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July 21, 2024

Archive for June 14, 2014

Korah Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion


Numbers 16:1 – 18:32
This Week’s Torah Portion | June 15 – June 21, 2014 – Sivan 17 – Sivan 23, 5774

In A Nutshell

The portion begins with the story of Dathan and Abiram, and 250 of the presidents of the congregation who rebelled against Moses and Aaron with what seemed like a just argument: Since the entire nation is holy, Moses and Aaron should have the same status as the rest of the people. The reply they received was that although they are all equal, Moses and Aaron are the leaders that can be in contact with the Creator. Following the mutiny, the ground swallowed the 250 presidents of the congregation, as well as Korah and his company, and the people suffered from a plague until Moses asked the Creator to end it.

The end of the portion debates the question of leadership in the nation. A test was held between all the staffs (rods) of all the leaders, and the only one that blossomed was Aaron’s staff, which signaled his unequivocal leadership.


Commentary by Dr. Michael Laitman

We can interpret the explanation of the Torah (Pentateuch) on two levels—the level of this world and the level of the hidden, spiritual world. On the level of our world, the story of Korah is very relevant even today.

For thousands of years, our world has been developing through our egos. 3,800 years ago we lived in what is now known as Ancient Babylon. This is when Abraham—the quality of Hesed (mercy)—rose, as well as the priests that followed him, who are also from the quality of BinaHassadim.

Abraham discovered that the whole world must develop and achieve a state of unity and connection, and shared his revelation with the Babylonians. While many followed him, they were only a handful compared to the majority that rejected his ideas. Abraham had to flee from Babylon, chased by Nimrod, the king of Babylon.

Abraham established a method for correcting human nature. Today we call that method, “the wisdom of Kabbalah,” whose purpose is to elevate man from the depth of egoism to the level of bestowal and love.

This ascent is in fact the goal of our development—to rise from the level of this world to the level of the spiritual world. Spirituality is bestowal and the love of others, by which we acquire eternity and wholeness. This is the meaning of the text in this portion, as well as in The Book of Zohar, which talks about freedom from the angel of death.

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Glossary – Korah Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Glossary of Terms Used in the Korah Weekly Torah Portion


A “president” is the quality that currently controls all the other qualities.

Counters’ Envy

This is the desire to count how much we have gained, how much we receive, how much we give, how much we advance in spirituality. We advance specifically through envy; it is good envy. Our envy of our environment prompts us to be more spiritual.


The will to receive that appears opposite (in contrast to) the quality of Moses. It is through this dispute that we advance.


A plague is a manner of correction. The correction detaches and sets my intentions to receive in order—corrects them to be in order to bestow, either on the degree of Bina, or on the degree of Keter.

Fire from Heaven

Fire is Gevurot that appear on the left line, without Hassadim. There can be mitigated Gevurot and good Gevurot. It’s a correction, the correction force that comes from the left.


The degree of Bina, bestowal.


The light that comes and gives us the strength to atone for our iniquities, to turn them from reception to bestowal. All our iniquities, our ego, everything that was in us, has now become bestowal.

Staff (rod)

The staff is the middle line by which one achieves the goal. If we properly connect to it all the qualities, all the discernments, it blossoms.


The middle line that shows us we are being filled with light.

The Meaning of “Peace, Peace, to Him That Is Far and to Him That Is Near”

“What is a dispute? It is removal and rejection above and below … removal and rejection of the peace … the peace of above—the middle line, which is called Torah, making peace between right and left—and of below, of Moses. …A dispute is wherever there are two opposites … A dispute is necessary … because it is impossible to correct anything unless you know the fault. Therefore, when we know the dispute between the desires, we can make peace between them.”

Rav Baruch Ashlag, The Writings of Rabash, vol. 2,
“What Is ‘Peace, Peace, to Him That Is Far and to Him That Is Near,’ in the Work?”, p 1361

We must respect disputes but make them constructive, as it is written, “A contradiction of elders builds” (Babylonian TalmudNedarim, 40a), and by that we reach the goal.


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