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Friday, June 15

The Weekly Shtikle - Korach

    The very next day after the very public demise of Korach and his entourage, "all the congregation of the children of Israel" once again complained about Moshe and Aharon, stating, (17:6) "You have killed the nation of HaShem!" The simple understanding of this declaration is a direct reference to the death of Korach, Dasan, Aviram and the 250 men.
    However, R' Kulefsky, zt"l, would often quote an alternate understanding of this complaint from R' Avraham ben haRambam. The gemara (Makkos 10a) states that if it should happen that a disciple would need to be exiled to an ir miklat for an inadvertent killing, his rebbe is exiled with him for the pasuk states (Devarim 4:42) "And he shall escape to one of these cities - and he shall live." The cities of refuge are meant to sustain the life of the killer and exiling him without his rebbe is tantamount to taking his life.
    So, B'nei Yisroel were not complaining about the death of the 250 men. Rather, they looked up to Korach as a rebbe and were bemoaning their own death. They felt that with Korach's death, a part of them died with him. Either way you understand it, it was a protest of which HaShem strongly disapproved.


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