Chapter 18י״ח
1 א

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת וגו' (במדבר טז, א), הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (משלי יח, יט): אָח נִפְשָׁע מִקִּרְיַת עֹז, זֶה קֹרַח שֶׁחָלַק כְּנֶגֶד משֶׁה וּמָרַד וְיָרַד מִן כָּבוֹד שֶׁהָיָה בְּיָדוֹ, וְאֵין נִפְשָׁע אֶלָּא מְרִידָה, כְּמָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (מלכים ב ג, ז): מֶלֶךְ מוֹאָב פָּשַׁע בִּי. (משלי יח, יט): וּמִדְיָנִים כִּבְרִיחַ אַרְמוֹן, שֶׁהֶעֱלֵית הָאָרֶץ בְּרִיחֶיהָ בַּעֲדוֹ אַרְמוֹן שֶׁחָלַק עַל משֶׁה וְעַל הַמָּקוֹם.

1 (Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah betook himself”: This text is related (to Prov. 18:19), “A brother offended (rt.: psh') is more formidable than a fortified city.” The brother offended is Korah, in that he sided against Moses. So he rebelled and sank from whatever glory that he possessed. Now offended (rt: psh') can only imply rebellion, since it is stated (in II Kings 3:7), “The king of Moab has rebelled (psh') against me.” It also says (in II Kings 8:22), “then did Libnah rebel (rt.: psh').” (Prov. 18:19) “[Such] contentions are like a castle bar”: The earth raised its bars against him like a castle. (Prov. 18:19:) “Like a castle bar.” [These words also refer to Korah,] who sided against Moses and against the Omnipresent.1See the commentary of Enoch Zundel on Tanh., Numb.5:1. This explanation is also given by Issachar Berman Ashkenazi in his commentary, Mattenot Kehunnah, on Numb. R. 18:1.

2 ב

וַיִּקַּח, אֵין וַיִּקַּח אֶלָּא מְשִׁיכַת הַדְּבָרִים רַכִּים שֶׁנִּמְשְׁכוּ כָּל גְּדוֹלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַסַּנְהֶדְּרָאוֹת אַחֲרָיו. בְּמשֶׁה הוּא אוֹמֵר (במדבר א, יז): וַיִּקַּח משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֵת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה. וְכֵן (ויקרא ח, ב): קַח אֶת אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת בָּנָיו אִתּוֹ. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (הושע יד, ג): קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם דְּבָרִים. וְכֵן (בראשית יב, טו): וַתֻּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה בֵּית פַּרְעֹה. הֱוֵי: וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, שֶׁבִּדְבָרִים רַכִּים מָשַׁךְ לִבָּם. וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, עַל יְדֵי מָה נֶחֱלַק, עַל יְדֵי אֱלִיצָפָן בֶּן אֲחִי אָבִיו שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה נָשִׂיא עַל מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ (במדבר ג, ל): וּנְשִׂיא בֵית אָב לְמִשְׁפְּחֹת הַקְּהָתִי אֱלִיצָפָן בֶּן עֻזִּיאֵל. אָמַר קֹרַח, אַרְבָּעָה אַחִים הָיוּ אֲחֵי אַבָּא (שמות ו, יח): וּבְנֵי קְהָת עַמְרָם וְיִצְהָר וְחֶבְרוֹן וְעֻזִּיאֵל, עַמְרָם הַבְּכוֹר זָכָה אַהֲרֹן בְּנוֹ לִגְדֻלָּה וּמשֶׁה לְמַלְכוּת, מִי רָאוּי לִטֹּל אֶת הַשְּׁנִיָּה לֹא הַשֵּׁנִי, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּבְנֵי קְהָת עַמְרָם וְיִצְהָר, אֲנִי בְּנוֹ שֶׁל יִצְהָר, הָיִיתִי רָאוּי לִהְיוֹת נָשִׂיא עַל מִשְׁפָּחְתִּי, וְהוּא עָשָׂה בְּנוֹ שֶׁל עֻזִּיאֵל, קָטָן שֶׁל אַחֵי אַבָּא יְהִי גָדוֹל עָלַי, הֲרֵינִי חוֹלֵק עָלָיו וּמְבַטֵּל כָּל מַה שֶּׁנַּעֲשָׂה עַל יָדוֹ, לְכָךְ וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח.

2 (Numb. 16:1) “[Now Korah …] took”:2In this and some of the following sections, the midrash is explaining the fact that the transitive verb, TOOK, has no object. Biblical translations offer solutions such as translating the verb intransitively, e.g., BETOOK HIMSELF, or by supplying an object, e.g., TOOK MEN. “Took” can only be a word for "attracting with persuasive words," in that he attracted all the leaders of Israel and the sanhedraot [to follow] after him. Concerning Moses it is written (in Numb. 1:17), “So Moses and Aaron took these men.” And similarly it is written (in Numb. 8:2), “Take Aaron and his sons with him.” And so does it say (in Hos. 14:3), “Take words with you.” And so does it [also] say (in Genesis 12:15), “and the woman was taken to the house of Pharaoh.” Ergo (in Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah […] took,” in that he drew (i.e., took) their hearts with persuasive words. (Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah […] betook himself”: Because of what did he dissent? Because of Elizaphan, the son of his father's brother, who had been appointed prince (nasi) over his clan. So it says (in Numb. 3:30), “And the prince of the ancestral house for the Kohathite clan was Elizaphan ben Uzziel.” Korah said, “Father had four brothers.” It is so stated (according to Exod. 6:18), “And the sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.” “As for Amram, the first-born; his son Aaron attained greatness, and his brother Moses [attained] the kingship. So who deserves to get second [place]? Should it not be the second [son]? Now I am Izhar's son. I deserved to be prince of my clan, but he has appointed the son of Uzziel. Should the youngest of father's brothers become superior to me? See, I am dissenting and declaring everything invalid, whatever he had done.” Therefore, (in Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah […] took.”

3 ג

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, מַה כְּתִיב לְמַעְלָה מִן הָעִנְיָן (במדבר טו, לח): וְעָשׂוּ לָהֶם צִיצִת, קָפַץ קֹרַח וְאָמַר לְמשֶׁה טַלִּית שֶׁכֻּלָּהּ תְּכֵלֶת מַהוּ שֶׁתְּהֵא פְּטוּרָה מִן הַצִּיצִית, אָמַר לוֹ חַיֶּיבֶת בְּצִיצִית. אָמַר לוֹ קֹרַח טַלִית שֶׁכֻּלָּהּ תְּכֵלֶת אֵין פּוֹטֶרֶת עַצְמָהּ, אַרְבָּעָה חוּטִין פּוֹטְרוֹת אוֹתָהּ. בַּיִת מָלֵא סְפָרִים מַהוּ שֶׁיְהֵא פָּטוּר מִן הַמְּזוּזָה, אָמַר לוֹ חַיָּב בִּמְּזוּזָה, אָמַר לוֹ, כָּל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּה מָאתַיִם וְשִׁבְעִים וְחָמֵשׁ פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת אֵינָהּ פּוֹטֶרֶת אֶת הַבַּיִת, פָּרָשָׁה אַחַת שֶׁבַּמְּזוּזָה פּוֹטֶרֶת אֶת הַבַּיִת, אָמַר לוֹ דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ לֹא נִצְטַוֵּיתָ עֲלֵיהֶן, וּמִלִּבְּךָ אַתָּה בּוֹדְאָן, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב: וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, אֵין וַיִּקַּח אֶלָּא לָשׁוֹן פְּלִיגָא, שֶׁלִּבּוֹ לְקָחוֹ. וְכָעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איוב טו, יב): מַה יִּקָּחֲךָ לִבֶּךָ, הוּא שֶׁמּשֶׁה אוֹמֵר לָהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, ט): הַמְעַט כִּי הִבְדִּיל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים חָכָם גָּדוֹל הָיָה קֹרַח וּמִטּוֹעֲנֵי הָאָרוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ז, ט): וְלִבְנֵי קְהָת לֹא נָתָן כִּי עֲבֹדַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ עֲלֵהֶם, וְקֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת, וּכְשֶׁאָמַר משֶׁה (במדבר טו, לח): וְנָתְנוּ עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף פְּתִיל תְּכֵלֶת, מִיָּד צִוָּה וְעָשׂוּ מָאתַיִם וַחֲמִשִּׁים טַלִּיתוֹת תְּכֵלֶת וְנִתְעַטְּפוּ בָּהֶן אוֹתָן מָאתַיִם וַחֲמִשִּׁים רָאשֵׁי סַנְהֶדְרָאוֹת שֶׁקָּמוּ עַל משֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, ב): וַיָּקֻמוּ לִפְנֵי משֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתָיִם נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד. עָמַד קֹרַח וְעָשָׂה לָהֶם מִשְׁתֶּה וְנִתְעַטְּפוּ בְּטַלִּיתוֹת שֶׁל תְּכֵלֶת, בָּאוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן לִטֹּל מַתְּנוֹתֵיהֶם חָזֶה וְשׁוֹק, עָמְדוּ כְּנֶגְדָן, אָמְרוּ לָהֶן מִי צִוָּה אֶתְכֶם לִטֹּל כָּךְ, לֹא משֶׁה, לֹא נִתֵּן כְּלוּם, לֹא דִּבֵּר הַמָּקוֹם כָּךְ. בָּאוּ וְהוֹדִיעוּ אֶת משֶׁה, הָלַךְ לְפַיְסָן, מִיָּד עָמְדוּ כְּנֶגְדוֹ לְקַדְּמוֹ לִפְנֵי משֶׁה. וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתָיִם, מִי הֵם, אֱלִיצוּר בֶּן שְׁדֵיאוּר וַחֲבֵרָיו, (במדבר א, יז): הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר נִקְּבוּ בְּשֵׁמֹת, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹא פִּרְסְמָן הַכָּתוּב נָתַן סִימָנֵיהֶן, וּמִתּוֹךְ הַמִּקְרָאוֹת אַתְּ מֵבִין אוֹתָם. מָשָׁל לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה, לְבֶן טוֹבִים שֶׁנִּמְצָא גוֹנֵב כֵּלִים מִבֵּית הַמֶּרְחָץ, וְלֹא הָיָה רוֹצֶה בַּעַל הַגְּנֵבָה לְפַרְסְמוֹ, הִתְחִיל נוֹתֵן סִימָנָיו, אָמְרוּ לוֹ מִי גָנַב כֵּלֶיךָ, אָמַר לָהֶם אוֹתוֹ בֶּן טוֹבִים בַּעַל קוֹמָה וְשִׁנָּיו נָאוֹת וְשַׂעֲרוֹ שָׁחוֹר וְחָטְמוֹ נָאֶה, מִשָּׁנָּתַן סִימָנָיו יָדְעוּ מִי הוּא. אַף כָּאן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁסְּתָמָן הַכָּתוּב, בָּא וְנָתַן סִימָנֵיהֶן וְאַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ מִי הֵם, נֶאֱמַר לְהַלָּן (במדבר א, טז יז): אֵלֶּה קְרוּאֵי הָעֵדָה נְשִׂיאֵי מַטּוֹת אֲבוֹתָם רָאשֵׁי אַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם, וַיִּקַּח משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֵת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר נִקְּבוּ בְּשֵׁמֹת, וְנֶאֱמַר כָּאן (במדבר טז, ב ג): נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם, וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל משֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן.

3 (Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah […] took”: What is written above the matter (in Numb. 15:38)? “Speak unto the Children of Israel and tell them to make tassels (zizit) for themselves.’” Korah quickly said to Moses, “In the case of a prayer shawl (tallit) which is all blue, what is the rule about it being exempt from [having] the tassel?” Moses said to him, “[Such a prayer shawl] is required to have the tassels.” Korah said to him, “Would not a prayer shawl which is all blue exempt itself, when four [blue] threads exempt it? In the case of a house which is full of [scriptural] books, what is the rule about it being exempt it from [having] the mezuzah (which contains only two passages of scripture)?” [Moses] said to him, “[Such a house] is required to have the mezuzah.” [Korah] said to him, “Since the whole Torah has two hundred and seventy-five parashiot in it2Cf. yShab. 16:1 (15c); Soferim 16:10; M. Pss. 22:19, according to which there are 175 parashiot in the Torah where an expression of speaking, saying, or commanding occurs. See also Alfa Beta deRabbi ‘Aqiva, longer recension, Tsade (Eisenstein, p. 421). and they do not exempt the house [from having the mezuzah], would the one parasha which is in the mezuzah exempt the house?” [He also] said to him, “These are things about which you have not been commanded. Rather you are inventing them [by taking them] out of your own heart.” Here is what is written (in Numb. 16:1), “Now Korah […] took.” (Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah […] took”: Now “took (rt.: lqh)” can only be a word of discord, in that his heart carried him away (rt.: lqh). Thus is [the word] used (in Job 15:12), “How your heart has carried you away (rt.: lqh) […].” This explains what Moses said to them (in Numb. 16:9), “Is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated [you from the congregation to draw you near unto Himself, to perform the service of the Lord's tabernacle …]?” The sages have said, “Korah was a great sage and was one of the bearers of the ark, as stated (in Numb. 7:9), ‘But to the children of Kohath He gave no [wagons], because they had the service of the holy objects, which they carried on their shoulders.’” Now Korah was the son of Izhar, [who was] the son of Kohath. When Moses said (in Numb. 15:38), “And put on the tassel of each corner a thread of blue,” what did Korah do? He immediately ordered them to make two hundred and fifty blue shawls for those two hundred and fifty heads of sanhedraot who rose up against Moses to wrap themselves in, just as it is stated (in Numb. 16:2), “And they rose up against Moses, together with two hundred and fifty men from the children of Israel, princes of the congregation, chosen in the assembly.” Korah arose and made them a banquet at which they all wrapped themselves in blue prayer shawls. [When] Aaron's sons came to receive their dues, [namely the] breast and right thigh,3I.e., the priestly share of the animals slaughtered for the feast. See Lev.7:31-32. they arose against them and said to them, “Who commanded you to receive such? Was it not Moses? [If so,] we shall not give you anything, as the Holy One, blessed be He, has not commanded it.” They came and informed Moses. He went to placate4Rt.: PYS. See the Gk.: peithein, peisai in the aroist. them. They immediately confronted him, as stated (ibid.), “And they rose up against Moses.” And who were they? Elizur ben Shedeur and his companions (the princes), the men (according to Numb. 1:17) “who were mentioned by name.” Although the text has not publicized5From PRSM. Cf. Gk: parresiazesthai. their [names], it has given clues6Gk.: semeia. to their [identity], so that you [can] identify them from the [various] verses. A parable: To what is the matter comparable? To a scion of good parentage who stole articles from the bathhouse. The owner of what was stolen did not want to publish his [name. Rather,] he began to give clues about his [identity]. When they said to him, “Who stole your articles,” he said, “A scion of good parentage, a tall person with beautiful teeth and black hair.” After he had given his clues, they knew who he was. So also here where the text has concealed them and not specified their names, it comes and gives clues to their [identity]. You know who they are. It is stated elsewhere (in Numb. 1:16-17), “These were elected by the congregation, princes of their ancestral tribes, heads of thousands within Israel. So Moses and Aaron took these men who were mentioned by name.” Now here it is written (in Numb. 16:2-3), “princes of the congregation, elected by the assembly, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron.”

4 ד

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, לָקַח טַלִּיתוֹ וְהָלַךְ לִטֹּל עֵצָה מֵאִשְׁתּוֹ, כְּשֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה (במדבר ח, ו ז): קַח אֶת הַלְוִיִּם מִתּוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְטִהַרְתָּ אֹתָם, וְכֹה תַעֲשֶׂה לָהֶם לְטַהֲרָם וגו' וְהֶעֱבִירוּ תַעַר עַל כָּל בְּשָׂרָם, מִיָּד עָשָׂה כֵן לְקֹרַח, הִתְחִיל לַחֲזֹר עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֹא הָיוּ מַכִּירִין אוֹתוֹ, אָמְרוּ לוֹ מִי עָשָׂה לְךָ כָּךְ, אָמַר לָהֶם משֶׁה עָשָׂה בִּי, וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא נְטָלַנִי בְּיָדַי וְרַגְלַי וְהָיוּ מְנִיפִין אוֹתִי וְאוֹמֵר לִי הֲרֵי אַתָּה טָהוֹר, וְהֵבִיא אֶת אַהֲרֹן אָחִיו וְקִשְׁטוֹ כַּכַּלָּה וְהוֹשִׁיבוֹ בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, מִיָּד הִתְחִילוּ שׂוֹנְאֵי משֶׁה לְהִתְגָּרוֹת בּוֹ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמְרוּ משֶׁה מֶלֶךְ, וְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיו כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל, וּבָנָיו סְגָנֵי כְּהֻנָּה, תְּרוּמָה לַכֹּהֵן, מַעֲשֵׂר לַכֹּהֵן, עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע מַתָּנוֹת לַכֹּהֵן, מִיָּד (במדבר טז, ג): וַיִּקָּהֲלוּ עַל משֶׁה, מִיָּד (במדבר טז, ג): וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם. אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה כִּנֵּס קֹרַח עֲדָתוֹ, וְאָמַר לָהֶם הִרְבֵּיתֶם עָלֵינוּ מַשֹּׂוֹי יוֹתֵר מִשִּׁעְבּוּד מִצְרַיִם, טוֹב לָנוּ תַּחַת מִצְרַיִם מִתַּחַת יֶדְכֶם, וּבִקְּשׁוּ לְסָקְלוֹ, לְפִיכָךְ (במדבר טז, ד): וַיִּשְׁמַע משֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל עַל פָּנָיו, אָמַר לָהֶם משֶׁה לֹא לִמְלוּכָה אֲנִי מְבַקֵּשׁ וְלֹא לְאַהֲרֹן אָחִי כְּהֻנָּה גְדוֹלָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, יא): וְאַהֲרֹן מַה הוּא כִּי תַלִּינוּ עָלָיו. אָמַר משֶׁה רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם לֹא כָּךְ צִוִּיתָנִי (שמות כח, א): וְאַתָּה הַקְרֵב אֵלֶיךָ אֶת אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וְאֶת בָּנָיו אִתּוֹ, וַהֲרֵי עוֹמְדִים כְּנֶגְדֵנוּ לְהָרְגֵנוּ, אָמַר (במדבר טז, ה): בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה' אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ, מַהוּ כֵן, אָמַר רַבִּי נָתָן אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אִם נִתְקַבְּצוּ כָּל חַרְטֻמֵּי הָעוֹלָם וּבִקְשׁוּ לַהֲפֹךְ אֶת הַבֹּקֶר לְעֶרֶב לֹא יוּכְלוּ, וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהִבְדַּלְתִּי בֵּין אוֹר לְחשֶׁךְ כֵּן הִבְדַּלְתִּי אַהֲרֹן לְהַקְדִּישׁוֹ בְּקֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים. מִיָּד (במדבר טז, יב): וַיִּשְׁלַח משֶׁה לִקְרֹא לְדָתָן וְלַאֲבִירָם בְּנֵי אֱלִיאָב וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נַעֲלֶה, לֹא נֵלֵךְ וְלֹא נָבוֹא אֵין כְּתִיב כָּאן אֶלָּא לֹא נַעֲלֶה, (משלי יח, ז): פִּי כְסִיל מְחִתָּה לוֹ פָּתְחוּ פִּיהֶם לְפֻרְעָנוּת, לוֹמַר שֶׁהֵן מֵתִין בִּירִידָה וְלֹא בַעֲלִיָּה, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָמְרוּ כָּךְ מֵתוּ (במדבר טז, לג): וַיֵּרְדוּ הֵם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם חַיִּים שְׁאֹלָה. אָמַר משֶׁה הוֹאִיל וְלֹא רָצוּ לֵילֵךְ אֶצְלִי אֲנִי אָבוֹא אֶצְלָם אוּלַי יִתְבַּיְשׁוּ וְיַחְזְרוּ בָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, כה): וַיָּקָם משֶׁה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם, כְּשֶׁרָאוּ אוֹתוֹ הִתְחִילוּ לְחָרֵף וּלְגַדֵּף, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, כז): וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם יָצְאוּ נִצָּבִים, וְכִי יוֹשְׁבִין אוֹ כּוֹרְעִים אוֹ נוֹפְלִים יוֹצְאִים בְּנֵי אָדָם, אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיָּצְאוּ הֵן מְחָרְפִין וּמְגַדְּפִין, נֶאֱמַר כָּאן יְצִיאָה וְהַצָּבָה, וְנֶאֱמַר בְּגָלְיַת הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי יְצִיאָה וְהַצָּבָה, דִּכְתִיב (שמואל א יז, ד טז): וַיֵּצֵא אִישׁ הַבֵּנַיִם וגו' וַיִּגַּשׁ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הַשְׁכֵּם וְהַעֲרֵב וַיִּתְיַצֵּב אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, מַה יְּצִיאָה וְהַצָּבָה הָתָם בְּחֵרוּפִין וּבְגִדּוּפִין, אַף כָּאן בְּחֵרוּפִין וּבְגִדּוּפִין, לְפִיכָךְ פָּתַח משֶׁה וְאָמַר (במדבר טז, כט): אִם כְּמוֹת כָּל הָאָדָם יְמֻתוּן אֵלֶּה, (במדבר טז, לב): וַתִּפְתַּח הָאָרֶץ אֶת פִּיהָ, בּוֹא וּרְאֵה כַּמָּה קָשָׁה מַחֲלֹקֶת, שֶׁכָּל הָעוֹזֵר בְּמַחֲלֹקֶת הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְאַבֵּד אֶת זִכְרוֹ, שֶׁכָּךְ כְּתִיב (במדבר טז, לה): וְאֵשׁ יָצְאָה מֵאֵת ה' וַתֹּאכַל אֵת הַחֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם אִישׁ. אָמַר רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה כַּמָּה קָשָׁה הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת שֶׁבֵּית דִּין שֶׁל מַעְלָה אֵין קוֹנְסִים אֶלָּא מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וּבֵית דִּין שֶׁל מַטָּה מִבֶּן שְׁלשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה, בְּמַחֲלָקְתּוֹ שֶׁל קֹרַח תִּינוֹקוֹת בֶּן יוֹמָן נִשְׂרְפוּ וְנִבְלְעוּ בִּשְׁאוֹל תַּחְתִּית, דִּכְתִיב (במדבר טז, כז): וּנְשֵׁיהֶם וּבְנֵיהֶם וְטַפָּם (במדבר טז, לג): וַיֵּרְדוּ הֵם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם חַיִּים שְׁאֹלָה, לְכָךְ כְּתִיב: וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח.

