Weekly Torah Portion: Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32)


Korach and his followers accuse Moses and Aaron of taking power and prestige for themselves at the expense of the community. Moses defends himself against the rebels by saying that the Lord will make God’s presence known by how God kills these rebels. Then God opens the ground and swallows Korach and his followers. Read an extensive summary on My Jewish Learning

Related D’var Torah

“Every year when we read Parashat Korach, the Torah portion we read this week, I am moved by the actions of Aaron.” – Rabbi Lisa in 2016. Read the full drash
“Today, no matter what challenges we face, these images of bloom and stone remind us of Judaism’s perpetual growth from its rock-solid foundation, making us grateful to Aaron and God for their abiding invitation to embrace the covenant and choose life not only for ourselves, but for others who need our help.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2015. Read the drash

“What is the role of leaders when presumably all are created equal?” – Rabbi Heather Miller in 2014. Read the full drash

“We love the peace which comes with equality with justice with fairness. Peace, shalom, means wholeness, really. Wholeness- when all the parts of our hearts and all the members of our society are wholly celebrated and wholly welcomed and wholly embraced and wholly equal. That’s the peace we’re fighting for, that’s the peace we’re dying for, that’s the peace we will never stop demanding.” – Rabbi Dror Chankin-Gould in 2013. Read the full drash

“Some of our teachers say the moral of the story of Korach is: You should be content with your lot in life. Don’t try to be Moses, be the best Korach you can be.” – Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2005. Read the full drash

“Another key element of leadership, twice in this portion, Moses and Aaron intercede on behalf of the rebellious Israelites.” Rabbi Lisa Edwards in 2000. Read the full drash

Torah Verse of the Week*

“You shall set aside all gifts due to G-d from everything that is donated to you, from each thing its best portion, the part thereof that is to be consecrated.” (Parashat Korach, Numbers 18:29)

Other Suggested Readings

“Nothing says summer is here more to me than seeing cherries at the grocery store.” – Rabbi Heather’s remarks during 2015 Shabbat service. Read here

We’ll base our discussion on “He stood between the living and the dead”, Rabbi Lisa’s commentary used in 2013 as the URJ’s official D’var Torah. Read it from our Telephone Torag Study Archives


*Torah Verse of the Week is chosen by the Torah class during Tuesdays’ studies with Rabbi Lisa Edwards. Check out when our next Torah Study takes place

Leave a Comment