Drash Cards for Korach (5769)
by Marc Mangel
• This rebellion involves 4 players: Korach, Moshe, the Israelites, and God.
• Korach both seems to have a reasonable goal (Ch 16, v3) and spreads lies (Ch 16, v 12ff). From him we learn how to be a demagogue.
• The Midrash says that Korach was treasurer for Pharaoh and he felt that Moses overlooked him. But Korach takes a personal grievance into community conflict
• The Midrash also says that Korach spread tales about Moses abusing a widow and her two daughters.
• From Moses, we learn how to be a leader. He prostrates himself (Ch 16, v 4) and defends both Aaron and God but not himself (Ch 16, v 11). He visits the rebels to try to talk to them (Ch 16, v 25).
• From all this the Talmud teaches that one must not be obdurate in a quarrel.
• Individual honor and personal glory are not the prime elements of leadership. Maintaining the community is.
• God says to Moses: stand back so that I can destroy them (Ch 16, v 21, 22). Added, 5776 after conversation with Jennifer Mangel: From God we learn humility (to be able to change your mind) and to assign a judgment correct to the situation.
• The Israelites are not committed to either side — they choose to see how it would play out and then complain (Ch 17, v8). This is how not to be a citizen.