Korach, Siman 2 קרח, ב׳
1 א

וַיִּקַח קֹרַח. מַה כְּתִיב לְמַעְלָה מִן הָעִנְיָן, דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם וְעָשׂוּ לָהֶם צִיצִת (במדבר טו, לח). קָפַץ קֹרַח וְאָמַר לְמֹשֶׁה, אַתָּה אוֹמֵר, וְנָתְנוּ עַל צִיצִת וְגוֹ' (שם). טַלִּית שֶׁכֻּלָּהּ תְּכֵלֶת, מַה הִיא שֶׁיְּהֵא פְּטוּרָה מִן הַצִּיצִית. אָמַר לוֹ מֹשֶׁה, חַיֶּבֶת בְּצִיצִית. אָמַר לוֹ קֹרַח, טַלִּית שֶׁכֻּלָּהּ תְּכֵלֶת אֵינָהּ פּוֹטֶרֶת עַצְמָהּ, וְאַרְבָּעָה חוּטִין פּוֹטֵר אוֹתָהּ. בַּיִת מָלֵא סְפָרִים, מַהוּ שֶׁתְּהֵא פְּטוּרָה מִן הַמְּזוּזָה. אָמַר לוֹ: חַיֶּבֶת בִּמְזוּזָה. אָמַר לוֹ: כָּל הַתּוֹרָה כֻּלָּהּ מָאתַיִם שִׁבְעִים וְחָמֵשׁ פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ, כֻּלָּן אֵין פּוֹטְרוֹת אֶת הַבַּיִת, וּשְׁתֵּי פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁבַּמְּזוּזָה פּוֹטְרוֹת אֶת הַבַּיִת. אָמַר לוֹ: דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ לֹא נִצְטַוֵּיתָ עֲלֵיהֶם, וּמִלִּבְּךָ אַתָּה בּוֹדְאָם. הֲדָא הוּא דִּכְתִיב: וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח. וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, אֵין וַיִּקַּח אֶלָּא לְשׁוֹן פְּלִיגָה, שֶׁלִּבּוֹ לְקָחוֹ, כְּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: מַה יִּקָּחֲךָ לִבֶּךָ וּמַה יִרְזְמוּן עֵינֶיךָ (איוב טו, יב). הוּא שֶׁמּשֶׁה אוֹמֵר לָהֶם, הַמְּעַט מִכֶּם כִּי הִבְדִּיל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶתְכֶם מֵעֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, כָּל אוֹתוֹ הָעִנְיָן, עַד אִם כְּמוֹת כָּל הָאָדָם יְמֻתוּן אֵלֶּה. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לַבְּרָכָה, חָכָם גָּדוֹל הָיָה קֹרַח, וּמִטּוֹעֲנֵי הָאֲרוֹן הָיָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְלִבְנֵי קְהָת לֹא נָתַן כִּי עֲבוֹדַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ עֲלֵיהֶם בְּכָתֵף יִשָּׂאוּ (במדבר ז, ט), קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת. כְּשֶׁאָמַר מֹשֶׁה, וְנָתְנוּ עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף פְּתִיל תְּכֵלֶת (שם טו, לח), מֶה עָשָׂה קֹרַח. מִיָּד צִוָּה וְעָשָׂה מָאתַיִם וַחֲמִשִּׁים טַלִּיתוֹת תְּכֵלֶת, וְנִתְעַטְּפוּ בָּהֶן אוֹתָן חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם אִישׁ רָאשֵׁי סַנְהֶדְרָאוֹת שֶׁקָּמוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה, כְּעִנְיָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּקוּמוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם. וּמִי הֵם. נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִיאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם. עָמַד קֹרַח וְעָשָׂה לָהֶם מִשְׁתֶּה, וְנִתְעַטְּפוּ כֻּלָּן בְּטַלִּיתוֹת תְּכֵלֶת וּבָאוּ בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן לִטֹּל מַתְּנוֹתֵיהֶן חָזֶה וְשׁוֹק הַיָּמִין. עָמְדוּ כְּנֶגְדָן וְאָמְרוּ לָהֶם, מִי צִוָּה אֶתְכֶם לִטֹּל כָּךְ, לֹא מֹשֶׁה. לֹא נָתַן לָכֶם כְּלוּם, שֶׁלֹּא דִּבֵּר עִמּוֹ הַמָּקוֹם מִזֶּה. בָּאוּ וְהוֹדִיעוּ לְמֹשֶׁה. הָלַךְ מֹשֶׁה לְפַיְּסָן. מִיָּד עָמְדוּ כְּנֶגְדוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּקוּמוּ לִפְנֵי מֹשֶׁה וַאֲנָשִׁים מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם. וּמִי הֵם. אֱלִיצוּר בֶּן שְׁדֵיאוּר וַחֲבֵרָיו אֲשֶׁר נִקְּבוּ בְּשֵׁמוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא פִּרְסְמָן הַכָּתוּב, נָתַן סִימָנֵיהֶן, וּמִתּוֹךְ הַמִּקְרָאוֹת אַתָּה מַכִּיר אוֹתָם. מָשָׁל לְמָה הַדָּבָר דּוֹמֶה. לְבֶן טוֹבִים שֶׁהָיָה גּוֹנֵב כֵּלִים בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ, וְלֹא הָיָה רוֹצֶה בַּעַל הַגְּנֵבָה לְפַרְסְמוֹ, הִתְחִיל נוֹתֵן בּוֹ סִימָנָיו. אָמְרוּ לוֹ: מִי גָּנַב כֵּלֶיךָ. אָמַר לָהֶם: אוֹתוֹ בֶּן טוֹבִים, בַּעַל קוֹמָה הוּא, עֵינָיו נָאוֹת, שַׂעֲרוֹתָיו שְׁחֹרוֹת, חָטְמוֹ נָאֶה. מִשֶּׁנָּתַן סִימָנָיו, יָדְעוּ מִי הוּא. וְאַף כָּאן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁסְּתָמָן הַכָּתוּב וְלֹא פֵּרֵשׁ אֶת שְׁמוֹתָן, וּבָא וְנָתַן אֶת סִימָנֵיהֶם, אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ מִי הֵם. נֶאֱמַר לְהַלָּן אֵלֶּה קְרוּאֵי הָעֵדָה נְשִׂיאֵי מַטּוֹת אֲבוֹתָם רָאשֵׁי אַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵם (במדבר א, טז), וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר נִקְּבוּ בְּשֵׁמוֹת (שם פסוק יז). וְנֶאֱמַר כָּאן, נְשִׂיאֵי עֵדָה קְרִיאֵי מוֹעֵד אַנְשֵׁי שֵׁם. וְיִקָּהֲלוּ עַל מֹשֶׁה וְעַל אַהֲרֹן.

(Numb. 16:1:) “Now Korah […] took.” What is written above the matter (in Numb. 15:38)?5Numb. R. 18:3. “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 it6Cf. 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 two parashiot which are 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 …?” [Plus] that whole passage up to (vs. 29), “If these people die the common death of every person.” 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.” And who are they? (Numb. 16:2, cont.:) “Princes of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of repute.” 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,7I.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 placate8Rt.: 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 publicized9From PRSM. Cf. Gk: parresiazesthai. their [names], it has given clues10Gk.: 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), “These were elected by the congregation, princes of their ancestral tribes, heads of thousands within Israel.” Then it is written (in vs. 17), “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.”