Open your eyes! | Jewish general

Our weekly episode deals with Korah’s attack on the authority and leadership of Moses and Aaron. Korach and his men rebellion against these two – the result is known, it is catastrophic. Gd punishes an attempted coup and causes the earth to consume Korah, his followers and their families: “They and all of them have drowned alive in Sheol (the underworld), the earth covered them, and they vanished from the church” (Nu 16:33).

Other agitators are consumed by heavenly fire. But even after that, there is an uproar among the children of Israel. You remain dissatisfied. A plague is spreading among them, and Aharon ends it.

prototype Much has been written about these events over the centuries. Much comment was made on Korach, the prototype demagogue and rebel. It is worth noting that the Torah does not give us a taste of his rhetorical skills. We only learn about his main argument: they are all saints, that is, the entire people of Israel.

We read of the rebels: “And they gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said, Too much for you! The whole church is holy because the Lord is among them. Why are you exalting yourself above the congregation of the Lord? ” (Nu 16: 3).

Then Moses speaks. But Korach did not pass any judgment. One person will speak for “them” – but the Torah does not tell us who it is.

BUSINESS Now let us turn to those who made it possible for Korah and his associates Dathan, Aviram and 250 other people, because the Torah says they “spoke”, they all stood back.
Who makes such a rebellion possible? Everything. Community. “This is evidenced by the fact that there is not only one interest group at work. The Levi Korah deals with the privileges of the Kohanim priests. On the other hand, Dathan and Aviram, a Re’uven tribe, seem to be interested in political influence.

The events took place in the community, that is, in public. Therefore Gd wants to punish “the whole church.” In verse 16:21 it says, to Moses and Aaron, “Separate yourselves from this church” (Hebrew mitoch haEda), “and in a moment I will destroy them.”

However, Moshe and Aharon want to prevent this from happening. »Then they fell on their faces and said: Almighty, G-that spirits in all bodies! One man sins, and you would be angry with the whole church? ” (16:22)

MINJAN The first sentence is quoted in the Talmud to establish the minyan or minimum number of Jews required for public prayer and the sanctification of Gd’s name. Without minyan, there is no Torah reading or Kaddish. Generally speaking, minyan halachically defines the audience as opposed to the individual. Accordingly, the prayer leader is called Shaliach Zibbur, the envoy of society.

The Talmud (Megillah 23b) compares the word “Eda”, often translated “congregation” or “congregation,” to a Torah verse in which spies sent out to scout the land of Israel returned with daunting news. They are described there as “the evil gathering of (Eda)” (Numbers 14:27).

How many scouts were there? There were ten spies, so it was concluded that ten was the number that set the church apart from the loose group. The word “Eda” is found frequently in the Korah passage. Sometimes also the word “Kahal”, which in German translation is usually translated as “Gemeinde”. You might think they are synonyms.

translator It becomes interesting for the translator when the terms are used not only alternately, but also in the same sentence. As in Numbers 20: 2: “Moshe and Aaron prostrated themselves before the kehilla, Eda, sons of Israel.”

The difference between the two terms for which we only have one translation is not negligible. »Kahal« is a group of unrelated people. They just belong to the group. They are not very organized.

The word is thus used in the story of the golden calf (Exodus 32: 1). Here, apparently, events unfolded organically. The word “Eda” denotes an organized group with structure or identity. Thus, the verse quoted at the beginning (16:33) becomes interesting because we leave the word “church” untranslated, we know the concept behind it: “They and all of them have drowned alive in Sheol. The earth covered them and they vanished from the kehilla. “

EDA The fact that at the end of these impressive events, the children of Israel were still complaining in great numbers – “Then the whole community of (Ed) the children of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron the next day and said, You have killed the Lord’s people!” (17: 6) – shows that rebellion he arose from the people.

Even those who did not take action needed to know and know that something was about to happen. Hence, it was not about less, or even about Korah.

The fact that the Torah so often uses the word “Eda” here tells us that sometimes bad things happen in the public eye and therefore become possible. It is up to us not to close our eyes and ears, lest anything bad arise in the midst of the church.

The author is a member of the Jewish community in Gelsenkirchen.

contents
Korah and his followers Dathan and Aviram rebel against two leaders, Moshe and Aaron. The Eternal himself punishes an attempted coup and causes both Korah and his followers to be swallowed up by the earth’s surface. Other supporters of Korea are consumed by heavenly fire. Yet there is resentment among the Israelites. A plague ensues, and Aharon ends it. In order to clearly define his position at the head, the leaders of each tribe are to bring their staff to the tabernacle. Here it is: Aharon’s rod is blooming.
Numbers 16: 1-18: 32

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