Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 Korach

In Numbers on June 27, 2011 at 12:37 am

Kings, Rabbis, Priests
Good,Bad,worse idols than stone
Worship themselves

Does the Torah ask “why do we fight over titles”? Does the prophet answer “because no good can come of them”?

Does the Torah ask “why do we seek to overcome our betters”? Does the prophet answer “vanity”?

I ask, is this portion about the seven deadly sins?

Does the Torah also ask whose responsibility is it to talk to God? Is it a commandment to have an intercessor? Is Korach right in the sense that we should all have direct access? And does therein lie Korach’s sin: that it’s his responsibility to foster that personal relationship but he delegates it to Moses? How and why does Korach contrive to be right and wrong at the same time?

Is this parsha about leadership? Do we have a responsibility to be leaders, and guard our God-given ability to be leaders, and not surrender this to anyone, like Korach and the Israelites do time and again?

Is this parsha about freedom? Do we have a responsibility to be free, and guard our God-given freedom, and not surrender this to anyone, like Korach and the Israelites do time and again?

Why is it that the fire pans of the deceased are made into plating for the altar as a warning, when it was the wish of their holders to be closer to God? Is this a blessing?

Is this a command to cultivate private religion? Did these people die because they transgressed God’s will? Or did they die because they viewed God and Priesthood as some prize? Do we beat our fire pans into a covering for our altar by owning our own religion, and not seeking after someone else’s?

Do you die before, after, or at the moment you sell your soul?

Is this yet another golden calf?

Does Israel rail against Moses and Aaron? Or God? How do they go from wanting “freedom” to wanting a king? Do they want someone to blame? Is the king of Israel a scape goat? What are the implications of this?

Why would the Israelites consent to allow Aaron to have a staff for choosing? What if Aaron’s name hadn’t been on a staff?

Why take the Levites from the community to Aaron’s family again?

Why make the Levites seem to have it easy? Does the prophet compare the tithes to embezzlement? Did Bernie Madoff fancy himself a modern day Levite?

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  1. Yes. And look up Rambam on The Laws of the Sabbatical and Jubilee on the Tribe of Levi or see David Hartmans comments in Torah and Philosophical Quest.

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