What Did Korah Do Wrong?

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by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on July 3, 2019
I have often felt that Korah was punished unfairly.  In fact, the story of Korah reminds me of the cowboy stories I saw on television when I was growing up in the 1950s (you do not have to do the math: I am 76!).  The good guys all had white hats, and the bad guys all had black hats.  There were no grays: people were either good or bad, and you did not even have to guess who was which.  That made for a very clear picture, along with the security of knowing who was right and who was wrong.  Moreover, the good guys always won in the end, so justice always prevailed.&n Read more...

Heavenly Disagreement

by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on June 16, 2018
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a political, theological, legal or interpersonal disagreement with someone? Don’t feel too bad – the rest of us have as well.  Whether it’s with a friend, a co-worker, a family member, or an acquaintance, each of us can think of times when we have gotten into heated arguments or debates. The Rabbis of the Talmud called such a disagreement a makhlokhet– a separation. Read more...

The Most Difficult Parashah

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by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on July 10, 2014
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Nowadays, I refer to it as my "quasi-Orthodox" phase. It was that transitional time in my life between high school and college, when I joined one of the early groups of United Synagogue Youth's Nativ year program in Israel for recent high school graduates (a program my own son will be attending beginning this fall!), and found myself beginning to develop my own, personal, on-the-way-to-adulthood relationship with Judaism and Jewish practice. Read more...

Korah's Declaration of Independence

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by Rabbi Ronnie Cohen z"l
posted on June 3, 2013
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Maftir Reading
In this week's Torah Portion, we read of the Rebellion of Korah. An interesting word, "rebellion." I suspect that the difference between "rebellion" and "revolution" is neither the justice of the cause nor the support of the people; rather, it is the success or failure of the uprising. Had the insurrection been successful, had Korah and the Reubenites Dathan and Abiram succeeded in deposing Moses and setting themselves up as the leaders of Israel, we would be reading today about the "Revolution of Korah" instead of the "rebellion." Read more...

Thoughts on the First Three Aliyot

Headshot of Rabbi Pat Fenton
by Rabbi Patricia Fenton
posted on June 10, 2012
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
So much happens to the Israelites in Parashat Hukkat that, perhaps like life itself, it is sometimes difficult to know where to focus. As our rich parashah moves quickly from incident to incident in the lives of the Israelites, I invite you to slow down, take a breath, and give yourself time to consider each incident and what it may mean for us today. Here are some thoughts on the first three aliyot of the parashah. Read more...