This week's Torah portion is a doozy (surely that's the technical term) -- parashat Korach. Here we find the story of the eponymous Korach, whose challenge to Moses' authority resulted in the earth opening to swallow him and his followers.
In this week's post over at
Radical Torah, I explore a few different angles on this
week's Torah portion. What does the portion tell us about ownership
of Jewish tradition? What exactly does it mean to say that Korach and his gang
descended into Sheol? I'm indebted to
Nehama Leibowitz's commentary and insights, especially on the matter of what exactly Korach and his not-so-merry band had done wrong:
For Leibowitz, the error of Korach and his followers was falling prey to the hubris of believing that their individual holiness trumped the holiness of the collective. That each of them, alone, was special enough to outweigh the needs and aspirations of the community. As tantalizing as that notion might be to us today, grounded as we are in a culture that prizes individualism, it's arguably a profoundly un-Jewish point of view.
Read the whole thing here: The hubris of Korach.