.

Rashi #1 (citing Targum Onkelos and Midrash Tanchuma): He took himself to one side 1 - to break away from the community. 2

2.

Rashi #2: He drew the heads of the Sanhedrin with words. 3

3.

Ramban (citing Midrash Tanchuma): He took self-advice 4 to do what the Pasuk goes on to relate.

4.

Da'as Zekenim (citing Sanhedrin 109b): He made a bad purchase 5 (Mekach) to argue with Moshe.

5.

Ramban #1 and Hadar Zekenim: He took two hundred and fifty men from Yisrael.

6.

Ramban #2 and Seforno: Korach, Dasan and Aviram (and On ben Peles - Seforno) took two hundred and fifty men and stood them before Moshe.

7.

Rashbam: The Pasuk means that Korach, Dasan and Aviram gathered many men, until they numbered two hundred and fifty.


1

Rashi: As in Iyov, 15:12.

2

See Ramban's objection to this eplanation.

3

Rashi: As in 20:25 and in Hoshe'a, 14:3.

4

Ramban: As in Iyov, 15:12 and in Mishlei, 8:10. In fact, he did not take anything, it was his heart that took him (Ramban citing Midrash Rabah).

5

See Torah Temmah, note 1.

3)

Why does the Torah stop at Levi? Why does it not go back to Ya'akov?

1.

Rashi: Because Ya'akov, foreseeing what Korach would do, prayed that his name should not be associated with him 1 in connection with his Machlokes. 2


1

In Vay'chi Bereishis, 49:6.

2

Rashi: Ya'akov is mentioned however, in connection with the lineage on the Duchan - in Divrei ha'Yamim 1, 6:23.

4)

How did Dasan and Aviram become associated with Korach?

1.

Rashi: The tribe of Reuven, to which they belonged, encamped in the south, next to K'has, to which Korach belonged. 1

2.

Ramban #1 (citing the Ibn Ezra): They accused Moshe of taking away the B'chorah from Reuven and handing it to Yosef. 2

3.

Ramban #2: It is as they specifically stated - in Pasuk 13 - when they accused Moshe of taking them into the desert in order to kill them.


1

Rashi: 'Woe to the Rasha, Woe to his neighbor!'

2

Ramban: This is incorrect however, since it was Ya'akov who made the switch!

5)

To whom does "B'nei Reuven" pertain?

1.

Rashi: "B'nei Reuven" pertains to Dasan, Aviram and On ben Peles. 1


1

Riva: Since we might have thought that, although all three were from Reuven, it applies only to On, the last one to be mentioned - and we find that B'nei sometimes applies to an individual, like we find in Vayigash Bereishis, 46:23 "u'Venei Dan Chushim".

6)

Why did Dasan, Aviram ans On ben Peles join the rebellion? What did they hope to gain?

1.

Refer to 16:2:3:1*.

2.

Oznayim la'Torah: Based on the Midrash, which states that when, following the episode of the spies, the people announced "Nitnah Rosh ve'Nashuvah Mitzraymah!", they actually appointed Dasan king 1 to replace Moshe, and Aviram, Kohen Gadol to replace Aharon, they now anticipated that, should the rebellion succeed, they will be reinstated. 2


1

Refer to 16:17:3:1.

2

This is difficult however, because then what would Korach gain? See Oznayim la'Torfah on Pasuk 25 DH 'va'Yakam Moshe ... ' #2, who explains that one of the reasons that Dasan and Aviram did not join Korach by the test of the Ketores is perhaps because Aviram wanted the Kehunah Gedolah.

7)

Why is On ben Peles not mentioned again after this Pasuk?

1.

Ramban (on Pasuk 12, citing Sanhedrin, 109b): Because, thanks to his astute wife, 1 he abandoned the rebellion and did Teshuvah. 2

2.

Hadar Zekenim: Based on Peshat, he was among the 250 men. However, Chachamim expounded that his wife saved him (refer to 16:1:6:1*).


1

Da'as Zekeinim (citing Sanhedrin, 109b): She convinced him that it is no better to be a Talmid of Korach than a Talmid of Moshe. She gave him strong wine and put him to sleep, and sat outside his tent and exposed her hair. When Korach's men came to fetch him, they fled. In stark contrast, the Midrash attributes Korach's rebellion to his wicked wife, who urged him to challenge Moshe, for publicly embarrassing him together with all the Levi'im, when he ordered them to be completely shaven and waved like a Lulav, by Aharon (See Beha'alosch, 8:7, 11). And the Pasuk in Mishlei (14:1) is referring to these two women, when its writes "Chochmas Nashim Bansah Beisah" (the wife of On), "ve'Aveles be'Yadehah Teharsenah" (the wife of Korach).

