Thursday, June 26, 2008

Parashah Roundup: Korach 5768

by Steve Brizel

[I'm sure all the readers join with me in wishing mazal tov to Steve on the birth of his first grandchild - Gil]

The Common Sense Rebellion against Moshe Rabbeinu

  • Rav Soloveitchik zt"l, based upon Ramban, reminds us that Mesorah, Lomdus and obedience to the Halacha must take precedence to any fleeting sense of internal spiritual satisfaction: link
  • R. Isaac Bernstein zt"l, via a survey of the Mefarshim, and R. Yaakov Horowitz offer insights into Korach's allies: link 1, link 2
  • R. Jonathan Sacks contrasts power and influence as the key to understanding the rebellion and Moshe's reaction: link 2
  • R. Moshe Lichtenstein, based upon the analysis of the Netziv, compares the prior rebellions and punishments of Dasan and Aviram with Korach: link
  • R. Asher Brander, based upon a dispute in Biblical exegesis between Ramban and Ibn Ezra as to whether the Torah precedes in chronological order, tries to understand when the revolt occurred: link
  • R. Berel Wein discusses why Korach and his supporters deserved such a stronge punishment: link
  • R. Yissocher Frand asks why Ktores was chosen to counteract the plague that was unleashed in the aftermath of the Korach-led revolt: link

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  • R. Ephraim Buchwald analyzes the test of the firepan: link
  • R. Zev Leff suggests that we must learn what is a Machlokes Lshem Shamayim and that the actions of Jewish women have been critical in Jewish history in preserving Jewish continuity: link
  • R. Herschel Schachter, based upon the teachings of Rav Soloveitchik zt"l, underscores the fact that not every person is entitled to express their own opinionon issues of Psak Halacha, but cautions against thinking Emunas Chachamim means that we believe in nonsense: link 1, link 2
  • R. Shlomo Riskin underscores Korach's mistaken assumption that all of the 600,000 Jews who stood at Mt. Sinai reached the same spiritual level as Moses: link
  • R. Daniel Z. Feldman and R Dovid Gottlieb investigates the halachic issues involved in becoming involved and strengthening an illegitmate machlokes: link 1 (audio), link 2 (audio)

  • The Role of a Levi
  • R. Zvi Sobolofsky, based upon the famous statement of Rambam in Hilchos Shmitah VYovel, urges us to understand that the primary contemporary purpose of a Levi is the study and teaching of Torah: link

  • Gifts to Kohanim and Leviim
  • R. Herschel Schachter discusses many of the halachos involved in the Matnos Kehunah: link (audio)
  • The Kedushas Levi (as prepared by R. Eliezer Kwass), explains why the Matnus Kehunah require salt: link

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