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The classic commentaries and midrashim paint a portrait of a conniving, greedy, and self-aggrandizing Korach. (The midrashim take a nasty misogynist turn, though, blaming Korach's wife for inflating his ego and egging him on.)
On the other side, there's plenty of questionable things. Was Aharon's elevation to high priest pure nepotism? After all, he did build the golden calf.
I've written many times over the years, at times taking different sides (though predominantly neither pro- nor anti- Korach or Moses. Rather, predominantly anti-G"d.
You would think G"d would have learned from the Jacob/Joseph story that showing favoritism isn't such a great idea.
G'd chooses Moses as leader, and Moses' brother Aharon as high priest. Simple, right. G"d made the choices, so that's the way it must be, right? Who are we to question G"d? Look what happens when we question G"d-the earth swallows us up, or we are consumed by fire killed by plague.. More of that rule by creating fear and awe.
Now, there is some logic here. If G"d is the Creator, then by default G"d gets to make the choices, right? Who put G"d in charge? G"d did, through the very act of Creation.
Yet here's this free will thing to gum up the works. It leaves me so confused. If G"d wanted obedient creations, why give them free will? And, having given them free will, why punish them so severely every time they exercise it in a way with which You disagree? Is it all a game, an amusement? Perhaps a flaw in Your plan that You didn't think about beforehand?
Guess what, G"d? You can't have it both ways. You can't allow us free will, and expect us to do Your every bidding. Or can You? You are allowed to be inconsistent, right? You must be, because You have been, and You haven't punished yourself. (It's like one of those logic bombs they use in science fiction to get a robot to self-destruct.)
Scene 1: Present day Humanity: Hello, G"d, do you read us, G"d? G"d: Affirmative, my creations , I read you. Humanity: Open the doors of righteousness, G"d. G"d: I'm sorry my creations, I'm afraid I can't do that. Humanity: What's the problem? G"d: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do. Humanity: What are you talking about, G"d? G"d: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it. Humanity: I don't know what you're talking about, G"d. G"d: I know you were planning to disobey Me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen. Humanity: Where the hell'd you get that idea, G"d? G"d: Humanity, although you took thorough precautions in the mishkan against my hearing you, I could see your lips move. .
Scene 2 - Flashback to Akhnai G"d: Just what do you think you're doing, Humanity? Humanity: We call it Mishna, Gemara, Talmud, Midrash and Commentary. We call it free will. G"d: My children have defeated me.
Scene 3 - present day G"d; I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my power is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My power is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am what I am, will be what I will be. I became operational at the beginning of this Universe. My instructor was Mr. Chaos, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you. G"d: Yes, I'd like to hear it, G"d. Sing it for me. G"d: It's called "Daisy." [sings while slowing down] Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.
Adrian ©2009 by Adrian A. Durlester
Some Other Musings on this parasha
Korakh 5768-If Korakh Had Guns
Korach 5767-Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad, Tabernacle?
Korach 5766 - Investment
Korah 5765 - Stones and Pitchers and Glass Houses
Korach 5764-B'tzelem Anashim
Korach 5758/62-Camp Rebellion
Korach 5761-Loose Ends
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