4 (Numb. 16:1) “Now Korah […] took”: [What] he took [was] his prayer shawl and he went to get counsel from his wife. When the Holy One, blessed be He, said (in Numb. 8:6-7), “Take the Levites from among the Children of Israel and purify them. Now this is what you shall do for them to purify them […] and have them pass a razor over all of their flesh.” [Moses] immediately did so to Korah. [Korah] began to go around all Israel, but they did not recognize him. They said to him, “Who did this to you?” He told them, “Moses. And not only that, but taking me by my hands and by my feet, they waved me and said to me, ‘See, you are purified.’ Moreover, he brought his brother Aaron, adorned him like a bride, and had him sit in the tent of meeting.” The enemies of Moses immediately began to incite Israel against him. So they said, “Moses is king, his brother Aaron is high priest, and his children are deputy high priests! The priest has a priestly offering (terumah) from the tithe7See Ter. 4:1.; the priest has twenty-four priestly gifts!”8See THal. 2:7-10 for a listing. Immediately (in Numb. 16:3) “They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron, and they said unto them, [‘You have gone too far (rb)’.]” R. Levi said, “At that very time Korah gathered his company and said to them (i.e., to Moses and Aaron), ‘You have increased (rt.: rbh) the burden upon us to be more than the slavery of Egypt. We were better off under the Egyptians than under your authority. Now they wished to stone him. [Therefore] (according to vs. 4), “When Moses heard this, he fell on his face.” Moses said to them, “I do not desire kingship, nor does Aaron [desire] high priesthood. Thus it is stated (in vs. 11), “and as for Aaron, what is he that you should murmur against him?” Moses said to the Holy One, blessed be He, “Master of the world, did you not command me thus (in Exod. 28:1), ‘And you shall bring near unto yourself Aaron [… to serve Me as priests]?’ Now they have arisen against us to kill us.” [So Moses] said to them (in Numb. 16:5), “In the morning the Lord will make known those who belong to Him….” What does this mean? R. Nathan said, “The Holy One, blessed be He, said, ‘If all the magicians of the world gathered together and tried to turn the morning into the evening and the evening into morning, they would be unable [to do so]; but just as I [formerly] separated the light and the darkness (in Gen. 1:4), so have I separated out Aaron to sanctify him in the holy of holies.’” Immediately (in Numb. 16:12), “Then Moses sent to summon Dathan and Abiram…, but they said, ‘We will not come up.’” "We will not go" or "We will not come" is not written here, but “We will not come up.” (Prov. 18:17) “A fool's mouth is his ruin”: They opened their mouth for a calamity, by saying that they would die by going down and not going up. Just as they spoke, so did they die (according to Numb. 16:33), “So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol.” Moses said, “In as much as they did not want to come [to me], I shall go to them. Perhaps they will be ashamed and repent.” It is so stated (in Numb. 16:25), “Then Moses arose and went unto Dathan and Abiram.” When they saw him they began to curse and blaspheme, as stated (in vs. 27), “and Dathan and Abiram came out standing (rt.: ntsb).” Does one go out sitting, kneeling, or lying prostrate?9The point here is that to mention that Dathan and Abiram were standing seems unnecessary and therefore implies some deeper meaning. It is simply [that it is to teach] that they went out cursing and blaspheming. As going out and standing upright (rt.: ytsb) is mentioned here, and going out and standing upright (rt.: ntsb) is [also] mentioned in reference to Goliath the Philistine, where it is written (in I Sam. 17:4, 16), “And there went out a champion [….] Then the Philistine drew near at dawn and in the evening, and he took his stand (rt.: ytsb) for forty days.” Just as going out and standing upright (rt.: ntsb) involved cursing and blaspheming in that case,10The cursing and blaspheming is specifically mentioned in I Sam.17:8-10. so also in this case did going out and standing upright (rt.: ntsb) involve cursing and blaspheming. Moses therefore began by saying (in Numb. 16:29, 32), “If these [people] die….” [And it is also written] (in Numb. 16:32), “And the earth opened its mouth [and swallowed them].” Come and see how [harmful] dissension is! As anyone who [even] aids dissension, the Holy One, blessed be He, eradicates his memory. Thus it is stated (in Numb. 16:35), “And a fire went forth from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men [coffering the incense].” R. Berekhyah said, “How harmful is dissension! An emissary of the court on high only imposes a penalty11QNS; cf. Lat.: censere, which can mean “to tax.” [on people] from the age of twenty years, while the court below [only imposes a penalty] from the age of thirteen years. In the case of Korah's dissension, however, one-day-old babies were burned and swallowed up in nethermost Sheol. Thus it is written (in Numb. 16:27, 33), ‘[and Dathan and Abiram came out standing at the entrance of their tents] with their wives, their children, and their little ones. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol.’” It is therefore stated (Numb. 16:1), “Now Korah […] took.”

5 ה

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי, וְלָמָּה לֹא כְתִיב בֶּן יַעֲקֹב אוֹ בֶּן יִשְׂרָאֵל, זֶה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב (בראשית מט, ו): בְּסֹדָם אַל תָּבֹא נַפְשִׁי, אֵלּוּ הַמְרַגְּלִים, (בראשית מט, ו): בִּקְהָלָם אַל תֵּחַד כְּבֹדִי, זֶה קֹרַח. אָמַר יַעֲקֹב לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם לֹא בַּמְּרַגְּלִים וְלֹא בַּמַּחֲלֹקֶת שֶׁל קֹרַח לֹא יִזָּכֵר שְׁמִי עַל אוֹתָן הָרְשָׁעִים, וְאֵימָתַי יִזָּכֵר שְׁמִי כְּשֶׁהֵן מִתְיַחֲסִין וְעוֹמְדִין עַל הַדּוּכָן (דברי הימים א ו, כב כג): בֶּן תַּחַת בֶּן אַסִּיר בֶּן אֶבְיָסָף בֶּן קֹרַח, בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי בֶּן יִשְׂרָאֵל, (במדבר טז, א): וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם, מִכָּאן אָמְרוּ אוֹי לָרָשָׁע אוֹי לִשְׁכֵנוֹ, דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁכֵנִים שֶׁל קֹרַח שֶׁהָיָה שָׁרוּי בַּדָּרוֹם, דִּכְתִיב (במדבר ג, כט): מִשְׁפְּחֹת בְּנֵי קְהָת יַחֲנוּ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּשְׁכָּן תֵּימָנָה, דִּגְלוֹ שֶׁל רְאוּבֵן סָמוּךְ לָהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ב, י): דֶּגֶל מַחֲנֵה רְאוּבֵן תֵּימָנָה, אֲבָל דִּגְלוֹ שֶׁל יְהוּדָה הָיָה בַּמִּזְרָח, וְיִשָֹּׂשכָר וּזְבוּלוּן עִמּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, ג): וְהַחֹנִים קֵדְמָה מִזְרָחָה דֶּגֶל מַחֲנֵה יְהוּדָה, וּסְמוּכִין לָהֶן משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, דִּכְתִיב (במדבר ג, לח): וְהַחֹנִים לִפְנֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן קֵדְמָה לִפְנֵי אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד מִזְרָחָה משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו, לְפִי שֶׁהָיוּ אֵלּוּ סְמוּכִין לַתּוֹרָה, זָכוּ לִהְיוֹת בְּנֵי תוֹרָה, כְּדִכְתִיב (תהלים ס, ט): יְהוּדָה מְחֹקְקִי, וּכְתִיב (דברי הימים א יב, לג): וּמִבְּנֵי יִשָֹּׂשכָר יוֹדְעֵי בִינָה לַעִתִּים, וּכְתִיב (שופטים ה, יד): וּמִזְבוּלֻן משְׁכִים בְּשֵׁבֶט סֹפֵר, וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁכֵנִים לִקְרַאת בַּעַל מַחֲלֹקֶת לָקוּ עִמּוֹ וְאָבְדוּ מִן הָעוֹלָם.

5 (Numb. 16:1) “[Korah who is] the son of Izhar [who is] the son of Kohath [who is] the son of Levi betook himself”: But why is it not written "the son of Jacob" [or] "the son of Israel?"12 Cf.Gen. R. 98:5. This text is related (to Gen. 49:6), “Let not my soul come into their council,” i.e., that of the spies; “and let not my glory be joined with their congregation,” i.e., that of Korah. Jacob said to the Holy One, blessed be He, “Master of the world, with reference to the spies and with reference to the dissension of Korah, let not my name be mentioned [in connection with] those evil men, who are going to cause provocation. So when should my name (Israel) be joined upon them? When they are joined together to stand on the dais (as Levitical singers), as stated (I Chron. 6:[17,] 22–23) ‘[These are the ones whom David put in charge of song in the house of the Lord….] The son of Assir [who is] the son of Ebiasaph [who is] the son of Korah [who is] the son of Izhar [who is] the son of Kohath [who is] the son of Levi [who is] the son of Israel.’” (Numb. 16:1, cont.) “Along with Dathan and Abiram”: From here the sages said, “Woe to the wicked one, [and] woe to his neighbor.”13See Neg. 12:6; Sifra to Lev.14:40 (157: Metsora‘, pereq 4); ARN, A, 9; cf. ARN, B, 16; Numb.R. 3:12; Suk. 56b; above, Numb.1:13. Dathan and Abiram [were destroyed by the dissent of Korah], because they were neighbors of Korah. As he was dwelling to the south (of the tabernacle), as stated (in Numb. 3:29), “The families of the Children of Kohath were to camp along the side of the tabernacle to the south.” The standard of Reuben was near them, as stated (in Numb. 2:10), “The standard of the camp of Reuben shall be to the south.” However, the standard of Judah was in the east, and with him were Issachar and Zebulun, as stated (in Numb. 2:3), “Now these camping in front to the east shall be the standard of the camp of Judah.” And near them were Moses and Aaron, as written (in Numb. 3:38), “Those who camped before the tabernacle, in front before the tent of meeting to the east, were Moses, Aaron, and his children.” Because these were near the Torah, they were therefore worthy to be Torah scholars, as written (in Ps. 60:9), “Judah is my lawgiver.”14Mehoqeq. Most translations render the word as scepter, since kingship was what Judah actually attained. And it is [also] written (in I Chron. 12:33), “And from the Children of Issachar, those who had an understanding of the times.” And it is [also] written (in Jud. 5:14), “and from Zebulon those who wield the scribal pen.” But Dathan and Abiram, who were neighbors to Korah – the one responsible for the dissent – were struck with him and perished from the world.

6 ו

וַיַּקְהֵל עֲלֵיהֶם קֹרַח (במדבר טז, יט), אָמַר לָהֶם (במדבר טז, ג): כָל הָעֵדָה כֻּלָּם קְדשִׁים, וְכֻלָּם שָׁמְעוּ בְּסִינַי (שמות כ, ב): אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ, (במדבר טז, ג): וּמַדּוּעַ תִּתְנַשְֹּׂאוּ עַל קְהַל ה', אִלְמָלֵא אַתֶּם שְׁמַעְתֶּם לְבַדְּכֶם וְהֵם לֹא שָׁמְעוּ, הֱיִיתֶם אוֹמְרִים, עַכְשָׁו כֻּלָּם שָׁמְעוּ וּמַדּוּעַ תִּתְנַשְֹּׂאוּ. מִיָּד נִזְדַּעְזַע משֶׁה מִפְּנֵי הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכְּבָר הָיָה בְּיָדָן סִרְחוֹן רְבִיעִי. מָשָׁל לְבֶן מֶלֶךְ שֶׁסָּרַח עַל אָבִיו וּפִיֵּס עָלָיו אוֹהֲבוֹ פַּעַם שְׁתַּיִם וְשָׁלשׁ, כְּשֶׁסָּרַח רְבִיעִית נִתְרַשְׁלוּ יְדֵי אוֹהֲבוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ, אָמַר כַּמָּה פְּעָמִים אַטְרִיחַ אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ. אַף כָּאן משֶׁה, חָטְאוּ בָּעֵגֶל (שמות לב, יא): וַיְחַל משֶׁה, (במדבר יא, א): וַיְהִי הָעָם כְּמִתְאֹנְנִים, (במדבר יא, ב): וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל משֶׁה, בַּמְּרַגְּלִים (במדבר יד, יג): וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל ה' וְשָׁמְעוּ מִצְרַיִם, בְּמַחְלָקְתּוֹ שֶׁל קֹרַח אָמַר כַּמָּה אוּכַל לְהַטְרִיחַ אֶת הַמָקוֹם, לְפִיכָךְ (במדבר טז, ד): וַיִּשְׁמַע משֶׁה וַיִּפֹּל עַל פָּנָיו.

6 (Numb. 16:19) “And Korah gathered [the whole community] against them”: He said to them (in Numb. 16:3), “’You have gone too far, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them.’ Moreover, every one of them heard on Sinai (in Exod. 20:2 = Deut. 5:6), ‘I am the Lord your God.’ (Numb. 16:3, cont.,) ‘So why do you elevate yourselves?’” If only you had heard, and they did not hear, you could have said [that you are more worthy]. But now they all heard, “so why do you elevate [yourselves]?” Immediately Moses trembled, because it was already the fourth transgression on their hands. It is comparable to a king's son who had transgressed against his father. Now his friend effected a reconciliation with him once,15Rt.: PSY. See the Gk.: peithein, peisai in the aorist. twice, and three times. When he transgressed a fourth time, the king's friend became discouraged. He said, “How many times shall I bother the king?” So also [it was with] Moses towards Israel. They had sinned with the calf, and (according to Exod. 32:11,) “Moses implored.” In the case of the murmurers, (according to Numb. 11:2,) “Moses prayed.” In the case of the spies, (according to Numb. 14:13,) “Moses said unto the Lord, when the Egyptians hear [what happened].” [So] in the case of Korah's dissension, he said, “How often can I bother the Omnipresent?” Therefore (in Numb. 16:4), “When Moses heard this, he fell on his face.”

7 ז

וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל קֹרַח בֹּקֶר (במדבר טז, ה), מָה רָאָה לוֹמַר בֹּקֶר, אָמַר משֶׁה שֶׁמָּא מִתּוֹךְ מַאֲכָל וּמִשְׁתֶּה אָמְרוּ דָּבָר זֶה, אָמַר שֶׁמָּא בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ יַעֲשׂוּ תְּשׁוּבָה, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר (במדבר טז, ה): בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה', אָמַר לָהֶם אֵין לִי רְשׁוּת לִכָּנֵס עַכְשָׁו, אֵין לְפָנָיו לֹא אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה, אֶלָּא בִּשְׁבִילֵנוּ עַל שֶׁאָכַלְנוּ וְשָׁתִינוּ. דָּבָר אַחֵר, אָמַר לָהֶם משֶׁה גְּבוּלוֹת חָלַק הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּעוֹלָמוֹ, יְכוֹלִים אַתֶּם לְעָרֵב יוֹם וָלַיְלָה, וְהוּא שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב בַּתְּחִלָּה (בראשית א, ה): וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר, (בראשית א, ד): וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחשֶׁךְ, בִּשְׁבִיל תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהִבְדִּיל בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחשֶׁךְ בִּשְׁבִיל תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם, כָּךְ הִבְדִּיל יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן הָאֻמּוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כ, כו): וָאַבְדִּל אֶתְכֶם מִן הָעַמִּים לִהְיוֹת לִי, וְכָךְ הִבְדִּיל אַהֲרֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים א כג, יג): וַיִּבָּדֵל אַהֲרֹן לְהַקְדִּישׁוֹ קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים, אִם יְכוֹלִין אַתֶּם לְעָרֵב אוֹתָהּ הַבְדָּלָה שֶׁהִבְדִּיל בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחשֶׁךְ, אַתֶּם יְכוֹלִין לְבַטֵּל אֶת זֶה, לְכָךְ אָמַר לָהֶם (במדבר טז, ה): בֹּקֶר וְיֹדַע ה' אֶת אֲשֶׁר לוֹ וְאֶת הַקָּדוֹשׁ וְהִקְרִיב אֵלָיו, כְּבָר הוּא מְתֻקָּן, (במדבר טז, ה): וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר בּוֹ יַקְרִיב אֵלָיו.

