Korach

All the people are holy… why are you raised above us?” Korach’s rebellion abuses democracy, uses language of universalism to incite violence; his appeals to holiness ring hollow, weighed down by ego. But. Disagreement and challenges to authority are part of dynamic holy communities – some aspects of Korach are crucial. There is no Moses without Korach. Later, souvenirs of the conflict are preserved in the Ark of the Covenant, “a memorial, a sign of rebels,” to remind us of the constructive power rebellion can bring to society. The prototype of a minyan, a religious quorum, is based on Korach’s band; his name hides in psalms praising the righteous. Good friends gently remind each other to fight the systems they love.

 

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[Inspired by: Numbers 16 and 17; Isaac Luria on Psalm 93;  R. Raz Hartman; Megillah 23b; Hutzpah d’Kedusha by R. Shlomo Carlebach; and Fanatics of Tangier by Eugène Delacroix.]

 

 

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