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Young Israel of Plainview

Parshat Korach
The Prophecy Project – Rebellions
Both our Parsha (Korach) and Haftorah (I Samuel 11-12) describe rebellions. Moses, of course, confronts Korach and his rebels who question their leader's authority over all religious and political decisions. The Prophet Samuel, similarly, accuses the Israelites of rebelliousness for their request of a king “like all the other nations”. himself. Intuitively, we recognize the stark contrast between the two rebellions. Korach, audaciously seeks to subvert the power of Moses and obtain that power for Samuel's Israel, however, rejects not the prophet's leadership, but the nature of that leadership. They seek the king who will replace the prophet. From a certain perspective, noting the unethical actions of the Prophet Samuel's children, Samuel's generation was justified in their request for a new leader. Nevertheless, the prophet is harsh in his criticism of the people's request: “behold they have rebelled against me, against the Lord, and against his anointed one” (12:3) Perhaps, the comparison between our Parsha and Haftorah exists more subtly in the psychological perspective of the people. Both Korach and Samuel's generation seek to free their leadership from Divine authority. Korach rejected Moses as he was imposed upon them by God and not taken from the people. So too, Samue's Israel sought to free itself from the Divinve authority of a ProphetLeader. Samuel therefore responds carefully: “If you fear the Lord and serve Him... and if you and your king who God has reigned over you continue following the Lord” (12:14). The king of Israel, like a prophet, must lead the people to God. While a political leader, the monarch of Israel, represents God to the people like a prophet. Interestingly, Samuel, a Levite, descends from Korach (see I Chronicles 6:18-23). Our Haftorah is perhaps highlighting the people's repentance. Once again they seek alternative leadership; this time, however, they accept the notion of Jewish leadership's relationship to God. Ultimately, there will be no successful nation and leader without commitment to the Law of God. Wednesday Night Shiur – New Topic: The Making of Modern Judaism A Halachik revolution began with the publishing of the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law by R. Yosef Karo in 1565. This set of shiurim will explore the last 500 years of Halachik history, understanding the works and personalities that created the modern Jewish experience of the present. Join us (men and women) for our first shiur, June 27 at 9PM Codification and Controversy: R. Yosef Karo and the Publishing of the Shulchan Aruch. All classes will be available online as MP3 as well.