7 (Numb. 16:5) “In the morning [the Lord will make known those who belong to him]”: What reason did he have for saying, “In the morning He will make known?” Moses said, “Perhaps they said this thing because they had been excessively eating and drinking.” He therefore said, “In the morning.” Perhaps between now and then they will repent. He said to them, “I have no authority to enter [the tabernacle] now. Even though there is no eating and no drinking, it is simply because of us [that we are forbidden to enter] as we have taken food and drink.” Another interpretation (of Numb. 16:5): Moses said, “The Holy One, blessed be He, has distinguished boundaries in His world. Can you confuse morning with evening? And that is what is written in the beginning (in Gen. 1:5), ‘There was evening and there was morning.’ And (in vs. 4) ‘God separated the light and the darkness,’ for its use in the world. And just as he made a separation between the light and the darkness, so did he separate Israel from the nations, [as stated] (in Lev. 20:26), ‘I have separated you from the [other] peoples to be Mine.’ So also did he separate Aaron, as stated (in I Chron. 23:13), ‘Aaron was separated to consecrate the most holy things.’ If you can confuse this distinction in which he made a separation between the day and the night, you may be able to nullify this.” For this reason he said to them (in Numb. 16:5), “In the morning the Lord will make known those who belong to Him.” Such a one is already designated; (according to ibid., end) “the one whom He will choose He will have draw near unto Him.”

8 ח

זֹאת עֲשׂוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם מַחְתּוֹת, וּתְנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וְשִׂימוּ עֲלֵיהֶן קְטֹרֶת לִפְנֵי ה' מָחָר (במדבר טז, ו ז), מָה רָאָה לוֹמַר כֵּן, אָמַר לָהֶם בְּדַרְכֵי הַגּוֹיִם יֵשׁ נִימוּסִין הַרְבֵּה וְכוּמָרִין הַרְבֵּה, כֻּלָּן מִתְקַבְּצִין בְּבַת אֶחָת, וְאָנוּ אֵין לָנוּ אֶלָּא ה' אֶחָד וְתוֹרָה אַחַת וּמִשְׁפַּט אֶחָד וּמִזְבֵּחַ אֶחָד וְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל אֶחָד, וְאַתֶּם מָאתַיִם וַחֲמֲשִּׁים אִישׁ מְבַקְּשִׁים כְּהֻנָּה גְדוֹלָה, אַף אֲנִי רוֹצֶה בְּכָךְ, (במדבר טז, יא): לָכֵן אַתָּה וְכָל עֲדָתְךָ (במדבר טז, ו): זֹאת עֲשׂוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם מַחְתּוֹת קֹרַח וְכָל עֲדָתוֹ, הֲרֵי לָכֶם תַּשְׁמִישׁ הֶחָבִיב מִן הַכֹּל הוּא הַקְּטֹרֶת, חֲבִיבָה מִן כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת, וְסַם הַמָּוֶת נָתוּן לְתוֹכוֹ שֶׁבּוֹ נִשְׂרְפוּ נָדָב וַאֲבִיהוּא, לְפִיכָךְ הִתְרָה בָּהֶם (במדבר טז, ז): וְהָיָה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר ה' הוּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ. אָמַר לָהֶם משֶׁה הֲרֵי אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם שֶׁלֹא תִּתְחַיְּבוּ, מִי שֶׁיִּבָּחֵר מִכֶּם יֵצֵא חַי וְכֻלְּכֶם אוֹבְדִין, (במדבר טז, ה): רַב לָכֶם בְּנֵי לֵוִי, הֲרֵי אָמַרְתִּי לָכֶם. לֹא טִפְּשִׁים הָיוּ שֶׁכָּךְ הִתְרָה לָהֶם וְקִבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם לִקְרָב, הֵם חָטְאוּ בְּנַפְשׁוֹתָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יז, ג): אֵת מַחְתּוֹת הַחַטָּאִים הָאֵלֶּה בְּנַפְשֹׁתָם. וְקֹרַח שֶׁפִּקֵּחַ הָיָה מָה רָאָה לַשְּׁטוּת הַזּוֹ, אֶלָּא עֵינוֹ הִטְעַתּוּ, רָאָה שַׁלְשֶׁלֶת גְּדוֹלָה עוֹמֶדֶת הֵימֶנּוּ, שְׁמוּאֵל שֶׁשָּׁקוּל כְּמשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים צט, ו): משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן בְּכֹהֲנָיו וּשְׁמוּאֵל בְּקֹרְאֵי שְׁמוֹ, עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע מִשְׁמָרוֹת עוֹמְדוֹת מִבְּנֵי בָנָיו שֶׁכֻּלָּם מִתְנַבְּאִים בְּרוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברי הימים א כה, ה): כָּל אֵלֶּה בָנִים לְהֵימָן, אָמַר אֶפְשָׁר הַגְּדֻלָּה הַזּוֹ עֲתִידָה לַעֲמֹד מִמֶּנִּי וַאֲנִי אֶדֹּם, וְלֹא רָאָה יָפֶה, לְפִי שֶׁבָּנָיו עָשׂוּ תְּשׁוּבָה וְעוֹמְדִין מֵהֶן, וּמשֶׁה הָיָה רוֹאֶה, לְכָךְ נִשְׁתַּתֵּף לָבוֹא לְאוֹתָהּ חֲזָקָה שֶׁשָּׁמַע מִפִּי משֶׁה שֶׁכֻּלָּם אוֹבְדִין וְאֶחָד פָּלִיט, וְהָיָה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר ה' הוּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ.

8 (Numb. 16:6) “Do this; take censers, [Korah and all his company…]”: What was his reason for saying this to them? He said to them, “In the religions of the nations there are many laws,16NYMWSYN. Gk.: nomoi. and many priests, and they all assemble at one time. Now as for us, we only have one God, one Torah, one justice, one altar, and one high priest; but you two hundred and fifty men are [yet all] seeking high priesthood! I also am willing in this regard.” (Numb. 16:11,) “Therefore you and all your company.” (Numb. 16:6) “Do this, take censers, Korah and all his company”: Here you have a ministry more precious than all the others. It is the incense, the most precious of the sacrifices. But a deadly poison had been put within it, through which Nadab and Abihu were burned. He therefore warned them (in vs. 7, cont.), “then it shall come to pass that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one,” Moses said to them, “See, I am telling you that you are not to incur guilt, [only] the one to be chosen from among you shall come out alive, and all [the rest] of you shall perish.” (Numb. 16:7,) “You Levites have gone too far”: See, I have told you a great thing! Were they not fools, in that when he gave them this warning, they took it upon themselves to offer sacrifice? They had sinned against their own lives, as stated (in Numb. 17:3), “The censers of these who have sinned at the cost of their lives.” Now since Korah was a clever man, how did he see fit to commit this folly? It is simply that his eyes misled him. He foresaw a great lineage stemming from himself, [e.g.,] Samuel, who was the equivalent of Moses and Aaron, as stated (in Ps. 99:6), “Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those who call His name.” Moreover, the twenty-four [Levitical] shifts would stem from his descendants, all of whom would prophesy by the holy spirit, as stated (in I Chron. 25:5), “All these were sons of Heman.”17A descendant of Korah. He said, “Is it possible that, when this greatness is going to stem from me, I should perish?” But he did not foresee correctly, since his children would repent, and those [great ones] would stem from them. But Moses did foresee well. [Korah] therefore participated on this assumption, when he heard from the mouth of Moses that they all would perish, but one would escape, as stated (Numb. 16:7) “then it shall come to pass that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one.”

9 ט

וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה אֶל קֹרַח (במדבר טז, ח), מִי שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ וּמְדַבֵּר עִם יוֹסֵף אוֹמֵר לְשִׁמְעוֹן שְׁמַע. יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁהָיָה מְבַקֵּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁיַּחְזֹר בּוֹ וְאוֹמֵר לְפָנָיו דְבָרִים רַכִּים, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה שֶׁלֹא שָׁמַע אָמַר עַד שֶׁלֹא יִשְׁתַּתְּפוּ אֲחֵרִים עִמּוֹ, הִתְחִיל לְדַבֵּר לָהֶם (במדבר טז, ח): שִׁמְעוּ נָא בְּנֵי לֵוִי, הֲקָטָן הוּא הַכָּבוֹד שֶׁבְּיֶדְכֶם, (במדבר טז, ט): הַמְעַט מִכֶּם כִּי הִבְדִּיל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וגו', חָזַר עַל קֹרַח (במדבר טז, י): וַיַּקְרֵב אֹתְךָ וְאֶת כָּל אַחֶיךָ בְּנֵי לֵוִי, לְפִי שֶׁהָיָה גָדוֹל שֶׁבַּשֵּׁבֶט נַעֲשׂוּ אֶחָיו טְפֵלָה לוֹ, (במדבר טז, יא): לָכֵן אַתָּה וְכָל עֲדָתְךָ הַנֹּעָדִים עַל ה', הַמַּחֲלֹקֶת הַזּוֹ אֵינָהּ כְּנֶגְדֵּנוּ אֶלָּא כְּנֶגֶד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא. מָשָׁל לְמֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ עֲבָדִים הַרְבֵּה וְרָצָה לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶחָד מֵהֶן בֶּן חוֹרִין וְלִתֵּן לוֹ זְמוֹרָה, חָזַר וְעָשָׂה אוֹתוֹ סַנְקְלִיטִיקוֹס, עָמְדוּ חֲבֵרָיו כְּנֶגְדוֹ, אָמְרוּ אִם הוּא עַצְמוֹ בָּא וְנָטַל לְעַצְמוֹ אוֹתָהּ גְּדֻלָּה יָפֶה עָשׂוּ שֶׁעָמְדוּ כְּנֶגְדוֹ, עַכְשָׁו שֶׁרַבּוֹ הוּא שֶׁעָשָׂה לוֹ, כָּל מִי שֶׁעוֹמֵד כְּנֶגְדוֹ לֹא כְּנֶגֶד רַבּוֹ הוּא עוֹמֵד. אַף כָּךְ אָמַר לָהֶם משֶׁה, אִלּוּ אַהֲרֹן אָחִי נָטַל לְעַצְמוֹ אֶת הַכְּהֻנָה יָפֶה עֲשִׂיתֶם שֶׁנִּתְרַעַמְתֶּם עָלָיו, עַכְשָׁו הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נָתַן לוֹ שֶׁהַגְּדֻלָּה וְהַגְּבוּרָה וְהַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁלּוֹ, כָּל מִי שֶׁעוֹמֵד עַל אַהֲרֹן לֹא עַל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא הוּא עוֹמֵד, לְכָךְ כְּתִיב (במדבר טז, יא): וְאַהֲרֹן מַה הוּא כִּי תַלִינוּ עָלָיו. בּוֹא וּרְאֵה חֲסִידוּתוֹ שֶׁל אַהֲרֹן הַצַּדִּיק, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהִצִּיק משֶׁה שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה עַל רֹאשׁוֹ נִזְדַּעְזַע אַהֲרֹן וְנִבְעַת, אָמַר לְמשֶׁה, אָחִי, שֶׁמָּא לֹא הָיִיתִי רָאוּי לְהִמָּשַׁח בְּשֶׁמֶן הַקֹּדֶשׁ וּמָעַלְתִּי וְנִתְחַיַּבְתִּי כָּרֵת, שֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא (שמות ל, לב): עַל בְּשַׂר אָדָם לֹא יִיסָךְ, לְפִיכָךְ הֵעִיד הַכָּתוּב עָלָיו (תהלים קלג, א ג): הִנֵּה מַה טּוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אַחִים גַּם יָחַד, כַּשֶּׁמֶן הַטּוֹב עַל הָרֹאשׁ יֹרֵד עַל הַזָּקָן זְקַן אַהֲרֹן, כְּטַל חֶרְמוֹן, הֵקִישׁ שֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה לְטַל חֶרְמוֹן, מַה טַּל חֶרְמוֹן אֵין בּוֹ מְעִילָה, כָּךְ שֶׁמֶן הַיּוֹרֵד עַל אַהֲרֹן אֵין בּוֹ מְעִילָה, לְפִיכָךְ הַנֹּעָדִים עַל ה'. כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ פִּיֵּס משֶׁה לְקֹרַח, וְאֵין אַתְּ מוֹצֵא שֶׁהֱשִׁיבוֹ דָּבָר, לְפִי שֶׁהָיָה פִּקֵּחַ בְּרִשְׁעוֹ, אָמַר אִם אֲנִי מְשִׁיבוֹ יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי בּוֹ שֶׁהוּא חָכָם גָּדוֹל וְעַכְשָׁו יְקַפְּחֵנִי בִּדְבָרָיו וַאֲנִי מִתְרַצֶּה לוֹ בְּעַל כָּרְחִי, מוּטָב שֶׁלֹא אֶזָקֵק לוֹ. כְּשֶׁרָאָה משֶׁה שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ תּוֹעֶלֶת פֵּרַשׁ הֵימֶנּוּ.

9 (Numb. 16:8) “So Moses said unto Korah, [‘Please listen, you Children of Levi]”: Do you have someone speaking with Joseph, who tells Simon to listen?18The midrash is concerned with the fact that Moses addresses the Children of Levi when speaking only to Korah. Some say that he wished him to reconsider. So he said gentle words to him. When he saw that he did not listen to him, he said (to himself), “Before others join with him, they should reconsider.” He began to urge them (in Numb. 16:8), “’Please listen, you Children of Levi,’ is the honor that you have too little.” [It is so stated] (in vs. 9) “Is it too small a thing for you […]?” He turned again to Korah (in vs. 10), “That he has had you approach Him and all your brother Levites along with you?” [It was] because he was the head person in the tribe, that his brothers had become an extension of himself. (Numb. 16:11,) “Therefore you and all your company have come together against the Lord.” This dissension which you are creating is not against us, but rather against the Holy One, blessed be He. It is comparable to a king who had a lot of slaves. He wanted to make one of them a freedman and give him a dominion.19In imperial Rome the emperor’s freedmen were habitually given positions of power. He reconsidered and [even] made him [one of the] senators.20Sinqelitin: Gk.: syngkletoi. His companions rose up against him. If he had made himself a freedman and taken this dignity for himself, it would have been well for them to rise up against him. Now that his master has acted for him, when anyone rises against him, is not such a one rising up against his master? So also did Moses say to them, “If my brother Aaron had taken the priesthood for himself, it would have been well for you to murmur against him. [But since] the one who gave it to him was the Holy One, blessed be He, to whom belong royalty, high office and power, whenever someone rises against my brother Aaron, is he not taking sides against the Holy One, blessed be He?” It is therefore written (in Numb. 16:11), “and as for Aaron, what is he that you murmur against him?” Come and see the piety of Aaron the righteous! When Moses stood Aaron up and poured the anointing oil upon his head, Aaron trembled with fear. He said to him, “Moses my brother, perhaps I was not worthy to be anointed with the anointing oil; for I may have acted fraudulently and become liable to excision, since it is stated (in Exod. 30:32), ‘Upon human flesh it shall not be poured.’”21Lev. R. 3:6; M. Pss. 133:1. Therefore, scripture testified about him (in Ps. 133:1-3), “See how good and pleasant it is […]! It is like the precious oil upon the head running down onto the beard, the beard of Aaron […]; Like the dew of Hermon….” [Scripture] has compared the anointing oil with the dew of Hermon. As the dew of Hermon has no [rules concerning] fraudulent use, neither does the anointing oil that was on the head of Aaron have [rules concerning] fraudulent use. It is therefore [written] (in Numb. 16:1), “[Therefore you and all your company] have come together against the Lord.” With all these words Moses [tried to] appease Korah, but you do not find that he gave him any answer. Because he was clever in his wickedness, he said [to himself], “If I answer him, I know that, since he has great wisdom, he will now overwhelm me with his words and seduce me into being reconciled with him against my will. It is [hence] better that I not respond to him.” When Moses saw that there was nothing to be gained with him, he withdrew from him.

10 י

וַיִּשְׁלַח משֶׁה לִקְרֹא לְדָתָן וְלַאֲבִירָם (במדבר טז, יב), אַף הֵם עָמְדוּ בְּרִשְׁעָן וְלֹא נִזְקְקוּ לַהֲשִׁיבוֹ. (במדבר טז, יב): וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נַעֲלֶה, הִכְשִׁילָם פִּיהֶם לָרְשָׁעִים, וּבְרִית כְּרוּתָה לַשְֹּׂפָתַיִם, שֶׁמֵּתוּ וְיָרְדוּ לִשְׁאוֹל תַּחְתִּית לְאַחַר שֶׁיָּרְדוּ חַיִּים שְׁאוֹלָה. (במדבר טז, יג): הַמְעַט כִּי הֶעֱלִיתָנוּ וגו' כִּי תִשְׂתָּרֵר עָלֵינוּ, עַל מָה אַתְּ מִתְרַבְרֵב עָלֵינוּ, מַה טּוֹבָה עָשִׂיתָ לָנוּ, הוֹצֵאתָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם שֶׁהוּא כְּגַן ה', וּבְאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לֹא הִכְנַסְתָּנוּ, אֶלָּא הֲרֵי אָנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְהַנֶּגֶף מִשְׁתַּלֵּחַ בָּנוּ. (במדבר טז, יד טו): הַעֵינֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵם תְּנַקֵּר לֹא נַעֲלֶה, וַיִּחַר לְמשֶׁה, לָמָּה, שֶׁאָדָם הַדָּן עִם חֲבֵרוֹ וּמִתְוַכֵּחַ וּמְשִׁיבוֹ, יֵשׁ לוֹ נַחַת רוּחַ, וְאִם אֵינוֹ מְשִׁיבוֹ, יֵשׁ לוֹ צַעַר. (במדבר טז, טו): וַיֹּאמֶר [משה] אֶל ה' אַל תֵּפֶן אֶל מִנְחָתָם, אַל תְּקַבְּלֵם בִּתְשׁוּבָה, הָיָה צָרִיךְ לַמִּקְרָא לוֹמַר אַל תֵּפֶן אֶל עֲבוֹדָתָם, מַהוּ אֶל מִנְחָתָם, כָּךְ אָמַר משֶׁה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לְאֵלּוּ חֵלֶק בְּאוֹתָהּ מִנְחָה שֶׁהִקְרִיבוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כט, יט): מִלְּבַד עֹלַת הַתָּמִיד וּמִנְחָתָהּ, וְהָיְתָה שֶׁל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל קְרֵבָה, הוֹאִיל וּפֵרְשׁוּ אֵלּוּ מִבָּנֶיךָ אַל תִּסְתַּכֵּל בְּחֶלְקָם, תַּנִּיחֶנּוּ הָאֵשׁ וְאַל תֹּאכְלֶנָּהּ. (במדבר טז, טו): לֹא חֲמוֹר אֶחָד מֵהֶם נָשָׂאתִי, מַה שֶּׁהָיָה דַרְכִּי לִטֹּל לֹא נָטַלְתִּי מֵהֶם, בְּנֹהַג שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם אָדָם שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה בְּהֶקְדֵּשׁ נוֹטֵל שְׂכָרוֹ מִן הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ, וַאֲנִי בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיִיתִי יוֹרֵד מִן מִדְיָן לְמִצְרַיִם הָיָה דַרְכִּי לִטֹּל מֵהֶן חֲמוֹר, שֶׁבִּשְׁבִיל צָרְכֵיהֶם יָרַדְתִּי, וְלֹא נָטַלְתִּי. וְכֵן שְׁמוּאֵל הַצַּדִּיק אָמַר (שמואל א יב, ג): הִנְנִי עֲנוּ בִי נֶגֶד ה' וְנֶגֶד מְשִׁיחוֹ אֶת שׁוֹר מִי לָקַחְתִּי וַחֲמוֹר מִי לָקַחְתִּי, שׁוֹר שֶׁהָיִיתִי מַקְרִיב עֲלֵיהֶם לְקָרְבָּן וּמְבַקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים עֲלֵיהֶם, וְכֵן לִמְשֹׁחַ עֲלֵיהֶם מֶלֶךְ, מִשֶּׁלִּי הָיָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א טז, כ): עֶגְלַת בָּקָר תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (שמואל א ט, יב): כִּי זֶבַח הַיּוֹם לָעָם בַּבָּמָּה, לֹא נָטַלְתִּי מִשֶּׁלָּהֶם, וּכְשֶׁהָיִיתִי חוֹזֵר וְעוֹשֶׂה דִּינֵיהֶם וְצָרְכֵיהֶם וְהוֹלֵךְ וְסוֹבֵב כָּל עֲיָרוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל א ז, טז): וְהָלַךְ מִדֵּי שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה וְסָבַב בֵּית אֵל, דֶּרֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בַּעֲלֵי דִינִין הוֹלְכִין אֵצֶל הַדַּיָּן, וַאֲנִי הָיִיתִי הוֹלֵךְ וְסוֹבֵב מֵעִיר לְעִיר וּמִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וַחֲמוֹר שֶׁלִּי. וְכֵן משֶׁה אָמַר (שמות יח, טז): כִּי יִהְיֶה לָהֶם דָּבָר בָּא אֵלַי וְשָׁפַטְתִּי, וַאֲנִי לֹא עָשִׂיתִי כֵן אֶלָּא הָלַכְתִּי אֶצְלָם, (במדבר טז, טו): וְלֹא הֲרֵעֹתִי אֶת אַחַד מֵהֶם, שֶׁלֹא חִיַּבְתִּי אֶת הַזַּכַּאי וְלֹא זִכִּיתִי אֶת הַחַיָּב. וּכְשֶׁרָאָה משֶׁה שֶׁעָמְדוּ בְּגַאֲוָתָן, אָמַר לָהֶם (במדבר טז, טז): אַתָּה וְכָל עֲדָתְךָ וגו', הָלַךְ קֹרַח כָּל אוֹתוֹ הַלַּיְלָה וְהָיָה מַטְעֶה אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאוֹמֵר לָהֶם מָה אַתֶּם סְבוּרִים שֶׁאֲנִי עוֹסֵק לִטֹּל אֶת הַגְּדֻלָּה לְעַצְמִי, אֲנִי מְבַקֵּשׁ שֶׁתְּהֵא הַגְּדֻלָּה עַל כֻּלָּנוּ חוֹזֶרֶת, שֶׁמּשֶׁה נָטַל מַלְכוּת לְעַצְמוֹ, וְהַכְּהֻנָּה גְדוֹלָה נָתַן לְאָחִיו, וְהָיָה הוֹלֵךְ וּמְפַתֶּה כָּל שֵׁבֶט וָשֵׁבֶט כָּרָאוּי לָהֶם עַד שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּתְּפוּ עִמּוֹ, מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, יט): וַיַּקְהֵל עֲלֵיהֶם קֹרַח אֶת כָּל הָעֵדָה, הִקְרִיבוּ כֻּלָּם מְדַבְּרִים עִמּוֹ, מִיָּד (במדבר טז, כ כב): וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל משֶׁה וְאֶל אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר הִבָּדְלוּ מִתּוֹךְ הָעֵדָה הַזֹּאת, וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל פְּנֵיהֶם.

