The JPS Rashi Discussion Torah Commentary

By Steven; Sarah Levy | Go to book overview

KORAḤ

❖ Bad Neighbors
Parashat Koraḥ opens with Koran’s brazen rebellion against Moses. Moses and Korah were both grandsons of Levi’s son Kohath, but Moses was from Kohath’s firstborn son, Amram, and Korah was from Kohath’s second-born son, Izhar. Since Amram’s two sons have already served as national leaders, Korah believes that he, as the next-most-senior grandson of Kohath, should have been appointed the family’s leader. He resents that Moses has assigned this role instead to Elizaphan, a son of Kohath’s youngest son, Uzziel. Others join Korah in his rebellion.

Now Korah, son of Izhar son of Kohath son of Levi, betook
himself, along with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and
On son of Peleth—descendants of Reuben. (Num. 16:1)

Rashi explains why the tribe of Reuben joined in Korah’ rebellion.

Dathan and Abiram: Since the tribe of Reuben made its
camp in the south, neighboring Kohath and his sons, who
[also] camped in the south, they joined with Korah in his
dispute. Woe to the wicked, [and] woe to his neighbor!
(Rashi, Num. 16:1)

Rashi notes that the tribe of Reuben’s physical proximity to Korah influenced the tribe’s members to join Korah’s rebellion. Consequently, it is important to exercise vigilance regarding neighbors who might exert a negative influence.
Questions for Discussion
1. When deciding to move to your current neighborhood, did you consider who your neighbors would be? Did you find out anything about them in advance? Are your neighbors different than what you had expected?
2. Have you ever joined in an action of consequence because of your proximity to someone who initiated it? What happened?
3. Describe the Jewish community in your neighborhood.

If Jews are numerous, does this tend to promote a sense of Jewish peoplehood or provoke rebellion (or both)? Do you believe Jews should make the effort to live among other Jews in order to foster Jewish community?


❖ Cooling-Off Period

While the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, concern about increasing gun-related violence has prompted legislation imposing restrictions on acquiring firearms. For example, some states require mandatory waiting periods between the time of a firearm’s purchase and its time of delivery—a cooling-off phase designed to help prevent

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The JPS Rashi Discussion Torah Commentary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction - Introducing Rashi xv
  • Genesis 1
  • Bere’shit 3
  • NoaḤ 6
  • Lekh Lekha 9
  • Va-Yera’ 12
  • Hayyei Sarah 15
  • Toledot 18
  • Va-Yetse’ 21
  • Va-YishlaḤ 24
  • Va-Yeshev 27
  • Mikkets 30
  • Va-Yiggash 33
  • Va-YeḤi 36
  • Exodus 39
  • Shemot 41
  • Val-‘Era’ 44
  • Bo’ 47
  • Be-ShallaḤ 50
  • Yitro 53
  • Mishpatim 56
  • Terumah 59
  • Tetsavveh 62
  • Ki Tissa’ 65
  • Va-Yak’Hel 68
  • Pekudei 71
  • Leviticus 75
  • Va-Yikra’ 77
  • Tsav 80
  • Shemini 83
  • Tazria’ 86
  • Metsora’ 90
  • ’AḤarei Mot 93
  • Kedoshim 97
  • ‘Emor 100
  • Be-Har 103
  • Be-Ḥukkotai 106
  • Numbers 111
  • Be-Midbar 113
  • Naso’ 116
  • Be-Ha’Alotekha 120
  • ShelaḤ-Lekha 123
  • KoraḤ 127
  • Ḥukkat 130
  • Balak 134
  • PinḤas 138
  • Mattot 141
  • Mase’Ei 144
  • Deuteronomy 147
  • Devarim 149
  • Va-EtḤannan 152
  • ‘Ekev 156
  • Re’Eh 160
  • Shofetim 163
  • Ki Tetse’ 167
  • Ki Tavo’ 171
  • Nits Avim/Va-Yelekh 174
  • Ha’Azinu 177
  • Ve-Zo’t Ha-Berakhah 181
  • Subject Index 185
  • Index of Sources 189
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