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Parashat Korach – The Cover Doesn’t Tell The Whole Story

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח… וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם… וְאוֹן בֶּן פֶּלֶת… וַיָּקֻמוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתָיִם נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם

Korach… along with Datan and Aviram… and On the son of Pelet… confronted Moshe together with two hundred and fifty men from the B’nei Yisrael, chiefs of the nation, representatives [before Hashem], men of good reputation.


Quite an impressive list, a who’s who in Judaism, decided to confront Moshe together with Korach. One of them was On, who interestingly isn’t mentioned among them later. The Commentators explain that his wife convinced him out of joining up with the rebellion. He wasn’t sure how to save face and back out as he had given his word that he would join. His wife told him not to worry and that she would take care of it.

She gave him some wine and he fell asleep, and then uncovered her hair as if she was going to bathe. When he didn’t show up to join the rebellion they came by his house to pick him up. When they saw her, they immediately turned around. By the time On woke up, the story had concluded. Korach and his crew had been swallowed by the ground, and On was safe.

These men, men who dared stand up to Moshe, were people who didn’t even consider hanging around when On’s wife had her hair uncovered. They were people who looked light great men and acted the part, but they were wrong. Fatally wrong.

We all need a Rabbi who’s word we can follow. We must be very careful in choosing a Rabbi who will lift us up with him, and not drag us down instead.


Shabbat Shalom

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