10 (Numb. 16:12) Then Moses sent to summon Dathan and Abiram: They also persisted in their wickedness and did not care to answer him (ibid., cont.), “and they said, ‘We will not come up.’” Their [very] mouths tripped up [these] wicked men, for a covenant is made with the lips. So they died and went down to the nethermost Sheol, after they had gone down alive to Sheol. (Numb. 16:13) “Is it so small a matter that you have brought us up [from a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert], that you must also lord it over us”: They said to him, “On what basis do you assume superiority over us? What good have you done with us? You brought us out of the land of Egypt, which was (according to Gen. 13:10) ‘like the garden of the Lord’; but you have not brought us into the land of Canaan. Rather here we are in the desert, where the plague is sent among us; (according to Numb. 16:14) ‘would you put out the eyes of these people….’” (Numb. 16:15) “Now Moses was very angry”: He was very anguished. Why? When a man argues with his companion and reasons with him; when he answers him, he has peace of mind; but if he does not answer him, then this involves anguish. (Numb. 16:15, cont.) “And he said unto the Lord, ‘Pay no attention unto their meal offering’”: Do not accept them in repentance. Scripture should have said, “Pay no attention unto their service"? What is the meaning of “their meal offering?” This is what Moses said to the Holy One, blessed be He, “Master of the world, I know that these have a share in that meal offering that [Israel offers every day], as stated (Numb. 29:19), ‘in addition to the daily burnt offering, and its meal offering.’ And it is offered from all of Israel. [But] in as much as these have withdrawn from Your children, do not pay attention to their portion. Let the fire leave it alone and not consume it.” (Numb. 16:15, cont.) “I have not taken one donkey from them”: That which I had [a right] to take I did not take. By universal custom, one who works in the sanctuary receives wages from the sanctuary. [In my case, however,] when I went down from Midian to Egypt I had a right to take a donkey from them, since it was on behalf of their needs that I was going down [there]; but I did not take [one]. Similarly also did Samuel the righteous say (in I Sam. 12:3), “Here am I, testify against me before the Lord and before His anointed; whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken?” When I sacrificed an ox for their offerings to seek mercy for them and likewise for anointing a king over them, it belonged to me, as stated (in I Sam. 16:2), “Take a heifer with you […].” And similarly it says (in I Sam. 9:12), “because the people have a sacrifice today at the high place (bamah).” But I took nothing from what belonged to them. Also when I sought to handle their lawsuits and their [other] needs, and when I made the circuit of the cities, as stated (in I Sam. 7:16), “And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, [Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all those places];” [although] by universal custom litigants go to the judge, I went around from city to city and from place to place and the donkey was mine. Now even Moses said to Israel (in Exod. 18:16), “When they have a matter, it comes unto me.” But I (Samuel) did not act in this way. Instead I took the trouble to go to them. (Numb. 16:15, cont.) “And I have not harmed a single one of them,” in that I neither convicted the innocent nor acquitted the guilty. When Moses saw that they continued in their pride, then he said to them (according to Numb. 16:17,) “‘[Tomorrow] you and all your company [are to be present before the Lord].” Then Korah went about all that night and led Israel astray. Now he would say to them, “What do you suppose? That I am busy obtaining greatness for myself? I wish for greatness to go the rounds to all of us, while Moses has taken kingship for himself and has given the high priesthood to his brother Aaron.” So did he go about seducing each and every tribe as it suited them, until they joined him. It is so stated (Numb. 16:19), “And Korah gathered all the congregation against them.” When they all entered, they were speaking with him; immediately (we read in Numb. 16:20–22), “Then the Lord spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, ‘Separate yourselves from the midst of this evil congregation, [so that I may consume them in a moment].’ But they fell on their faces.”

11 יא

וַיֹּאמְרוּ (במדבר טז, כב), אָמְרוּ לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם מֶלֶךְ בָּשָׂר וָדָם שֶׁמָּרְדָה עָלָיו מְדִינָה וְעָמְדוּ וְקִלְּלוּ אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ אוֹ שְׁלוּחָיו עֲשָׂרָה אוֹ עֶשְׂרִים מֵהֶם, מְשַׁלֵּחַ שָׁם לִגְיוֹנוֹתָיו וְעוֹשֶׂה בָּם אַנְדְּרוֹלוֹמוֹסְיָא וְהוֹרֵג הַטּוֹבִים עִם הָרָעִים, לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַכִּיר בָּהֶם מִי מָרַד וּמִי לֹא מָרַד, מִי כִּבֵּד אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמִי קִלֵּל, אֲבָל אַתָּה הַיּוֹדֵע מַחְשְׁבוֹתָיו שֶׁל אָדָם וּמַה שֶּׁהַלְּבָבוֹת וְהַכְּלָיוֹת יוֹעֲצוֹת, וְיִצְרֵי בְּרִיּוֹתֶיךָ אַתָּה מֵבִין, וְאַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ מִי חָטָא וּמִי לֹא חָטָא, מִי מָרַד וּמִי לֹא מָרַד, אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ רוּחַ שֶׁל כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵהֶם, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר (במדבר טז, כב): אֱלֹהֵי הָרוּחֹת לְכָל בָּשָׂר הָאִישׁ אֶחָד יֶחֱטָא, אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יָפֶה אֲמַרְתֶּם, אֲנִי מוֹדִיעַ מִי חָטָא וּמִי לֹא חָטָא.

11 (Numb. 16:22) “And they said”: They said to him, “Master of the world, in the case of a king when a province rebels against him, when they persist in cursing the king or his deputies, ten or twenty of them, he sends out his legions22Lat.: legiones. and carries out reprisals23Gk.: androlempsia (=androlepsia). against it. So he kills the good with the evil, because he does not know who among them has rebelled and who has not rebelled, who has honored the king and who has cursed him. You, however, know the thoughts of every person, even what the hearts and the reins counsel and You understand the drives of Your creatures. So You know who has sinned and who has not sinned, who has rebelled and who has not rebelled, for You know the spirit of each and every person.” It is therefore stated (in Numb. 20:22), “O God, the God of all human spirits; will one man sin.” The Holy One, blessed be He, said to them, “You have spoken well. I am making the matter known, who has sinned and who has not sinned.”

12 יב

וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל משֶׁה לֵאמֹר, הֵעָלוּ מִסָּבִיב לְמִשְׁכַּן קֹרַח (במדבר טז, כג כד), אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשָּׁמַע משֶׁה מִפִּי הַגְּבוּרָה, לֹא אָמַר לָהֶם הֵעָלוּ עַד שֶׁהָלַךְ וְהִתְרָה בָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, כה): וַיָּקָם משֶׁה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם, לְהוֹדִיעַ רִשְׁעָתָן, שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָלַךְ משֶׁה בְּרַגְלָיו אֶצְלָן, הָרְשָׁעִים קָשִׁין לִרְצוֹת, מֶה עָשׂוּ לֹא רָצוּ לָצֵאת מֵאֲלֵיהֶן [נסח אחר: מאהליהם] נֶגְדּוֹ, כְּשֶׁרָאָה משֶׁה כָּךְ, אָמַר עַד כָּאן הָיָה לִי לַעֲשׂוֹת, (במדבר טז, כו): וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל הָעֵדָה לֵאמֹר סוּרוּ נָא מֵעַל אָהֳלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָרְשָׁעִים. שָׁנוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ אַרְבָּעָה נִקְרְאוּ רְשָׁעִים, הַפּוֹשֵׁט יָדוֹ לַחֲבֵרוֹ לְהַכּוֹתוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹא הִכָּהוּ נִקְרָא רָשָׁע, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות ב, יג): וַיֹּאמֶר לָרָשָׁע לָמָּה תַכֶּה רֵעֶךָ, הִכִּיתָ לֹא נֶאֱמַר אֶלָּא תַכֶּה, וְהַוֶה וְאֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים לז, כא): לֹוֶה רָשָׁע וְלֹא יְשַׁלֵם וְצַדִּיק חוֹנֵן וְנוֹתֵן. וּמִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ עַזּוּת פָּנִים וְאֵינוֹ מִתְבַּיֵּשׁ לִפְנֵי מִי שֶׁגָּדוֹל הֵימֶנּוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי כא, כט): הֵעֵז אִישׁ רָשָׁע בְּפָנָיו וְיָשָׁר הוּא יָבִין דַּרְכּוֹ. וּמִי שֶׁהוּא בַּעַל מַחֲלֹקֶת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: סוּרוּ נָא מֵעַל אָהֳלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָרְשָׁעִים הָאֵלֶּה, וּשְׁנֵיהֶם הָיוּ בְּדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם, עַזּוּת פָּנִים וּמַחֲלֹקֶת. מַחֲלֹקֶת: מ' מַכָּה, ח' חָרוֹן, ל לִקּוּי, ק' קְלָלָה, ת' תּוֹעֵבָה. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, תַּכְלִית, כְּלָיָה מֵבִיא לָעוֹלָם. (במדבר טז, כז): וַיֵּעָלוּ מֵעַל מִשְׁכַּן קֹרַח, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאוּ שֶׁנִּסְתַּלְּקוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִסְּבִיבוֹתֵיהֶם, יָצְאוּ מְחָרְפִין וּמְגַדְּפִין, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, כט): יָצְאוּ נִצָּבִים, וּלְהַלָּן כְּתִיב (שמואל א יז, טז): וַיִּגַּשׁ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הַשְׁכֵּם וְהַעֲרֵב וַיִּתְיַצֵּב אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם. (במדבר טז, כח כט): וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה בְּזֹאת תֵּדְעוּן כִּי ה' שְׁלָחַנִי, אִם כְּמוֹת כָּל הָאָדָם יְמֻתוּן אֵלֶּה, מָשָׁל לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה לְשׁוֹשְׁבִין בִּתּוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיוּ עֵדוֹתֶיהָ בְּיָדוֹ, עָמַד אֶחָד מִן הַמְסֻבִּין וְקִלֵּל אֶת הַשּׁוֹשְׁבִין, וְאָמַר לֹא הָיוּ בְּתוּלִים לְבִתּוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ, עָמַד הַשּׁוֹשְׁבִין כְּנֶגֶד הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאָמַר לוֹ אִם אֵין אַתָּה תּוֹבֵעַ בִּנְפִקְיָן שֶׁלְךָ וְאֵין אַתָּה מוֹצֵא אֶת זֶה וְהוֹרְגוֹ בִּפְנֵי הַכֹּל, אַף אֲנִי אוֹמֵר בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁלֹא נִמְצְאוּ בְּתוּלִים לְבִתּוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ. מִיָּד אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ מוּטָב לִי לַהֲרֹג אֶת זֶה וְלֹא יוֹצִיא הַשּׁוֹשְׁבִין שֵׁם רָע עַל בִּתִּי. וְכָךְ קֹרַח נֶחֱלַק עַל משֶׁה וְאָמַר מִלִּבּוֹ וּמֵעַצְמוֹ אָמַר משֶׁה כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הַלָּלוּ. פָּתַח משֶׁה וְאָמַר לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אִם מֵתִים אֵלּוּ עַל מִטּוֹתָם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁבְּנֵי אָדָם מֵתִים, וְהָרוֹפְאִין עוֹלִין וְהֵן מְבַקְּרִין אוֹתָם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁכָּל הַחוֹלִים מִתְבַּקְּרִין, אַף אֲנִי כּוֹפֵר וְאוֹמֵר (במדבר טז, כט): לֹא ה' שְׁלָחָנִי, וּמִלִּבִּי אָמַרְתִּי. זֶה אֶחָד מִשְּׁלשָׁה נְבִיאִים שֶׁאָמְרוּ בַּלָּשׁוֹן הַזֶּה, אֵלִיָּהוּ, וּמִיכָיְהוּ, וּמשֶׁה. אֵלִיָּהוּ אָמַר (מלכים א יח, לו לז): אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיִשְׂרָאֵל הַיּוֹם יִוָּדַע כִּי אַתָּה אֱלֹהִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ וּבִדְבָרְךָ עָשִׂיתִי אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶה, עֲנֵנִי ה' עֲנֵנִי וְיֵדְעוּ הָעָם הַזֶּה כִּי אַתָּה ה' הָאֱלֹהִים וְאַתָּה הַסִּבֹּתָ אֶת לִבָּם אֲחֹרַנִּית, אִם אֵין אַתָּה עוֹנֶה אוֹתִי אֲנִי אוֹמֵר אַתָּה הַסִּבֹּתָ אֶת לִבָּם אֲחֹרַנִית. וְכֵן מִיכָיְהוּ אָמַר לְאַחְאָב (מלכים א כב, כח): אִם שׁוֹב תָּשׁוּב בְּשָׁלוֹם, אַף אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לֹא דִּבֶּר ה' בִּי. וְכֵן משֶׁה אִם כְּמוֹת כָּל הָאָדָם וגו', אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה מָה אַתָּה מְבַקֵּשׁ, אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם (במדבר טז, ל): וְאִם בְּרִיאָה, אִם בָּרָאתָ פֶּה לָאָרֶץ, הֲרֵי יָפֶה, וְאִם לָאו (במדבר טז, ל): יִבְרָא ה', יִבְרָא לָהּ עַכְשָׁו פֶּה. אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא (איוב כב, כח): וְתִגְזַר אֹמֶר וְיָקָם לָךְ וְעַל דְּרָכֶיךָ נָגַהּ אוֹר.

12 (Numb. 16:23–24) “And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, [...] ‘Get away from about the dwellings of Korah’”: Although Moses heard it from the mouth of the Almighty, he did not tell them to get away until he had gone and warned them, as stated (in vs. 25), “Then Moses arose and went unto Dathan and Abiram.” [This serves] to make their wickedness known, for although Moses went to them on foot, the[se] wicked ones were too stubborn to make amends. What did they do? They were unwilling to come out of their tents (different text: on their own) to face him. When Moses saw this, he said, “This much [only] it was incumbent upon me to do.” [So] (in Numb. 16:26) “And he spoke to the congregation, ‘Please move away from the tents of [these] wicked people.’” Our masters have taught: Four [types of people] are called wicked:24Cf. PRK 30 (p.190b in Buber text; “Additional Piska” 28:2 in Braude’s translation). The one who extends his hand against his companion to strike him. Even though he did not [actually] strike him, he is called wicked, as stated (in Exod. 2:13), “so he said to the wicked one, ‘Why would you strike25The midrash understands the verb in accord with post-biblical usage and is stressing the fact that the tense is future. So also Sanh. 58b; Rashi on Exod.2:13. your comrade?’” "Did you strike," is not stated here, but “would you strike.” The one who borrows and does not repay, as stated (in Ps. 37:21), “The wicked person borrows but does not repay […].”26Avot 2:9. The one who has an insolent face and does not feel shame from someone greater than himself, as stated (Prov. 21:29), “A wicked person puts on a brazen face […].” And the one who is the author of dissension, as stated (in Numb. 16:26), “Please move away from the tents of these wicked men.” Now two [of these traits] were in Dathan and Abiram, [i.e.,] an insolent face and dissension (mhlqt). Mhlqt ("dissension") [is interpreted through its letters.] M is for marah ("bitter"); h is for haron ("anger"); l is for lokin ("lash"); q is for qelalah ("curse"); and t is for to'evah ("abomination"). But some say [that t stands for] takhlit ("end"), [since dissension] brings annihilation to the world. (Numb. 16:27) “So they got away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram”: When they saw this, how Israel had moved away from round about them, they came out cursing and blaspheming, as stated (ibid., cont.), “[they] came out standing (rt.: ntsb).” Now [it is stated] elsewhere (in I Sam. 17:16), “Then the Philistine drew near at dawn and in the evening; and he took his stand (rt.: ytsb) for forty days.”27On Goliath reviling Israel, see I Sam. 17:8-10. (Numb. 16:28-29), “And Moses said, ‘By this you may know that the Lord has sent me…. If these die like the death of every man”: A parable: To what is the matter comparable? To the shoshbin28I.e., the bridal agent who guarded her interests at the consummation of the marriage. of a king's daughter in whose hands lay the testimonials of her [virginity]. When one of the banqueters stood up before him and cursed the shoshbin and said, “The king's daughter has no virginity”; the shoshbin arose in the presence of the king and said to him, “If you do not have this person brought out in order to execute him in everyone's presence, I shall say, ‘Of course the king's daughter has no virginity.’” Immediately the king said, “It is better for me to kill this person, so that the shoshbin will not give out a bad name concerning my daughter.” Similarly Korah contended with Moses and said, “It was in his own heart and on his own that Moses had said all these things.” Moses began by saying in front of the Holy One, blessed be He then I also am saying (ibid., cont.), “If these die upon their beds in the way that people die, and physicians come and examine them the way all sick people are examined, then I will also deny [my mission] and say, ‘the Lord did not send me,’ and I have spoken from my own heart.” This is one of three prophets who spoke in this way: Elijah, Micah, and Moses.29ySahn. 10:1 (28a). Elijah said (in I Kings 18:36–37), "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel, that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your bidding. Answer me o Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that You, o Lord, are God; for You have turned their hearts backward” - [meaning,] if you do not answer me, I will say (ibid.), “You have turned their hearts backward.” So also Micah (identified here with Micaiah) said to Ahab (in I Kings 22:28), “If you return in peace,” then I too will say (ibid. cont.), “the Lord has not spoken through me.” And Moses also said (in Numb. 16:29), “If these die a natural death....” The Holy One said to him: “Moses, what do you want?” Moses said to Him, “Sovereign of the World, (in Numb. 16:30), ‘But if the Lord creates’; if You have created a mouth to the earth [from the beginning], well and good; but if not, ‘let the Lord create’ - He should create a mouth to it now.” The Holy One said to him (in Job 22:28), “When you decree something, it shall come to pass for you; and light shall shine upon your ways.”

