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Rabbi Marcus – Korach
This week’s sedra focuses’ on the role of Korach, who challenged Moshe’s position as undisputed leader of our people.
Korach was of the tribe of Levi and a cousin of Moshe and Aaron, and was motivated by jealousy. In his attempt to overthrow Moshe, he criticised Moshe for appointing his brother as Cohen Gadol (High Priest), a position he desired for himself. Korach managed to persuade some of the members of his neighbouring tribe – Reuven – to join him in his feud and together with Datan and Aviram, 250 like-minded men joined Korach in challenging Moshe.
Moshe attempted to reach a settlement, failed, and Korach and his followers were punished most dramatically when the earth opened and swallowed them up. In this way the people understood that Moshe was truly the legitimate leader of Israel.