“Be Holy” versus “We Are Holy”:
Korah’s Misunderstanding of the Concept of Holiness
Rabbi Daniela Szuster
This week’s parashah begins telling us that Korah, with a group of people, confronted Moses and Aron publicly.
It is written in the Torah: “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— to rise up against Moses, together with two hundred and fifty Israelites, chieftains of the community, chosen in the assembly, men of repute. They combined against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all the community are holy, all of them, and the LORD is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourselves above the LORD’s congregation?” (B’midvar 16:1-3).