hebrew
1)

What are the implications of the phrase "Vatiftach ha'Aretz Es Pihah"?

1.

Seforno: The opening stretched up to their houses, which promptly fell into it.

2)

What exactly does the Pasuk mean when it writes that "the earth swallowed them up"?

1.

Rashi #1 (Devarim 11:6, citing R. Yehudah): Whenever one of them attempted to run away, the earth opened up and swallowed him, wherever he was. 1

2.

Rashi #2 (Devarim 11:6, citing R. Nechemyah): The earth became a slope like a funnel, and wherever any one of the fleeing rebels happened to be, he rolled into the abyss.


1

Rashi (Ibid.): R. Nechemyah objects to this explanation, seeing as the Torah writes "Pihah" (in the singular), implying that there was only one mouth, and not many mouths. y

3)

Whom does "v'Es Kol ha'Adam Asher l'Korach" incorporate?

1.

Ramban: It incorporates his Avadim and Shefachos - Egyptian, Kushim and Kena'anim - that he acquired, as well as other members of his household - Geirim and Toshavim - who joined his rebellion, but not his grown-up sons, 1 who were Tzadikim and who did not join. 2

2.

Seforno: In incorporates all of Korach's men who followed 3 him in his Machlokes - excluding his sons 4 who were Tzadikim and who did not follow him in this matter.


1

Ramban: He did not have small children, since the Torah does not mention 'Taf' as it does by Dasan and Aviram.

3

Not the 250 men, who had different aspirations than Korach.

4)

Why did all their property fall into the hole, too?

1.

Seforno: To deprive them of the merit that Tzadikim should benefit from their work. 1


1

Seforno: Like where a wealthy man loses a Sela and a poor man finds it (See Rashi, Devarim 24:19).

5)

Here it implies that Korach was swallowed [alive]. Below (26:10), "v'Es Korach b'Mos ha'Edah" implies that he was burned!

1.

Riva citing R"M of Kutzi: He was burned and swallowed, like it says in Sanhedrin 110a. Had he not been burned, the 250 would complain

6)

Why were they swallowed, and not burned, like the 250 men?

1.

Moshav Zekenim citing R. Shmuel: They wanted to be above all, therefore they were lowered. Similarly, Uziyah wanted to enter inside, therefore he was [stricken with Tzara'as and] sent outside the Machaneh.

2.

Riva (35): A parable for this is two men. One said, I will do whatever the judge decrees on me. The other said, I will not listen. The latter will be punished more. The 250 did like Moshe said, and took the incense pans. Dasan and Aviram said, we will not do

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