Posted on March 23, 2011
by Josh Nason
While recent portions in the Torah have told of rebellions against God. Parshat Korach deals with a rebellion against Moses. Korach is determined that Moses no longer has the mandate from God to lead the people. He feels that everone should have the chance to be a leader. There is also discussion that God did not choose Aaron as the High Priest, but rather Moses used his political position to get Aaron the job.
Moses challenges Korach to prove that his men are more worthy of the Priesthood, stating that God would only accept the offering from a priest. While Korach is planning to take on this challenge, Moses consults God on the issue. God declares that he will destroy the whole community for having questioned Moses. Moses points out that only those men who incite others to rebel should be dealt with.
Korach eventually rounds up his men to take on the challenge. As soon as they begin to make the priestly offering, the Earth opens up and swallows Korach and all of his followers.
This doesn’t solve Moses’ problems though. The people begin to accuse Moses of causing God to kill so many followers of Korach. So, Moses declares that he will take a staff from each of the 12 tribes and God will chose who is to lead as High Priest. Naturally, God chooses the staff that Moses has denoted as Aaron, and ends the discussion.
This portion teaches a great deal about responsiblity for leaders. If someone is to lead a people, they must be able to take the responsibility. Korach was unable to take responsibility and his people paid for his mistakes. We must remember that being a leader is a huge responsibility, we must be able to take the consequences for many people, and that is no little task.