Shabbat Rosh Hodesh
June 23 & 24, 2017 • 30 Sivan 5777
Annual Numbers 16:1-18:32: p. 860-875
Triennial Numbers 16:1-17:15: p. 860-868
Haftarah Isaiah 66:1-24,23: p. 944-947
from TORAH SPARKS
By Vered Hollander-Goldfarb, CY Faculty
Moshe finds himself facing a rebellion which seems to be perceived also as an offense
to God. By the end, the rebels are punishing in a unique manner, proof is given to the
people about God’s chosen leader, and the position and salary of the Kohanim and
Leviim is detailed.
1) Korach, from the tribe of Levi, takes with him people from the tribe of Reuben and another 250 important people from within the nation and get up in front of Moshe to complain (16:1-3). What are they arguing? What might be their motives? (Reminder: Reuben was Jacob’s first born son, the Levites are put to work in the Mishkan under Aaron.)
2) God seems inclined to wipe out the evil group, but Moshe and Aaron intercede (16:20-22). What is their argument? What does it tell us about how they understood the situation?
3) None the less, Korach, Datan and Aviram get a special punishment (16:26-34). What happens to them? What is unique about this punishment (v.30)? What is the reaction of the people?
4) To solve future arguments of this sort, God instructs Moshe to conduct a test that will visually demonstrate who God chose (17:16-26). How will the text be conducted? What are the results? Where is the proof kept? *Another person saw an almond branch (Jeremiah 1:11-12). Can you find any connection to the case here in Bamidbar?
5) In chapter 18 we are told about the payments that the Kohanim and Leviim will receive in exchange for their work in the Mishkan. What will the Leviim receive (18:21-24)? Why is this necessary? What will they, unlike the rest of the nation, not receive?
* A challenging question.
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