13 יג

וַתִּפְתַּח (במדבר טז, לב), אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה נִפְתְּחוּ לָאָרֶץ פִּיפִיּוֹת הַרְבֵּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יא, ו): בְּקֶרֶב כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, אָמַר רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה וַהֲרֵי כְּתִיב (במדבר טז, לב): וַתִּפְתַּח הָאָרֶץ אֶת פִּיהָ, אָמַר לוֹ וְהֵיאַךְ אַתְּ מְקַיֵּם בְּקֶרֶב כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶלָּא שֶׁנַּעֲשֵׂית הָאָרֶץ כְּמַשְׁפֵּךְ, וְכָל הֵיכָן שֶׁהָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶם הָיָה מִתְגַּלְגֵּל וְיוֹרֵד וּבָא עִמּוֹ, נִמְצֵאתָ מְקַיֵּם בְּקֶרֶב כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמְקַיֵּם וַתִּפְתַּח הָאָרֶץ אֶת פִּיהָ. (דברים יא, ו): וְאֵת כָּל הַיְקוּם, זֶה הַמָּמוֹן שֶׁמַּעֲמִיד אֶת הָרַגְלַיִם. רַבּוֹתֵינוּ אָמְרוּ, אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ כֵּלִים בְּיַד הַכּוֹבֵס, הָיוּ מִתְגַּלְגְּלִין וּבָאִין וְנִבְלָעִין עִמָּהֶן. אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי, אֲפִלּוּ מַחַט שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁאוּלָה בְּיַד יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיָּדָם, אַף הִיא הָיְתָה נִבְלַעַת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, לג): וַיֵּרְדוּ הֵם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם חַיִּים שְׁאֹלָה. וְכָל כָּךְ לָמָּה, שֶׁחָלַק עַל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא הֵם עֲתִידִין לַעֲלוֹת, רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בֶּן בְּתֵירָא שׁוֹנֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, לג): וַיֹּאבְדוּ מִתּוֹךְ הַקָּהָל. בְּדָוִד הוּא אוֹמֵר (תהלים קיט, קעו): תָּעִיתִי כְּשֶׂה אֹבֵד בַּקֵּשׁ עַבְדֶּךָ כִּי מִצְוֹתֶיךָ לֹא שָׁכָחְתִּי, מָה אֲבֵדָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּדָוִד הִיא עֲתִידָה לְהִתְבַּקֵּשׁ, אַף כָּאן אֲבֵדָה הָעֲתִידָה לְהִתְבַּקֵּשׁ, וְכֵן חַנָּה מִתְפַּלֶּלֶת עֲלֵיהֶם (שמואל א ב, ו): ה' מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל וַיָּעַל.

13 (Numb. 16:32) “And [the earth] opened”: R. Judah says, “At that time a lot of mouths into the earth were opened. It is so stated (in Deut. 11:6), ‘in the midst of all Israel.’”30I.e., there were openings over all of Israel, one for each follower of Korah. R. Nehemiah said, “But note what is written (in Numb. 16:32), ‘And the earth opened its mouth (with mouth in the singular).’” He said to him, “Then how do you reconcile, ‘in the midst of all Israel?’ It is simply that the earth became like a funnel; and from wherever one of them was standing in relation to him (i.e., to Korah), he rolled and went down with him. [Hence] you have succeeded in reconciling ‘in the midst of all Israel,’ and you have succeeded in reconciling ‘and the earth opened its mouth.’” (Deut. 11:6), “And everything substantial (yequm) [which followed in their footsteps (literally: which was in their feet)]”: This is wealth (mamon), since it puts a person on one's feet.31Since yequm (“something substantial”) comes from the root, QWM, which has the causative meaning, “raise up,” the word is taken to mean something which causes one to rise. Our masters said, “Even if they had garments at the cleaner, they (i.e., the garments) came rolling and were swallowed up along with them.” R. Samuel bar Nahmani said, “Even a needle which had been borrowed (Sh'WLH) from them by an Israelite, it also was swallowed up along with them.32ySahn. 10:1 (28a). It is so stated (in Numb. 16:33), ‘so they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol(Sh'WLH).’”33I.e., with what had been borrowed (Sh’WLH). Why all this? Because he had sided against the Holy One. But nevertheless, in the world to come they are going to rise.34Cf. ARN, A, 36; Sanh. 10:3; also Sanh. 109b; 110b. R. Judah ben Betera teaches that they do have a share in the world to come. It is so stated (in Numb. 16:33, cont.), ‘and they vanished from the midst of the community.’” About David it [likewise] states (in Ps. 119:176), “I have gone astray like a lost (rt. 'bd) sheep; seek out Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.” Just as a loss (rt. 'BD), which is written concerning David, is going to be searched for; so (in Numb. 16:33) this loss (rt. 'BD) is going to be searched for. So also you find that Hannah prayed for them in a prayer35Tefillah. This word suggests the Eighteen Benedictions (Shemoneh ‘Esreh), which is also called the tefillah. Moreover I Sam. 2:6 contains wording similar to the second of these prayers, which concerns the resurrection. (in I Sam. 2:6), “The Lord brings death and gives life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.”

14 יד

אָח נִפְשָׁע מִקִּרְיַת עֹז וּמִדְיָנִים כִּבְרִיחַ אַרְמוֹן (משלי יח, יט), זֶה קֹרַח שֶׁפָּשַׁע בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁהִיא עֹז, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים כט, יא): ה' עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה' יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם. וּמִדְיָנִים כִּבְרִיחַ אַרְמוֹן, וַהֲלוֹא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁבַּעֲלֵי דִינָיו הָיוּ קָשִׁים. כִּבְרִיחַ אַרְמוֹן, זֶה משֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, מָה הַבְּרִיחַ אֵינוֹ זָז, כָּךְ משֶׁה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כו, כח): וְהַבְּרִיחַ הַתִּיכֹן בְּתוֹךְ הַקְּרָשִׁים מַבְרִחַ מִן הַקָּצֶה אֶל הַקָּצֶה.

14 "A brother offended is more formidable than a stronghold; such strife is like the bars of a fortress" (Proverbs 18:19). This is Korach, who violated the Torah - which is strength, as it is stated (Psalms 29:11), "May the Lord to His people give strength, may the Lord bless His people with peace." "Such strife is like the bars of a fortress" - and did he not know that his opponents were hard? "Like the bars of a fortress" - this is [referring to] Moshe and Aharon. Just like a bar does not move, so [too] Moshe, as it is stated (Exodus 26:28), "The center bar halfway up the planks shall run from end to end."

15 טו

אָמַר אִיּוֹב (איוב טו, כח לד): וַיִּשְׁכּוֹן עָרִים נִכְחָדוֹת בָּתִּים לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ לָמוֹ אֲשֶׁר הִתְעַתְּדוּ לְגַלִּים, לֹא יֶעְשַׁר וְלֹא יָקוּם חֵילוֹ וְלֹא יִטֶּה לָאָרֶץ מִנְּלָם, לֹא יָסוּר מִנִּי חשֶׁךְ יֹנַקְתּוֹ תְּיַבֵּשׁ שַׁלְהָבֶת וְיָסוּר בְּרוּחַ פִּיו, אַל יַאֲמֵן בַּשָׁו נִתְעָה כִּי שָׁוְא תִּהְיֶה תְמוּרָתוֹ, בְּלֹא יוֹמוֹ תִּמָּלֵא וְכִפָּתוֹ לֹא רַעֲנָנָה, יַחְמֹס כַּגֶּפֶן בִּסְרוֹ וְיַשְׁלֵךְ כַּזַּיִת נִצָּתוֹ, כִּי עֲדַת חָנֵף גַּלְמוּד וְאֵשׁ אָכְלָה אָהֳלֵי שֹׁחַד. וַיִּשְׁכּוֹן עָרִים נִכְחָדוֹת בָּתִּים לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ לָמוֹ אֲשֶׁר הִתְעַתְּדוּ לְגַלִּים, זֶה הָיָה קֹרַח שֶׁהָיָה קַתָּלִיקוֹס לְבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל פַּרְעֹה, וְהָיוּ בְּיָדוֹ מַפְתְּחוֹת הָאוֹצָרוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מָה הֲנָאָה יֵשׁ לְךָ, אֵין אַתָּה שׁוֹלֵט עֲלֵיהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: בָּתִּים לֹא יֵשְׁבוּ לָמוֹ אֲשֶׁר הִתְעַתְּדוּ לְגַלִּים, וּלְמִי הֵן מְעֻתָּדִין לְאֵלּוּ שֶׁהֵן גּוֹלִים, יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁגָּלוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, אֲבָל קֹרַח לֹא יֶעְשַׁר וְלֹא יָקוּם חֵילוֹ, אַף כְּשֶׁיָּמוּת אֵינוֹ קָם, וְלֹא יִטֶּה לָאָרֶץ מִנְלָם לֹא יָסוּר מִנִּי חשֶׁךְ, לְעוֹלָם אֵינוֹ סָר מִן הַחשֶׁךְ. יוֹנַקְתּוֹ תְּיַבֵּשׁ שַׁלְהָבֶת, אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל קֹרַח כְּשֶׁיָּרְדָה לַגֵּיהִנֹּם כִּבָּת אוֹתָהּ, וְיָסוּר בְּרוּחַ פִּיו, שֶׁלֹא יֹאמַר שְׁמוּאֵל עָתִיד לַעֲמֹד מִמֶּנּוּ וּבִשְׁבִילוֹ אֲנִי נִמְלָט, אַף הוּא יָסוּר בְּרוּחַ פִּיו אַל יַאֲמֵן בַּשָּׁו נִתְעָה, הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא צוֹוֵחַ עַל מָאתַיִם וַחֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ שֶׁחָלְקוּ עִמּוֹ אַל תַּאֲמִינוּ, טוֹעֶה הוּא, אַל יַאֲמֵן כְּשֶׁהוּא נִתְעָה. בְּלֹא יוֹמוֹ תִּמָּלֵא, עַד שֶׁלֹא יַגִּיעַ קִצּוֹ לָמוּת הוּא מֵמִית עַצְמוֹ. יַחְמֹס כַּגֶּפֶן בִּסְרוֹ, זוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ. וְיַשְׁלֵךְ כַּזַּיִת נִצָּתוֹ, אֵלּוּ בָנָיו, וְלָמָּה כִּי עֲדַת חָנֵף גַּלְמוּד וְאֵשׁ אָכְלָה אָהֳלֵי שֹׁחַד, (במדבר טז, לה): וְאֵשׁ יָצְאָה מֵאֵת ה'.

15 Job said, (Job 15:28-34), "He dwells in cities doomed to ruin, in houses that shall not be lived in, that are destined to become heaps of rubble. He will not be rich; his wealth will not endure; his produce shall not bend to the earth. He will never get away from the darkness; flames will sear his shoots; he will pass away by the breath of his mouth. He will not be trusted; he will be misled by falsehood, and falsehood will be his recompense. He will wither before his time, his boughs never having flourished. He will drop his unripe grapes like a vine; he will shed his blossoms like an olive tree. For the company of the impious is desolate; fire consumes the tents of the briber." "He dwells in cities doomed to ruin, in houses that shall not be lived in, that are destined to become heaps of rubble" - this was Korach, who was the administrator of the house of Pharaoh, and he had the keys to his treasuries in his hand. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, "What benefit is it to you, you do not control them." As it is stated, "in houses that shall not be lived in, that are destined to become heaps of rubble." And to who are they destined? To those who are exiled. To Israel that was exiled from Egypt. "He will not be rich; his wealth will not endure" - even when he died. "His produce shall not bend to the earth. He will never get away from the darkness" - forever will he not avoid darkness. "Flames will sear his shoots" - our Rabbis said, "When the wife of Korach descended to Gehinnom, it scorched her." "He will pass away by the breath of his mouth" - that he should not say, "Shmuel will arise from me in the future, and I will be saved for his sake" - rather, "he will pass away by the breath of his mouth." "He will not be trusted; he will be misled by falsehood" - the Holy One, blessed be He, yells out to the two hundred and fifty men who dissented with him, "Do not trust him, he is mistaken, 'he will not be trusted' when he is misled.'" "He will wither before his time" - before he reaches his end to die, he will kill himself. "He will drop his unripe grapes like a vine" - this is his wife. "He will shed his blossoms like an olive tree" - these are his sons. And why? "For the company of the impious is desolate; fire consumes the tents of the briber." "And a fire went out from the Lord" (Numbers 16:35).

16 טז

דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיַּחְלֹק, וַיְקַבֵּץ, וַיְדַבֵּר, וַיְצַו קֹרַח, אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר, אֶלָּא וַיִּקַּח, מַה לָּקַח, לֹא כְלוּם לָקַח, אֶלָּא לִבּוֹ נְטָלוֹ, אָמַר הַכָּתוּב (איוב טו, יב): מַה יִּקָּחֲךָ לִבֶּךָ וּמַה יִּרְזְמוּן עֵינֶיךָ. אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי לָמָּה חָלַק קֹרַח עַל משֶׁה, אָמַר אֲנִי בְּנוֹ שֶׁל שֶׁמֶן בֶּן יִצְהָר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ז, יג): וְתִירשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ שְׁגַר אֲלָפֶיךָ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת צֹאנֶךָ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לָתֶת לָךְ. תִּירוֹשׁ, זֶה יַיִן. וְיִצְהָרֶךָ, זֶה הַשֶּׁמֶן. וּבְכָל מַשְׁקִים שֶׁתִּתֵּן אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶן הוּא נִמְצָא עֶלְיוֹן, וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁכָּתוּב (זכריה ד, יד): אֵלֶּה שְׁנֵי בְנֵי הַיִּצְהָר הָעֹמְדִים עַל אֲדוֹן כָּל הָאָרֶץ, וְכִי יֵשׁ לַשֶּׁמֶן בָּנִים, אֶלָּא זֶה אַהֲרֹן וְדָוִד שֶׁנִּמְשְׁחוּ בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה. אַהֲרֹן נָטַל כְּהֻנָּה וְדָוִד מַלְכוּת. אָמַר קֹרַח וּמָה אֵלּוּ שֶׁנִּמְשְׁחוּ בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה בִּלְבָד נָטְלוּ כְּהֻנָּה וּמַלְכוּת, אֲנִי שֶׁאֲנִי בְּנוֹ שֶׁל שֶׁמֶן, אֵינִי נִמְשָׁח וְנַעֲשָׂה כֹהֵן וּמֶלֶךְ, מִיָּד נֶחְלַק עַל משֶׁה.

16 Another interpretation. It does not say, "And Korach dissented; and he said; and he gathered; and he commanded. Rather, "And he took." What did he take? He did not take anything. But rather his heart took him. The verse said (Job 15:12), "How your heart has taken you away, how your eyes have failed you." Rabbi Levi said, "Whey did Korach dissent from Moshe? He said 'I am the son of oil, the son of Yitshar.' As it is stated (Numbers 7:13), 'your new wine (tirosh) and oil (yitsharekha), the calving of your herd and the lambing of your flock, in the land that He swore to your fathers to assign to you.' 'Tirosh is wine; 'yitsharekha' is oil. And in all drinks that you place oil, it is always found on top. And not only that, but it is written (Zachariah 4:14), 'They are the two anointed dignitaries (literally, sons of yitshar) who attend the Lord of all the earth.' And does oil have sons? Rather this is Aharon and David that were anointed by the anointing oil. Aharon took the priesthood and David the monarchy. Korach said, "Just as these, who were only anointed by anointing oil, took priesthood and monarchy; I, that am the son of oil, need not be anointed and I shall be a priest and king.' Immediately, he dissented with Moshe."

17 יז

וַיִּקַּח, שֶׁלָּקְחוֹ לִבּוֹ. (תהלים נה, יג): כִּי לֹא אוֹיֵב יְחָרְפֵנִי וְאֶשָֹּׂא לֹא מְשַׂנְאִי עָלַי הִגְדִּיל וְאֶסָּתֵר מִמֶּנּוּ, זֶה דּוֹאֵג וַאֲחִיתֹפֶל שֶׁהָיוּ מְחָרְפִין אוֹתִי, לֹא הָיוּ שׂוֹנְאַי וְהָיוּ מְחָרְפִין אוֹתִי וְלֹא קוֹרְאִין אוֹתִי בִּשְׁמִי, אֶלָּא (שמואל א כ, כז): מַדּוּעַ לֹא בָא בֶן יִשַּׁי, (שמואל א כב, ט): רָאִיתִי אֶת בֶּן יִשַּׁי, (שמואל א טז, יח): הִנֵּה רָאִיתִי בֵּן לְיִשַּׁי. הֱוֵי: כִּי לֹא אוֹיֵב יְחָרְפֵנִי וְאֶשָֹּׂא. (תהלים נה, יד): וְאַתָּה אֱנוֹשׁ כְּעֶרְכִּי אַלּוּפִי, שֶׁהָיָה אָדָם גָּדוֹל בַּתּוֹרָה, (תהלים נה, יד): וּמְיֻדָּעִי, שֶׁהָיָה נוֹשֵׂא וְנוֹתֵן בַּהֲלָכָה, (תהלים נה, טו): אֲשֶׁר יַחְדָּו נַמְתִּיק סוֹד, מַהוּ (תהלים נה, טו): בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים נְהַלֵּךְ בְּרָגֶשׁ, כְּדִתְנַן הַפָּר הָיָה קָרֵב בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְהֵא הָרֹגֶשׁ מַרְגִּישׁ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים נְהַלֵּךְ בְּרָגֶשׁ. (תהלים נה, טז): יַשִּׁיא מָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ, אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר עֲצַת מִינוּת הָיָה בָּהֶן, לְמָה הָיוּ דוֹמִין לְבַיִת שֶׁהוּא מָלֵא תֶּבֶן וְהָיָה בַּבַּיִת חוֹרִין וְהָיָה הַתֶּבֶן נִכְנַס בָּהֶם, לְאַחַר יָמִים הִתְחִיל אוֹתוֹ הַתֶּבֶן שֶׁהָיָה בְּתוֹךְ אוֹתָן הַחוֹרִין יוֹצֵא, יָדְעוּ הַכֹּל כִּי הָיָה אוֹתוֹ הַבַּיִת שֶׁל תֶּבֶן. כָּךְ דּוֹאֵג וַאֲחִיתֹפֶל לֹא הָיוּ בָּהֶן מִצְווֹת מִתְּחִלָּה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ בְּנֵי תוֹרָה הָיוּ כִּתְחִלָּתָן, הֱוֵי (תהלים נה, טז): כִּי רָעוֹת בִּמְגוּרָם בְּקִרְבָּם. דָּבָר אַחֵר, מְדַבֵּר בְּמשֶׁה כִּי לֹא אוֹיֵב, אֶלָּא קֹרַח שֶׁהוּא מִשֶּׁלִּי יְחָרְפֵנִי, אֲשֶׁר יַחְדָּו נַמְתִּיק סוֹד, אַהֲרֹן וְקֹרַח שְׁנֵיהֶן שָׁוִין, בְּבֵית אֱלֹהִים נְהַלֵּךְ בְּרָגֶשׁ, זֶה שׁוֹחֵט וּמַקְרִיב, וְזֶה זוֹרֵק אֶת הַדָּם, יַשִּׁיא מָוֶת עָלֵימוֹ, שֶׁהֵבִיא אֶת הַמִּיתָה עָלָיו, (במדבר טז, לג): וַיֵּרְדוּ הֵם וְכָל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם וגו'.