2

Ramban: Which explains why he was neither swallowed up with Dasan and Aviram, nor burned with the two hundred and fifty men.

8)

What sparked off Korach's rebellion?

1.

Rashi (citing Midrash Tanchuma) and Ramban #1: His jealousy of his cousin, Elitzafan, 1 who had been appointed the Nasi of K'has, in spite of the fact that Elitzafan's father Uziel was the younger brother of Korach's father Yitz'har. 2

2.

Ramban #2 (citing the Ibn Ezra): Because he accused Moshe of giving the Levi'im over to the Kohanim - to play a secondary role and because he had taken away the Avodah from the B'choros and handed it to the Kohanim, and he (Korach) was both a Levi and a B'chor. The people accused him of choosing his brother as Kohen Gadol, the B'nei K'has, his relatives, for the choicest Avodah, and the Levi'im - his tribe, to serve in the Mishkan.

3.

Ramban #3: Because he was jealous of Aharon's appointment to the Kehunah Gedolah). 3

4.

Da'as Zekeinim (citing a Midrash): Korach's wife incited her husband to challenge Moshe. Refer to 16:1:6:1*.

5.

Riva citing Yelamdenu: He complained that, whereas the B'nei Gershon were given two wagons - to transport the curtains - and the B'nei Merari, four - to transport the beams and sockets, the B'nei K'has did not receive any wagons and had to carry the Keilim on their shoulders.


1

Rashi (on Pasuk 3): Although his jealousy of Elitzafan sparked off the rebellion, he attacked Moshe for his appointment of Aharon as Kohen Gadol, which he also coveted.

2

See Sh'mos 6:18. If the sons of K'has' oldest son Amram, took the kingship and the Kehunah Gedolah, then it is he, the son of his second son, Yitzhar, who ought to have taken the next important position, and Moshe had no right to appoint the son of K'has' youngest son.

3

Ramban: As Moshe specifically stated in Pasuk 10.

9)

Why did Korach not rebel only now and when Elitzafan was appointed?

1.

Ramban: Because that took place when Yisrael were on a high, and he knew that a rebellion at that stage would never have taken off; whereas now they were on a low and he figured - correctly - that it eould succeed. 1


1

Refer to 16:1:8:1* and Oznayim la'Torah, DH 'va'Yikach Korach' #6.

10)

When did the episode of Korach take place?

1.

Rashi #1 (on Pasuk 4) and Ramban #1: It was after the episode of the spies. Ramban


1

Ramban: Since it took place immediately after the multiple punishments (Tav'eirah, Kivros ha'Ta'avah and the spies), and the people were dejected. Moreover, in Midbar Sinai, Moshe was still extremely popular, since, in spite of their sins, he had, via his Tefilos, succeeded in staving off the punishments, as opposed to here, where it was decreed that they would die in the desert. See Ramban, end of the Pasuk.

2

Rashi often explains like different Midrashim in different places. Gur Aryeh (1:1) - the rebellion was in Paran, after the Meraglim. The Torah could not write Paran twice to hint to both Aveiros. It wrote Chatzeros, which was nearby. Ha'amek Davar (1:1)

11)

What is the significance of Korach's name and that of his three associates?

1.

Da'as Zekenim #1: He made a Korchah (a bald patch) in Yisrael - by causing many people to die).

2.

Da'as Zekenim #2: The Gematriya of "Korach" is three hundred and eight - the equivalent of 'Shadad' (plundered). He did not guard Hashem's Mitzvos; "Ben Yitzhar"


1

See Torah Temimah, note 2.

2

See Torah Temimah, note 3.

12)

Here, Korach's father's name is called Yitzhar. Why in Divrei ha'Yamim (1:6:7) does it refer to him as Aminadav?

1.

Moshav Zekenim citing R. Yehudah ha'Chasid: Korach resented that Nachshon was the head of the Nesi'im. He said, 'I come from Levi, who was older than Yehudah! I should be like the son of Aminadav, and be a Nasi like you!'

13)

Bearing in mind that Dasan and Aviram were Resha'im - since "Nitzim" and "Netzavim" always refers to them, why did they not die with the other Resha'im during the plague of darkness?

1.

Moshav Zekenim #1: In fact, they were Metzora'im who are considered like dead. 1

2.

Moshav Zekenim #2 (citing the Ri): The only ones who died during the plague of darkness were those who did not believe in Hashem and did not want to leave Egypt, due to the the concern of what they would eat in the desert?' Those who believed in Hashem, even if they were Resha'im, did not die.


1

The Moshav Zekenim queries this however, on the grounds that were im the camp. Do not say that they were healed at Matan Torah ("u'Mum Ein bach"

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