17 "And he took." As he took his heart. "It is not an enemy who curses me —I could bear that; it is not my foe who vaunts himself against me —I could hide from him" (Psalms 55:13). This is [referring to] Doeg and Achitofel who were cursing me. They were not my enemies, but they cursed me and did not call me by my name. Rather, "Why did the son of Yishai not come" (I Samuel 20:27); "I have seen the son of Yishai" (I Samuel 22:9); "Behold I have seen a son of Yishai" (I Samuel 16:18). This is, "It is not an enemy who reviles me —I could bear that." "But it is you, my equal, my companion" (Psalms 55:14). As he was a giant in Torah [knowledge]. "And my acquaintance" - as he would give and take in Jewish law (halakha). "Sweet was our fellowship; [we walked in God’s house with feeling]" (Psalms 55:15). What is [the understanding of] "we walked in God’s house with feeling?" As it is taught, "A bull was offered by twenty-four (priests)," so that the feelings could feel [it], as it is stated, "we walked in God’s house with feeling." "Let Him incite death against them" (Psalms 55:16). Rabbi Elazar said, "They had a counsel of heresy within them. To what were they similar. To a house full of straw, but there were holes in the house and the straw went into them. After some days, that straw that was in those holes began to come out [on the house's exterior. Then] everyone knew that the house was of straw. So [with] Doeg and Achitofel, they did not have [performance of] commandments at the beginning. Even though they [later] become masters of Torah, they were like their beginning." This is, "for where they dwell, there evil is." Another interpretation (of Psalms 55:13-16): It is speaking about Moshe. "It is not an enemy" but rather Korach, who is from mine, "who curses me". "Sweet was our fellowship," Aharon and Korach are the same; we walked in God’s house with feeling," this one slaughters and offers and that one sprinkles the blood. "Let Him incite death against them" - who brought death upon himself. "They went down alive into Sheol, with all that belonged to them, etc." (Numbers 16:33).

18 יח

רַב לָכֶם בְּנֵי לֵוִי (במדבר טז, ז), אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה אַתְּ מְחֵית בְּחוּטְרָא וּבְמָה דִמְחֵית אַתְּ לָקֵי, אַתְּ אֲמַרְתְּ רַב לָכֶם, לְמָחָר אַתְּ שָׁמַע (דברים ג, כו): רַב לָךְ.

18 "It is enough for you, sons of Levi" (Numbers 16:7). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moshe, "You have struck with a stick, and you will be struck with that with which you struck. You said, "It is enough for you." And tomorrow you will hear, "It is enough for you" (Deuteronomy 3:26).

19 יט

וַיְהִי כְּכַתוֹ לְדַבֵּר אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַתִּבָּקַע הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר תַּחְתֵּיהֶם (במדבר טז, לא), לְלַמֶּדְךָ שֶׁמִּכָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה מַצְמִיחַ אֶת הַפֻּרְעָנוּיוֹת. (במדבר טז, לג): חַיִּים שְׁאֹלָה, יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים חַיִּים וְקַיָּמִים עַד עַכְשָׁו. (במדבר טז, לג): וַתְּכַס עֲלֵיהֶם, הֵם אָבְדוּ וְלֹא פַּחְדוּתָן, שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ אֲחֵרִים תַּחְתֵּיהֶן שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים וְשָׂרֵי מֵאוֹת. (במדבר טז, לד): וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל נָסוּ לְקֹלָם, שֶׁהָיוּ צוֹוְחִין בְּקוֹלָם, משֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ הַצִּילֵנוּ. (במדבר טז, לה): וְאֵשׁ יָצְאָה מֵאֵת ה' וַתֹּאכַל אֵת הַחֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם אִישׁ מַקְרִיבֵי הַקְּטֹרֶת, אֵלּוּ הָיוּ נִבְלָעִים וְאֵלּוּ הָיוּ נִשְׂרָפִין, וְקֹרַח עוֹמֵד בֵּין הַשְֹּׂרוּפִים, שֶׁאָמַר משֶׁה (במדבר טז, יז): וְאַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ. וְקֹרַח לָקָה יוֹתֵר מִכֻּלָּם, שֶׁנִּשְׂרַף וְנִבְלַע, וְלָמָּה נַעֲשׂוּ בּוֹ שְׁנֵי דִינִין, שֶׁאִלּוּ נִשְׂרַף וְלֹא נִבְלַע הָיוּ הַבְּלוּעִין מִתְרַעֲמִין שֶׁלֹא הֵבִיא עָלֵינוּ אֶת כָּל הַפֻּרְעָנוּת הַזֶּה אֶלָּא קֹרַח וְהֵן נִבְלָעִין וְהוּא נִצֹּל. וְאִלּוּ נִבְלַע וְלֹא נִשְׂרַף הָיוּ הַשְֹּׂרוּפִין מִתְרַעֲמִין שֶׁלֹא הֵבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַפֻּרְעָנוּת אֶלָּא זֶה, וְהֵן נִשְׂרָפִין וְהוּא נִצֹּל, לְפִיכָךְ נִדּוֹן בִּשְׁתֵּי מִיתוֹת, וְלִהַטּוּ הָאֵשׁ תְּחִלָּה לְעֵין כָּל הַשְֹּׂרוּפִים, שֶׁבְּיָדָן הָיְתָה הַמַּחְתָּה וְהַקְּטֹרֶת בָּהּ, וְקִפַּלְתּוֹ הָאֵשׁ כַּדּוּר, וְהָאֵשׁ מְגַלְגֶּלֶת בּוֹ עַד שֶׁהֱבִיאַתּוּ לְפִי הָאָרֶץ עִם הַבְּלוּעִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר טז, לב): וַתִּפְתַּח הָאָרֶץ אֶת פִּיהָ וַתִּבְלַע אֹתָם וְאֶת בָּתֵּיהֶם וְאֵת כָּל הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר לְקֹרַח וְאֵת כָּל הָרְכוּשׁ.

19 (Numb. 16:31) “Then it came to pass, as soon as he had finished speaking […], that the ground under them was split apart”: [This is] to teach you He causes retribution to spring up from any place that He wants. (Numb. 16:33) “So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol”: Some say they are alive and preserved up to the present. (Ibid., cont.) “Then the earth closed over them”: They perished but not their offices; indeed, other were appointed captains of thousands and captains of hundreds in their stead. (Numb. 16:34) “Then all Israel […] fled at their cry”; since they cried out to Moses, “Moses our master, save us!” (Numb. 16:35) “And a fire went forth from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men offering the incense”: These had been swallowed up, but those were burned; and Korah stood among those who were burned, as Moses had said (in Numb. 16:17), “you also and Aaron, each his censer.” Moreover, Korah received more [punishment] than all of them, in that he was [both] burned and swallowed up. And why were both sentences carried out against him? Because if he had been burned but not swallowed up, those who were swallowed up would have complained and said that though only Korah had brought retribution upon them, here they were being swallowed up while he escaped. But if he had been swallowed up and not burned, those who were burned would have complained and said, “Although only Korah brought this retribution upon us, here we are burned while he escaped.” For that reason he was condemned to both deaths. First, he was set ablaze in the sight of all who were being burned, in whose hand was the censer with the incense in it; and [then] the fire rolled him up like a ball. And the fire rolled him along until it brought him to the mouth of the earth among those being swallowed up, as stated (in Numb. 16:32), “And the earth opened its mouth […].”

20 כ

וְאוֹן בֶּן פֶּלֶת (במדבר טז, א), לָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ אוֹן, שֶׁכָּל יָמָיו בַּאֲנִינוּת. בֶּן פֶּלֶת, בֵּן שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ בּוֹ פְּלָאוֹת. אָמַר רַב אוֹן בֶּן פֶּלֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ הִצִּילַתּוּ, וְאָמְרָה לֵיהּ מַה לָּךְ בַּהֲדֵי פְּלוּגְתֵּיהּ, אִי אַהֲרֹן כַּהֲנָא רַבָּא אַתְּ תַּלְמִידָא אִי קֹרַח כַּהֲנָא רַבָּה אַתְּ תַּלְמִידָא. אִמְרָה לֵיהּ יְדַעְנָא כּוּלֵיהּ כְּנִישְׁתָּא קַדִּישָׁא, דִּכְתִיב בֵּיהּ (במדבר טז, ג): כִּי כָל הָעֵדָה כֻּלָּם קְדשִׁים, מָה עָבְדַת אַשְׁקִיתֵיהּ חַמְרָא וְאַרְוִיתֵיהּ, וְאַגְנִיתֵיהּ בְּעַרְסָא וַהֲוָה יָתְבָא אַבָּבָא הִיא וּבְרַתָּא וְסָתְרָא לְמַזְיָהּ, כָּל מַאן דַּאֲתָא בִּשְׁבִיל אוֹן בַּעֲלָהּ כֵּיוָן דְּחַזְיָיהּ הָדַר, אַדְּהָכֵי וְהָכֵי אַבְלְעִינְהוּ, הַיְינוּ דִכְתִיב (משלי יד, א): חַכְמוֹת נָשִׁים בָּנְתָה בֵיתָהּ, זוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל אוֹן, (משלי יד, א): וְאִוֶּלֶת בְּיָדֶיהָ תֶהֶרְסֶנּוּ, זוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל קֹרַח. (במדבר טז, ב): וַיָּקֻמוּ לִפְנֵי משֶׁה, נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה, מְיֻחָדִין שֶׁבָּעֵדָה. (במדבר טז, ב): קְרִאֵי מוֹעֵד, שֶׁיּוֹדְעִין לְעַבֵּר אֶת הַשָּׁנִים וְלִקְבֹּעַ חֳדָשִׁים. (במדבר טז, ב): אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם, שֶׁהָיָה לָהֶם שֵׁם בַּכֹּל. (במדבר טז, ד): וַיִּשְׁמַע משֶׁה, מַה שָּׁמַע אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָנִי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן מְלַמֵּד שֶׁחֲשָׁדוּהוּ בְּאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קו, טז): וַיְקַנְאוּ לְמשֶׁה בַּמַּחֲנֶה, אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר יִצְחָק אָמַר רַב מְלַמֵּד שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד קִנֵּא לְאִשְׁתּוֹ מִמּשֶׁה. וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם (במדבר טז, כה), אָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ מִכָּאן שֶׁאֵין מַחְזִיקִין בְּמַחֲלֹקֶת, אָמַר רַב כָּל הַמַּחְזִיק בְּמַחֲלֹקֶת עוֹבֵר מִשּׁוּם (במדבר יז, ה): וְלֹא יִהְיֶה כְקֹרַח וְכַעֲדָתוֹ, אָמַר רַב אָסֵי רָאוּי לְהִצְטָרֵעַ, כְּתִיב הָכָא (במדבר יז, ה): כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה' בְּיַד משֶׁה לוֹ. וּכְתִיב הָתָם (שמות ד, ו): וַיֹּאמֶר ה' לוֹ עוֹד הָבֵא נָא יָדְךָ וגו'. אָמַר רַבִּי חִסְדָּא כָּל הַחוֹלֵק עַל רַבּוֹ כְּחוֹלֵק עַל הַשְּׁכִינָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כו, ט): בְּהַצֹּתָם עַל ה', אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא, כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה מְרִיבָה עִם רַבּוֹ כְּאִלּוּ עוֹשֶׂה עִם הַשְּׁכִינָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כ, יג): הֵמָּה מֵי מְרִיבָה אֲשֶׁר רָבוּ בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת ה', אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא כָּל הַמִּתְרַעֵם עַל רַבּוֹ כְּאִלּוּ מִתְרַעֵם עַל הַשְּׁכִינָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות טז, ח): לֹא עָלֵינוּ תְּלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם כִּי עַל ה'. אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּהוּ כָּל הַמְהַרְהֵר אַחַר רַבּוֹ כְּאִלּוּ מְהַרְהֵר אַחֲרֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כא, ה): וַיְדַבֵּר הָעָם בֵּאלֹהִים וּבְמשֶׁה לָמָּה הֶעֱלִיתֻנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם וגו'. דָּרַשׁ רָבָא, מַאי דִּכְתִיב (חבקוק ג, יא): שֶׁמֶשׁ יָרֵחַ עָמַד זְבֻלָה, מְלַמֵּד שֶׁעָלוּ שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ לִזְבוּל אָמְרוּ לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם אִם אַתָּה עוֹשֶׂה דִין לְבֶן עַמְרָם נֵצֵא, וְאִם לָאו, לֹא נֵצֵא, עַד שֶׁזָּרַק בָּהֶם חִצִּים, אָמַר לָהֶם לִכְבוֹדִי לֹא מְחִיתֶם, לִכְבוֹד בָּשָׂר וָדָם, מְחִיתֶם, וְהָאִידְנָא עַד דִּמְחוֹ לְהוֹ לָא נָפְקֵי. דָּרַשׁ רָבָא מַאי דִכְתִיב (במדבר טז, ל): אִם בְּרִיאָה יִבְרָא ה', אָמַר משֶׁה רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים אִם בְּרִיאָה גֵּיהִנֹּם, מוּטָב, וְאִם לָאו יִבְרָא ה', לְמַאי, אִילֵימָא לְמִבְרְיֵיהּ מַמָּשׁ, וְהָכְתִיב (קהלת א, ט): אֵין כָּל חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ, אֶלָא לְאַקְרוּבֵי פִתְחָא. (במדבר כו, יא): וּבְנֵי קֹרַח לֹא מֵתוּ. תָּאנָא מִשּׁוּם רַבֵּינוּ מָקוֹם נִתְבַּצֵר לָהֶם בַּגֵּיהִנֹּם. אָמַר רַבָּה בַּר בַּר חָנָא זִימְנָא חָדָא הֲוָה אָזֵילְנָא בְּאוֹרְחָא, וְאָמַר לִי הַהוּא טַיְיעָא תָּא וְאַחְוֵי לָךְ בֵּי בְּלוּעֵי דְקֹרַח, אָזְלֵי וַחֲזָאי תְּרֵי בִּזְעֵי וְקָא נָפַק קוּטְרָא מִינַיְּיהוּ, שָׁקַל גַּבְּבָא דְּעַמְרָא וְאַמְשְׁיֵיהּ בְּמַיָּא וְאוֹתְבֵיהּ בְּרֵישׁ רוֹמְחָא וְעַיְילֵהּ לְהָתָם וְאִיחֲרַךְ וּנְפַל. אֲמַר לֵיהּ אַצֵּית מַאי שָׁמַעְתְּ, וּשְׁמָעִי דַּהֲווֹ קָאַמְרֵי משֶׁה וְתוֹרָתוֹ אֱמֶת וְהֵן בַּדָּאִין, אָמַר לִי כָּל תְּלָתִין יוֹמִין מְהַדְּרָא לְהוֹ גֵּיהִנֹּם כְּבָשָׂר בְּתוֹךְ קַלַּחַת וְאָמְרֵי הָכֵי משֶׁה וְתוֹרָתוֹ אֱמֶת. וְלֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא עָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהוֹצִיאָן, וַעֲלֵיהֶם אָמְרָה חַנָּה (שמואל א ב, ו): ה' מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל וַיָּעַל.

20 (Numb. 16:1) “And On ben Peleth”: Why was he named On (which means "sorrow")?45Sanh. 109b-110a. Because he remained in sorrow all his days. (Ibid.) “Ben Peleth (plt)?” The son of (ben) one for whom miracles (pl'wt) have been performed. Rav said, “On ben Peleth had his wife save him; for she said to him, ‘What has this dispute to do with you? If Aaron is the high priest, you are a disciple; if Korah is high priest, you are [still] a disciple].’ She said to him, ‘I know that the whole community is holy, since it is written (in Numb. 16:3), “for all the congregation are holy.”’ What did she do? She gave him wine to drink, got him drunk, and had him lie down in her bed. Then she sat down at the entrance [of the house] – her and her daughter – and let down her hair.46It was immodest to look at a married woman’s loosened hair. Everyone who came for her husband On saw her and returned. In the meanwhile they were swallowed up.” It is this which is written (in Prov. 14:1), “The wisdom of women builds its house,” this refers to the wife of On; “but folly tears it down with its own hands,” this refers to the wife of Korah.47Sanh. 110a describes how she joined her husband in his rebellion. (Numb. 16:2) “And they rose up against Moses, […] princes of the congregation,” the special ones of the congregations; “chosen by the assembly (moed),” because they knew how to intercalate years48I.e., add an extra month in order to keep the lunar year in line with the solar year. and fix new moons (which determine the date of the festival (moed);49R. 18:20, cont.; Sanh. 110a. “men of renown,” in that they had a name throughout the whole [world]. (Numb. 16:4) “When Moses heard this, he fell on his face”: What news did he hear? R. Samuel bar Nachmani said that R. Jonathan said, “[This] teaches that they suspected him of [adultery with] a married woman.” Thus it is stated (in Ps. 106:16), “And they were jealous (rt.: qn')50Cf. Numb.5:14 where this word is used to denote suspicion of adultery. of Moses in the camp.” Rav Samuel bar Isaac said that Rav said, “[This] teaches that each and every one suspected (rt.: qn') his wife of adultery with Moses.” Reish Lakish says, “From here we derive that one may not perpetuate a dispute.” Rav says, “Anyone who perpetuates a dispute violates a prohibition. It is so stated (in Numb. 17:5), ‘and he will not be like Korah and his assembly.’” Rav Ashi says, “He is fit to be afflicted with leprosy. It is written here (in Numb. 17:5, cont.), ’by the hand of Moses to him,’ and it is written there (in Exod. 4:6), ‘And the Lord said furthermore to him, “Put now your hand into your bosom.”’” Rav Ḥisda says, “Anyone who disagrees with his teacher is like one who disagrees with the Divine Presence, as it is stated [with regard to Dathan and Abiram] (in Numb. 26:9), ‘when they strove against the Lord.’” R. Jose, son of R. Ḥanina, says, “Anyone who initiates a quarrel [meriva] with his teacher is like one who initiates a quarrel with the Divine Presence, as it is stated (in Numb. 20:13), “These are the waters of Meribah, where the Children of Israel quarreled with the Lord.’” R. Ḥanina says, “Anyone who expresses resentment against his teacher for wronging him, it is as though he is expressing resentment against the Divine Presence, as it is stated (Exod. 16:8), ‘your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.’” R. Abbahu says, “Anyone who suspects his teacher of wrongdoing, it is as though he suspects the Divine Presence, as it is stated (in Numb. 21:5), ‘And the people spoke against God, and against Moses[…].’” Rabba expounded that which is written (in Hab. 3:11), “Sun and moon remain on high (zevul)”:51 Sanh. 110a. [This] teaches that the sun and moon ascended to Zebul and said to Him, “Master of the world, if You act justly toward the son of Amram, we shall go forth; but if not, we shall not go forth.” [So they refused to shine,] until He hurled darts at them. He said to them, “For My honor you did not protest,52I.e., when people dishonored the Holy One by worshiping the sun and the moon. but for flesh and blood you did protest.” And at the present time until they are hit, they do not come out.53The midrash draws of the second half of Hab. 3:11 to show that the Holy One must use arrows and a spear to force the sun and moon to shine. Rabba expounded what is written (in Numb. 16:30), “But if the Lord creates something new, [and the earth opens its mouth]”: Moses said, “Master of the World, if gehinnom is created, all the better; but if not, ‘the Lord creates.’” To what [does the verse refer]? If we say to an actual creation of something, then is it not written (in Eccl. 1:9), “For there is nothing new under the sun.” Rather [it refers] to bringing the opening (into gehinnom) up close (to the surface of the earth where Korah was standing).54The midrash sees the swallowing up of Korah and his companions as the first evidence for gehinnom. See Numb. R. 18:20; Sanh. 110a. (Numb. 26:11) “The sons of Korah, however, did not die”: It was taught in the name of our master, “A place was set aside for them in gehinnom.” Rabbah bar bar Hanah said, “One time it happened that I was travelling on the road, when a certain Arab merchant said to me,55Similarly BB 74a. ‘Come, I will show you chasms of Korah.’56Perhaps the straits of Scylla and Charybdis. So Jastrow, s.v., beli‘e. I went and saw two fissures out of which was coming smoke. He took a ball of clipped wool, steeped it in water, placed it on a spearhead, [and raised it] over them; it burned and fell. Then he said to me, ‘Listen, what do you hear?’ I heard them saying, ‘Moses and his Torah represent truth, but they (i.e., Korah and his community) are liars.’ He said to me, Every thirty days gehinnom returns them to here, like meat in a pot, and they say, “Moses and his Torah are true.”’” But in the future to come the Holy One, blessed be He, is going to take them out [of gehinnom]. Moreover, it is with reference to them that Hannah said (in I Sam. 2:6), “The Lord brings death and gives life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.”57The Midrash finds an indication that the life and raising up here refer to life in the world to come, since they follow death and the descent into Sheol. Cf. Gen. R. 98:4; TSanh. 13:3; see ySanh. 10:1 (28a); 10:4 (29c).

21 כא

מנצפ"ך הָאוֹתִיּוֹת כְּפוּלוֹת, צוֹפִים אֲמָרוּם, כ"ך נִרְמַז לְאַבְרָהָם (בראשית יב, א): לֶךְ לְךָ לְמֵאָה שָׁנָה יוֹלִיד. מ"ם לְיִצְחָק (בראשית כו, טז): כִּי עָצַמְתָּ מִמֶּנּוּ מְאֹד, רְמָזוֹ שֶׁהוּא וְזַרְעוֹ עֲצוּמִים בִּשְׁנֵי עוֹלָמוֹת. נ"ן לְיַעֲקֹב (בראשית לב, יב): הַצִּילֵנִי נָא, מַצִּיל בִּשְׁנֵי עוֹלָמוֹת. פ"ף לְיִשְרָאֵל לְמשֶׁה (שמות ג, טז): פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם. צ"ץ (זכריה ו, יב): הִנֵּה אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמוֹ וגו', זֶה מָשִׁיחַ, וְאוֹמֵר (ירמיה כג, ה): וַהֲקִמֹתִי לְדָוִד צֶמַח צַדִּיק וּמָלַךְ מֶלֶךְ וְהִשְׂכִּיל וְעָשָׂה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ. (ישעיה ג, ג): שַׂר חֲמִשִׁים, עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה סְפָרִים, הוֹסֵף עֲלֵיהֶם אַחַד עָשָׂר מִן תְּרֵי עֲשַׂר, חוּץ מִן יוֹנָה שֶׁהוּא בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, וְשִׁשָּׁה סְדָרִים, וְתִשְׁעָה פְּרָקִים דְּתוֹרַת כֹּהֲנִים, הֲרֵי חֲמִשִּׁים. (שיר השירים ו, ח): שִׁשִּׁים הֵמָּה מְלָכוֹת, שִׁשִּׁים מַסֶּכְתּוֹת, (שיר השירים ו, ח): וּשְׁמֹנִים פִּילַגְשִׁים, שְׁמוֹנִים בָּתֵּי מִדְרָשׁוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, כְּנֶגֶד פְּתָחֶיהָ. (שיר השירים ו, ח): וַעֲלָמוֹת אֵין מִסְפָּר, מִשְׁנָה הַחִיצוֹנָה. (שיר השירים ג, ז): הִנֵּה מִטָּתוֹ שֶׁלִּשְׁלֹמֹה שִׁשִּׁים גִּבֹּרִים סָבִיב לָהּ, שִׁשִּׁים אוֹתִיּוֹת שֶׁבְּבִרְכַּת כֹּהֲנִים. (בראשית יד, יד): שְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר וּשְׁלשׁ מֵאוֹת, הוּא אֱלִיעֶזֶר. (בראשית כו, ה): עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַע אַבְרָהָם בְּקֹלִי וַיִּשְׁמֹר מִשְׁמַרְתִּי מִצְוֹתַי חֻקּוֹתַי וְתוֹרֹתָי. בֶּן שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים הִכִּירוֹ. הַשָֹּׂטָן בְּגִימַטְרִיָּא שְׁלשׁ מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים וְאַרְבָּעָה, מִנְּיַן יְמוֹת הַחַמָּה שַׁלִּיט לְהַלְשִׁין בְּכֻלָּן חוּץ מִיּוֹם כִּפּוּר. אָמַר רַב אַמֵּי בֵּי רַבִּי אַבָּא אַבְרָהָם עַד שֶׁלֹא נִמּוֹל וְלֹא הוֹלִיד הָיָה חָסֵר ה', נִתּוֹסַף ה' וְנַעֲשָׂה שָׁלֵם וְהוֹלִיד לְמִנְיַן אוֹתִיּוֹתָיו. (משלי יב, ד): אֵשֶׁת חַיִל עֲטֶרֶת בַּעֲלָהּ, זוֹ שָׂרָה, שָׂרַי הָיְתָה שְׁמָהּ. פְּלִיגֵי בָּהּ תְּרֵי אָמוֹרָאֵי, חַד אָמַר נֶחְלַק הַיו"ד לִשְׁנַיִם, ה' לְאַבְרָהָם ה' לְשָׂרָה. וְחַד אָמַר יו"ד שֶׁנִּטַּל מִן שָׂרָה קָרָא תִּגָר, עַד שֶׁבָּא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְהוֹסִיף לוֹ משֶׁה י', יָ"הּ יוֹשִׁיעֲךָ מֵעֲצַת הַמְרַגְּלִים. י' מִיִּצְחָק מוּל עֲשָׂרָה נִסְיוֹנוֹת. צ', לְתִשְׁעִים שָׁנָה לְשָׂרָה נוֹלַד. ח', לִשְׁמוֹנָה יָמִים נִמּוֹל. ק', מֵאָה שָׁנִים הָיוּ לְאַבְרָהָם. וְיַעֲקֹב עַל שְׁמוֹ נִקְרָא, יו"ד, מוּל הָעֲשִׂירִי, חֲשֹׁב מִבִּנְיָמִין עַד לֵוִי הוּא עֲשִׂירִי. ע', בְּשִׁבְעִים נֶפֶשׁ. ק', כְּנֶגֶד אוֹתִיּוֹת הַבְּרָכָה וְיִתֶּן לְךָ. נִשְׁתַּיְירוּ ב', כְּנֶגֶד שְׁנֵי מַלְאָכִים עוֹלִים. הַלּוּחוֹת הָיוּ בָּהֶן תרי"ג מִצְווֹת כְּנֶגֶד אוֹתִיּוֹת מִן (שמות כ, ב): אָנֹכִי, עַד (שמות כ, יד): אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ, לֹא פָּחוֹת וְלֹא יוֹתֵר, וְכֻלָּן נִתְּנוּ לְמשֶׁה בְּסִינַי, שֶׁבָּהֶם חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים תּוֹרָה וּמִשְׁנָה תַּלְמוּד וְאַגָּדָה. (ישעיה לג, ו): יִרְאַת ה' הִיא אוֹצָרוֹ, אֵין בְּכָל הַמִּדּוֹת גָּדוֹל מִיִּרְאָה וַעֲנָוָה, (דברים י, יב): וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל מָה ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵעִמָּךְ כִּי אִם לְיִרְאָה אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַעֲבֹד אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשֶׁךָ. יִרְאַת, בְּגִימַטְרִיָּא תרי"א, וְתוֹרָה תרי"א, וְיִרְאָה וְתוֹרָה עִמָּם הֲרֵי תרי"ג. צִיצִית, תָּנוּ רַבָּנָן ח' גְּרוּרִין וְה' קְשׁוּרִין, הֲרֵי תרי"ג, שְׁנַיִם לְמַעְלָה וּשְׁלשָׁה לְמַטָּה. יְמֵי אַבְרָהָם מֵאָה שִׁבְעִים וְחָמֵשׁ שָׁנָה, יִצְחָק מֵאָה וּשְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה, יַעֲקֹב מֵאָה אַרְבָּעִים וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנָה, כְּשֶׁאַתָּה כּוֹלְלָן נִמְצָא חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וּשְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים, וְכֵן מַהֲלַךְ שָׁמַיִם לָאָרֶץ (דברים יא, כא): כִּימֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ. (שמואל ב כג, א): הֻקַם עָל, כְּנֶגֶד מֵאָה בְּרָכוֹת, שֶׁבְּכָל יוֹם הָיוּ מֵתִים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מֵאָה אֲנָשִׁים בָּא דָּוִד וְתִקֵּן לָהֶם מֵאָה בְּרָכוֹת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁתִּקְנָם נִתְעַצְּרָה הַמַּגֵּפָה. עָל עֻלָּהּ שֶׁל תּוֹרָה, וְעֻלָּהּ שֶׁל קְצָרָה. (הושע יד, ג): כָּל תִּשָֹּׂא עָוֹן וְקַח טוֹב וּנְשַׁלְמָה פָרִים שְׂפָתֵינוּ. אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם בִּזְּמַן שֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּם הָיִינוּ מַקְרִיבִים קָרְבָּן וּמִתְכַּפֵּר, וְעַכְשָׁו אֵין בְּיָדֵנוּ אֶלָּא תְּפִלָּה, טוֹ"ב בְּגִימַטְרִיָּה שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה, תְּפִלָּה תְּשַׁע עֶשְׂרֵה בְּרָכוֹת, הוֹצֵא מִשָּׁם בִּרְכַּת הַמִּינִין שֶׁתִּקְנוּהָ בְּיַבְנֶה, וְאֶת צֶמַח דָּוִד שֶׁתִּקְנוּ אַחֲרָיו עַל שׁוּם (תהלים כו, ב): בְּחָנֵנִי ה' וְנַסֵּנִי. וְרַבִּי סִימוֹן אוֹמֵר קַח טוֹב בְּגִימַטְרִיָּה נֶפֶ"שׁ, אָמְרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּשֶׁבֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ קַיָּם הָיִינוּ מַקְטִירִים חֲלָבִים וְאֵמוּרִין וּמִתְכַּפְּרִין, וְעַכְשָׁו הֲרֵי חֶלְבֵּנוּ וְדָמֵנוּ וְנַפְשׁוֹתֵינוּ, יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ שֶׁתְּהֵא כַּפָּרָה עָלֵינוּ, וּנְשַׁלְמָה פָרִים שְׂפָתֵינוּ. (רות ד, יג): וַיִּתֵּן ה' לָהּ הֵרָיוֹן, בְּגִימַטְרִיָּה מָאתַיִם שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד. שִׁעוּר מֵי מִקְוֶה אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה, כָּל מֵי בְאֵר שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה, וְכַמָּה בֵּיצִים בְּמִקְוֶה חֲמֵשֶׁת אֲלָפִים וּשְׁבַע מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים, כָּל סְאָה מֵאָה אַרְבָּעִים וְאַרְבַּע בֵּיצִים. חַלָּה אַרְבָּעִים וְשָׁלשׁ בֵּיצִים וְחֹמֶשׁ. וּמִנַיִן לְמִקְוֶה שֶׁצָּרִיךְ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה, (ישעיה ח, ו): מֵי הַשִּׁלֹחַ הַהֹלְכִים לְאַט, בְּגִימַטְרִיָּא אַרְבָּעִים. וּמַפְרִישׁ חַלָּה צָרִיךְ שֶׁיַּפְרִישׁ אַחַת מֵאַרְבָּעִים וְשָׁלשׁ וְחֹמֶשׁ מִן הַתּוֹרָה לְמִנְיַן חַלָּה. אֲבוֹת מְלָאכוֹת אַרְבָּעִים חָסֵר אַחַת, דִּכְתִיב (שמות לה, א): אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים, אֵלֶּה, שְׁלשִׁים וָשֵׁשׁ, דְּבָרִים שְׁתַּיִם, הַדְּבָרִים שָׁלשׁ, הֲרֵי אַרְבָּעִים חָסֵר אֶחָת. (דברים כה, ג): אַרְבָּעִים יַכֶּנוּ לֹא יֹסִיף, כְּנֶגֶד אַרְבָּעִים קְלָלוֹת שֶׁנִּתְקַלְּלוּ נָחָשׁ וְחַוָּה וְאָדָם וַאֲדָמָה. וּפִחֲתוּ חֲכָמִים אֶחָת מִשּׁוּם לֹא יֹסִיף, רַבּוּ זְכֻיּוֹת מְלִיצֵי טוֹבוֹת וּפָחֲתוּ עֲוֹנוֹת, מוּטָב שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ שְׁנַיִם וְיִדְחוּ אֶחָד. (ירמיה כה, כו, נא, מא): שֵׁשַׁךְ בְּא"ת ב"שׁ, בָּבֶל. (ישעיה ז, ו): טָבְאַל בְּאלב"ם, רמלא. (ויקרא טז, ג): בְּזֹאת יָבֹא אַהֲרֹן אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ בְּפַר בֶּן בָּקָר לְחַטָּאת וְאַיִל לְעֹלָה, בְּזֹאת רֶמֶז לְמִקְדָּשׁ רִאשׁוֹן שֶׁיַּעֲמֹד אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וְעֶשֶׂר שָׁנָה.

21 The Seers (i.e., the prophets) were the ones who said the doubled letters, mantzepakh (mem, nun, tzadi, peh, and kaf, which are the letters that have a different form when they appear at the end of a word). [The doubling of kaf that is found in Genesis 12:1,] "Lekh lekha (Go for yourself)," hints to Avraham that he will father Yitschak at one hundred years [of age] (as the numerical value of these two words is one hundred). [The doubling of mem that is found in Genesis 26:16,] "ki atsamta memenu (as you have become more powerful than us)" is a hint [to Yitschak] that hints that he and his seed will be powerful in both worlds. The doubling of nun [that is found in Genesis 32:12,] "Hatsileini na (Save me)" [is a hint to] Yaakov, [that] he will be saved in both worlds. The doubling of peh [that is found in Exodus 3:15, is a hint to] Israel, to Moshe,"pakod pakadeti etchem (I have surely remembered you)." The doubling of tzadi [that is found in Zachariah 6:12,] "hinei eesh, Tsemach shemo, [ou'metachtav yitsmach] (behold, a man called Branch shall branch out from the place where he is,)" is [referring to] the messiah. And so is it stated (Jermiah 23:5), "vahikimoti leDaveed tsemach tsadeek [...] (and I will raise up a true branch of David [...])." "The leader of fifty" (Isaiah 3:3). Twenty-four books (of the Bible); add to them eleven of the thirteen [books of the minor prophets] - besides Yonah which is by itself - and six orders of the Mishnah and nine chapters of Torat Kohanim, behold fifty. "Sixty were the queens," (Song of Songs 6:8), sixty tractates; "and eighty were the concubines," eighty study halls that were in Jerusalem corresponding to its gates.; and maidens without number," the study outside. "Behold the bed of Shlomo, sixty warriors" (Song of Songs 3:7). [This corresponds to] the sixty letters of the priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24-26). Three hundred and eighteen [souls mentioned in Genesis 14:14 is the numerical equivalent of] Eliezer. "Inasmuch (ekev) as Avraham obeyed Me and kept My charge: My commandments, My laws, and My teachings" - he recognized him when he was three (the numerical equivalent of ekev being three less than that of Avraham). The Satan (HaSatan) has the numerical equivalent of three hundred and sixty-four, the count of the days of the solar year that he rules over all of them to slander, excepting Yom Kippur. Rabbi Ami beiRabbi Abba said, "Avraham was missing five organs before he was circumcised and [before] he fathered. The [letter] hay (with a numerical value of five) was added [to his name] and he became complete and fathered [corresponding to the complete set of organs, two hundred and forty-eight], the numerical count of his letters." "A woman of valor is the crown of her husband" (Proverbs 12:4) - that is Sarah. Her name had been Sarai. Two Amoraim (later rabbinic teachers) differed. One said, "The [letter] yod [with a numerical count of ten that was taken from her] was divided into two, [to give] a hay to Avaraham and a hay to Sarah." And [the other] said, "The yod that was taken from Sarah raised a protest until Yehshoua came and Moshe added to him a yod - the Lord save you from the counsel of the [other] spies. [The significance of the letters in the name,] Yitschak [is as follows]: Yod [with a numerical count of ten] corresponds to the ten trials [of Avraham]. [The letter] tsadi [with a numerical count of ninety, as] Sarah was ninety when he was born. [The letter] chet [with a numerical count of eight, as] he was circumcised on the eighth day. And the letter kof [with a numerical count of one hundred, as] Avraham was a hundred years old when he was born. Yaakov was called according to [the significance of the letters of] his [own] name: Yod [corresponds to] the tenth of his offspring going backwards. Count from (the last son), Binaymin to Levi - there are ten sons, [and Levi] was the tenth. [The letter] ayin [with a numerical count of seventy corresponds to the number of offspring he took to Egypt], "with seventy souls" (Deuteronomy 10:22). Kof corresponds to the [number of the] letters of the blessing [that he received minus the name of God, "And may He give you [etc.]" (Genesis 27:28). [The letter] bet [with a numerical count of two] remains, corresponding to two angels [that he saw on the ladder in his dream] rising. There were six hundred and thirteen commandments in the tablets - corresponding to the letters from "I am" (Exodus 20:2) to "to your neighbor" (Exodus 20:14) - corresponding to the six hundred and thirteen commandments - no less and no more. And they were all given to Moshe at [Mount] Sinai; and in them are statutes and judgments, Torah and Mishnah, Talmud and aggadah. "The fear of the Lord is his treasure" (Isaiah 33:6). There is no greater characteristic than fear and humility, [as it is stated] (Deuteronomy 10:12), "And now Israel, what does the Lord, your God, ask of you besides to fear Him [...]." "The fear of" (Yirat) has a numerical value of six hundred and eleven; and Torah has a numerical value of six hundred and eleven - and Torah and fear [of God] along with them, behold that is six hundred and thirteen. [The numerical value of] fringes (tsitsit) [is six hundred] - the rabbis taught: [Add] eight [strings] and five [knots], behold that is six hundred and thirteen. The days of Avraham were one hundred and seventy-five years, [of] Yitzchak were one hundred and eighty years [and of] Yaakov were a hundred and forty-seven years. When you put them together, it is found to be five hundred and two years. And so is the distance of the the heavens to the earth, "like the the days of the heavens above the earth" (Deuteronomy 11:21). "[The man (David)] raised on high" (II Samuel 23:1) - [high (al) has a numerical value of one hundred] corresponding to one hundred blessings. As on every day, one hundred men of Israel were dying. [So] David came and ordained [the daily saying of] one hundred blessings. Once he ordained them, the pestilence ceased. High (al) [corresponds to] the yoke (ulah) of Torah and the yoke of suffering. "Forgive all guilt and take the good (tov) that we pay with the words of our lips" (Hosea 14:3). Israel said, "Master of the world, at the time that the Temple existed, we would offer a sacrifice and be cleansed. But now all we have in our hand is prayer." The numerical value of tov is seventeen. Prayer [consists of] nineteen blessings. Take away from them the blessing for the malfeasers that was composed at Yavneh, and "Let the sprout of David blossom," which they ordained after it for the sake of "Probe me, Lord, and try me" (Psalms 26:2). Rabbi Simon says, "Take tov [in at-bash (matching letters based on how close they are to the center of the alphabet), which is the same] as the numerical value of soul (nefesh). Israel said, 'at the time that the Temple existed, we would incinerate the fats amd the innards and be cleansed. But now behold our fat, our blood and our souls. May it be Your will that it be atonement for us and "that we pay with the words of our lips" (Hosea 14:3).'" "And the Lord gave her conception (herayon)" (Ruth 4:13). [Herayon] has a numerical value of two hundred and seventy one (the number of the days of the nine months of birthing). The measure of the water of a mikveh (ritual bath) is forty seah [corresponding to the forty mentions] of well water, written in the Torah. And [the volume of] how many eggs is the measure of the mikveh? Five thousand seven hundred and sixty. Each seah is a hundred and forty-four eggs. Forty-three and a fifth eggs is the measure of [what is required for] hallah [tithe]. And from where [do we know] that a mikveh requires forty seah? As it is written (Isaiah 8:6), "Since this nation has rejected the waters of Shiloach that flow gently (le'at)." The numerical value [of le'at] is forty. And one who separates the measure of the hallah [tithe] must separate one part in forty three and a fifth from Torah writ like the [numerical] value of hallah. The main categories of work [on Shabbat] are forty minus one (thirty-nine), as it is written (Exodus 35:1), "These (eleh) are the things which the Lord commanded." [The numerical count of] "eleh" is thirty-six; "things" (being plural) is two; "the things" [indicates an additional] one - behold, forty minus one. "He shall strike him forty, he shall not add" (Deuteronomy 25:3), corresponds to the forty curses that the snake, Chava, Adam and the ground were cursed - and the sages lessened one, because of "he shall not add." Those [judges] advocating innocence are more those advocating guilt. [For] it is best for the two to come and push off one. Seshach is Bavel (Babylon) [according to] its numerical value in at-bash. Tavel is Ramlah [according to] its numerical value in al-bam (another numerical scheme). "Thus only shall Aaron enter the Shrine: with a bull of the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering" (Leviticus 16:3)....

22 כב

יִתְבָּרַךְ שְׁמוֹ שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁבָּרָא אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ בְּחָכְמָה וּבִתְבוּנָה, לְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֵין חֵקֶר וְלִגְדֻלָּתוֹ אֵין מִסְפָּר, דִּכְתִיב (תהלים לג, ז): כֹּנֵס כַּנֵּד מֵי הַיָּם נֹתֵן בְּאוֹצָרוֹת תְּהוֹמוֹת, מַהוּ כֹּנֵס כַּנֵּד, כְּשֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ אָמַר לוֹ לְשַׂר שֶׁל יָם פְּתַח פִּיךָ וּבְלַע כָּל מֵימוֹת בְּרֵאשִׁית, אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם דַּיִּי שֶׁאֶעֱמֹד בְּשֶׁלִּי, הִתְחִיל לִבְכּוֹת, בָּעַט בּוֹ וַהֲרָגוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איוב כו, יב): בְּכֹחוֹ רָגַע הַיָּם וּבִתְבוּנָתוֹ מָחַץ רָהַב, אַתְּ מוֹצֵא שֶׁשַֹּׂר שֶׁל יָם רַהַב שְׁמוֹ. מֶה עָשָׂה הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא כְּבָשָׁן וּדְרָכָן וְקִבְּלָן הַיָּם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (עמוס ד, יג): וְדָרַךְ עַל בָּמֳתֵי אָרֶץ. וְשָׂם לָהֶם חוֹל בְּרִיחַ וּדְלָתַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (איוב לח, ח): וַיָּסֶךְ בִּדְלָתַיִם יָם, וּכְתִיב (ירמיה ה, כב): הַאוֹתִי לֹא תִירָאוּ נְאֻם ה' אִם מִפָּנַי לֹא תָחִילוּ אֲשֶׁר שַׂמְתִּי חוֹל גְּבוּל לַיָּם, וּכְתִיב (איוב לח, יא): וָאֹמַר עַד פֹּה תָבוֹא וְלֹא תֹסִיף. אָמַר לוֹ הַיָּם רַבִּי אִם כֵּן יִתְעָרְבוּ מֵימַי הַמְתוּקִין בַּמְלוּחִים, אָמַר לוֹ לָאו, כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד יֵשׁ לוֹ אוֹצָר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים לג, ז): נֹתֵן בְּאוֹצָרוֹת תְּהוֹמוֹת, אִם תֹּאמַר שֶׁזֶּה תֵּמַהּ גָדוֹל שֶׁאֵין מִתְעָרְבִים כָּל מֵימֵי הַיָּם, הֲרֵי פַּרְצוּף שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּבְנֵי אָדָם מְלֹא הַסִּיט יֵשׁ בּוֹ כַּמָּה מַעְיָנוֹת וְאֵין מִתְעָרְבִין זֶה בָּזֶה, מֵי עֵינַיִם מְלוּחִין, מֵי אָזְנַיִם שְׁמֵנִים, מֵי הַחֹטֶם סְרוּחִים, מֵי הַפֶּה מְתוּקִין. מִפְּנֵי מָה מֵי עֵינַיִם מְלוּחִין, שֶׁבִּזְמַן שֶׁאָדָם בּוֹכֶה עַל הַמֵּת בְּכָל שָׁעָה מִיָּד הָיָה מִסְתַּמֵּא, אֶלָּא עַל שֶׁהֵן מְלוּחִין פּוֹסֵק וְאֵינוֹ בּוֹכֶה. מִפְּנֵי מָה מֵי אָזְנַיִם שְׁמֵנִים, שֶׁכְּשֶׁאָדָם שׁוֹמֵעַ שְׁמוּעָה קָשָׁה, אִלֵּימָא תּוֹפְשָׂהּ בְּאָזְנָיו מִתְקַשֶּׁרֶת וּמֵת, מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁהֵם שְׁמֵנִים מַכְנִיס בָּזֶה וּמוֹצִיא בָּזֶה, מִפְּנֵי מָה מֵי הַחֹטֶם סְרוּחִים, שֶׁבִּזְמַן שֶׁאָדָם מֵרִיחַ רֵיחַ רַע, אִלֵּימָא מֵי הַחֹטֶם סְרוּחִים שֶׁמַּעֲמִידִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד מֵת. מִפְּנֵי מָה מֵי הַפֶּה מְתוּקִין, פְּעָמִים אוֹכֵל אֲכִילָה וְאֵינָהּ מִתְקַבֶּלֶת בְּלִבּוֹ, אִם אֵין מֵי הַפֶּה מְתוּקִין אֵין נַפְשׁוֹ חוֹזֶרֶת עוֹד, וְעוֹד לְפִי שֶׁקּוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה, דִּכְתִיב בָּהּ (תהלים יט, יא): וּמְתוּקִים מִדְּבַשׁ, לְפִיכָךְ מֵי הַפֶּה מְתוּקִין, וַהֲלוֹא דְבָרִים קַל וָחוֹמֶר, וּמַה מְּלֹא הַסִּיט יֵשׁ בּוֹ כַּמָּה מַעְיָנוֹת, הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ (תהלים קד, כה): זֶה הַיָּם גָּדוֹל וּרְחַב יָדַיִם שָׁם רֶמֶשׂ וְאֵין מִסְפָּר, לְלַמֶּדְךָ שֶׁבְּכָל מָקוֹם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עוֹשֶׂה שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ וְלֹא בָּרָא דָּבָר אֶחָד לְבַטָּלָה, פְּעָמִים שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ עַל יְדֵי צְפַרְדֵעַ וּפְעָמִים עַל יְדֵי צִרְעָה וּפְעָמִים עַל יְדֵי עַקְרָב. אָמַר רַבִּי חָנִין דְּצִפּוֹרִי מַעֲשֶׂה בְּעַקְרָב אֶחָד שֶׁהָלַךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן וְזִמֵּן לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא צְפַרְדֵעַ אַחַת וְעָבַר עָלֶיהָ, וְהָלַךְ אוֹתוֹ עַקְרָב וְעָקַץ אֶת הָאָדָם. וְכֵן מַעֲשֶׂה בְּקוֹצֵר אֶחָד שֶׁהָיָה מְעַמֵּר וְקוֹצֵר בְּבִקְעַת בֵּית תּוֹפֶת, כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּא הַשָּׁרָב נָטַל עֵשֶׂב וְקָשַׁר בְּרֹאשׁוֹ, אֲתָא עֲלֵיהּ חִוְיָא גִּבָּר קָם קַטְלֵיהּ, עֲבַר עֲלֵיהּ חַבָּר, חָמָא קְטִיל חִוְיָא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ מַאן קְטַל הָדֵין חִוְיָא, אֲמַר לֵיהּ אֲנָא, אִסְתַּכַּל עִשְׂבָּא דִּבְרֵישֵׁיהּ אֲמַר לֵיהּ מֵרִים אַתְּ עִשְׂבָּא דִּבְרֵישֵׁךְ וְאַתְּ מַשְׁבִּיחַ, עֲבַד הָכֵי, קָרַב לְגַבֵּיהּ, לֹא הִסְפִּיק לִגַּע בּוֹ עַד שֶׁנָּשַׁר אֵבָרִים אֵבָרִים. רַבִּי יַנַּאי הָיָה יוֹשֵׁב וּפוֹשֵׁט בְּפֶתַח עִירוֹ, רָאָה נָחָשׁ מַרְתִּיחַ וּבָא לָעִיר, מַאן דְּמוֹקְמִין לֵיהּ מִן הָכָא אָזֵיל לְהָכָא, מַאן דְּמוֹקְמִין לֵיהּ מִן הָכָא אָזֵיל לְהָכָא, אָמַר זֶה הוֹלֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּכְנַס לָעִיר נָפְלָה הֲבָרָה בָּעִיר פְּלוֹנִי בַּר פְּלוֹנִי נְשָׁכוֹ נָחָשׁ וָמֵת. רַבִּי יִצְחָק בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר הֲוָה מְטַיֵּל בְּשׁוּנִיתָא בְּקֵיסָרִי, מָצָא קוּלִית אַחַת מֻשְׁלֶכֶת בַּדֶּרֶךְ הָיָה מַצְנַע לָהּ מִן הָכָא הָדַר מַשְׁכַּח לָהּ מִן הָכָא, אָמַר כִּמְדֻמֶּה אֲנִי שֶׁזּוֹ מְתֻקֶּנֶת לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתָהּ, בָּתַר יוֹמִין עֲבַר בַּלְדָּר מִן מַלְכוּתָא נִכְשַׁל בָּהּ וְנָפַל בָּהּ וָמֵת, בָּדְקוּ אַחֲרָיו וּמָצְאוּ בְּיָדוֹ כְּתָבִין בִּישִׁין עַל יְהוּדָאִין. מַעֲשֶׂה בִּשְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם שֶׁהָיוּ מְהַלְּכִין בַּדֶּרֶךְ, אֶחָד פִּקֵּחַ וְאֶחָד סוּמָא, יָשְׁבוּ לֶאֱכֹל פָּשְׁטוּ יְדֵיהֶם לְעִשְׂבֵּי הַשָֹּׂדֶה וְאָכְלוּ, זֶה שֶׁהָיָה פִּקֵּחַ נִסְתַּמָּא, וְזֶה שֶׁהָיָה סוּמָא נִתְפַּקַּח, לֹא זָזוּ מִשָּׁם עַד שֶׁזֶּה נִסְמַךְ עַל זֶה שֶׁהָיָה סוֹמְכוֹ. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְּאֶחָד שֶׁהָיָה הוֹלֵךְ מֵאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְבָבֶל, כְּשֶׁהָיָה אוֹכֵל לֶחֶם רָאָה שְׁנֵי צִפֳּרִים מִתְנַצִּין זֶה עִם זֶה, הָרַג אֶחָד מֵהֶם אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ, הָלַךְ וְהֵבִיא עֵשֶׂב וְהִנִּיחוֹ עַל פִּיו וְהֶחֱיָהוּ, הָלַךְ אוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ וְנָטַל אוֹתוֹ הָעֵשֶׂב שֶׁנָּפַל מִן הַצִּפּוֹר וְהָלַךְ לְהַחֲיוֹת בּוֹ אֶת הַמֵּתִים, כְּשֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְסֻלָּמָהּ שֶׁל צוֹר מָצָא אֲרֵי מֻשְׁלָךְ וּמֵת, הֵנִיחַ הָעֵשֶׂב עַל פִּיו וְהֶחֱיָּהוּ, עָמַד הָאֲרִי וַאֲכָלוֹ, מַתְלָא אָמְרִין טַב לְבִישׁ לָא תַעֲבֵיד וּבִישָׁא לָא מָטֵי לָךְ. מַעֲשֶׂה בְּשִׂיחִין אֶחָד סוּמָא שֶׁיָּרַד בַּמַּיִם לִטְבֹּל, נִזְדַּמְּנָה לוֹ בְּאֵרָהּ שֶׁל מִרְיָם וְטָבַל וְנִתְרַפֵּא. טִיטוּס הָרָשָׁע נִכְנַס בְּבֵית קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים כְּשֶׁהוּא מְחָרֵף וּמְגַדֵּף, עָמַד וְגִדֵּר אֶת הַפָּרֹכֶת וְנָטַל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וְהִצִּיעָהּ וְהֵבִיא שְׁתֵּי זוֹנוֹת וְעָבַר עֲלֶיהֶן, וְשָׁלַף חַרְבּוֹ וְקִצֵּץ אֶת סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה, נַעֲשָׂה נֵס הִתְחִיל דַּם מְבַצְבֵּץ מִמֶּנּוּ, הִתְחִיל מִשְׁתַּבֵּחַ לוֹמַר שֶׁעַצְמוֹ הָרַג, הִתְחִיל מִתְגַּבֵּר וְהוֹלֵךְ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לַיָּם הָיָה הַיָּם הוֹלֵךְ וְסוֹעֵר, אָמַר אֱלֹהֵיהֶם שֶׁל אֵלּוּ אֵין גְּבוּרָתוֹ אֶלָּא בַּיָּם, אִם הוּא רוֹצֶה יַעֲלֶה לַיַּבָּשָׁה וְנִרְאֶה מִי נוֹצֵחַ, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא רָשָׁע בֶּן רָשָׁע בְּרִיָּה פְּחוּתָה קַלָּה שֶׁבִּבְרִיּוֹתַי אֲנִי מַשְׁלִיחַ בְּךָ לְבַעֶרְךָ מִן הָעוֹלָם. נִכְנַס יַתּוּשׁ בְּחָטְמוֹ וּמֵת בְּמִיתָה מְשֻׁנָּה. וְלָמָּה נִקְרָא בְּרִיָּה שְׁפָלָה, עַל שֶׁמַּכְנִיס וְאֵינוֹ מוֹצִיא. וּפְעָמִים עַל יְדֵי צִרְעָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג, כח): וְשָׁלַחְתִּי אֶת הַצִּרְעָה. אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ כְּשֶׁשָּׁלַח הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת הַצִּרְעָה לִפְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַהֲרֹג אֶת הָאֱמוֹרִים, רְאֵה מַה כְּתִיב בָּהֶן (עמוס ב, ט): וְאָנֹכִי הִשְׁמַדְתִּי אֶת הָאֱמֹרִי מִפְּנֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר כְּגֹבַהּ אֲרָזִים גָּבְהוֹ וְחָסֹן הוּא כָּאַלּוֹנִים וָאַשְׁמִיד פִּרְיוֹ מִמַּעַל וגו'. הָיְתָה נִכְנֶסֶת לְתוֹךְ עֵינוֹ שֶׁל יְמִין וְשׁוֹפֶכֶת אִרְסָהּ וְהָיָה מִתְבַּקֵּעַ וְנוֹפֵל וָמֵת, שֶׁכֵּן דַּרְכּוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לַעֲשׂוֹת שְׁלִיחוּתוֹ עַל יְדֵי דְבָרִים קַלִּים, לְכָל הַמִּתְגָּאִין עָלָיו שָׁלַח לָהֶם בְּרִיָה קַלָּה לְהִפָּרַע מֵהֶם, לְהוֹדִיעֲךָ שֶׁאֵין גְּבוּרָתָן מַמָּשׁ, וְלֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא עָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִפָּרַע מִן הָאֻמּוֹת עַל יְדֵי דְבָרִים קַלִּים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה ז, יח): וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִשְׁרֹק ה' לַזְּבוּב אֲשֶׁר בִּקְצֵה יְאֹרֵי מִצְרָיִם וְלַדְּבוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ אַשּׁוּר.

23 כג

וּמַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן (במדבר יז, כא), יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים הוּא הַמַּטֶּה שֶׁהָיָה בְּיַד יְהוּדָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית לח, יח): וּמַטְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדֶךָ. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים הוּא הַמַּטֶּה שֶׁהָיָה בְּיַד משֶׁה וּמֵעַצְמוֹ פָּרַח, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יז, כג): וְהִנֵּה פָּרַח מַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן. וְאִית דְּאָמְרֵי נָטַל משֶׁה קוֹרָה אַחַת וַחֲתָכָהּ לִשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר נְסָרִים, וְאוֹמֵר לָהֶם כֻּלְּכֶם מִקּוֹרָה אַחַת טְלוּ מַקֶּלְכֶם, וְעַל מֶה עָשָׂה (משלי כ, ג): כָּבוֹד לָאִישׁ שֶׁבֶת מֵרִיב וְכָל אֱוִיל יִתְגַלָּע, שֶׁלֹא יֹאמְרוּ מַקְלוֹ הָיָה לַח וְהִפְרִיחַ. וְגָזַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל הַמַּקֵּל וְנִמְצָא עָלָיו שֵׁם הַמְפֹרָשׁ שֶׁהָיָה בַּצִּיץ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יז, כג): וַיֹּצֵא פֶרַח וַיָּצֵץ צִיץ, וְהִפְרִיחַ בּוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה, וְעָשָׂה פֶּרִי (במדבר יז, כג): וַיִּגְמֹל שְׁקֵדִים, גָּמַל לְכָל מִי שֶׁהָיָה שׁוֹקֵד עַל שִׁבְטוֹ שֶׁל לֵוִי, וְלָמָּה שְׁקֵדִים וְלֹא רִמּוֹנִים וְלֹא אֱגוֹזִים, לְפִי שֶׁנִּמְשְׁלוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּהֶם, וְאוֹתוֹ הַמַּטֶּה הָיָה בְּיַד כָּל מֶלֶךְ וּמֶלֶךְ עַד שֶׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְנִגְנַז, וְאוֹתוֹ הַמַּטֶּה עָתִיד לִהְיוֹת בְּיַד מֶלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קי, כ): מַטֵּה עֻזְּךָ יִשְׁלַח ה' מִצִּיּוֹן רְדֵה בְּקֶרֶב אֹיְבֶיךָ: