Thursday, June 21, 2012
In the ancient paleo Hebrew the name Korach starting with Quph, was depicted by the sun in the horizon with a vertical line dissecting it, a circle cut in half, the meaning that this symbol gave was to condense, circle and time. The second letter Reish is the head of a man, meaning first, top and beginning. The last letter Chet depicts a tent wall, and it depicts outside, divide and half. How appropriate the name, it is usually defined as boldness or hail even frost, however we can see that picture language gives a more define and concrete meaning to the name, and this is my interpretation just by looking at the picture language. Just as it is in the beginning it is at the end a division, wanting to be first, on top of all, but causes division dissecting in half keeping outside others. Korach may have been an individual that was bold and had ambition, and was not content with being in the periphery of the service of the altar. He saw that being the one that performed the highest office was looked favorably in his eyes and the eyes of others. There is nothing wrong with ambition but the intent of that ambition is what determines the outcome of how we view ourselves and how we affect others peoples lives.
In the case of Korach his ambition, his thirst for power was not only detrimental for his own life but his household and those around his own circle of trust and influence. What we do matters, as we do not live in a vacuum, how we comport ourselves, has a bearing not just in or lives but in those that are part of our life, primarily family relatives, close friends, and acquaintances. Korach’s words to Moses was something that many of us have witnessed at one time or another or even may have uttered ourselves, “You take too much on yourself, since all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the YHVH is among them: why then lift yourselves up above the assembly of the YHVH?” One can only imagine what went through Moses heart at the time, this is the same person that was looking for excuses not lead the people and now this is set before his face, discontent yet again, yet he knew that his God that sees the hearts would surely settle the matter. However he was most upset, as he knew that what they had been given to the house of Levi, was an extreme honor, to be able to get close to the tabernacle and to serve if albeit at the door steps of the tabernacle, it was more than any other Israelite or stranger amongst them could do, yet it was depised. Moreover there were two other heads of families that would not come to see Moses at his command and even had the audacity to say that their slavery time in Egypt was the land of milk and honey, something that YHVH had promised would take them to.
We live in times very much like times of old, we look back and murmur, how could they have said that but we are no different, what is just we call evil and what is evil we call right and just. Normality is upside down, everything is back-to-front, but this episode that we witness year after year as we read this parasha, should send alarm bells in our head and brain, just as Moses called out to to depart away from the evil doers, those that had no part with these wicked man, we are called to separate ourselves with those practicing abomination. Numbers 16:23: The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Numbers 16:24: “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram!’” Numbers 16:25: Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. Numbers 16:26: He spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins!”
This parasha paints a picture that the evil doers were defiant to the last one of them, even the little ones, that they stood their ground, only to be swallowed alive by the ground. The rest were consumed by fire, for their rebelliousness, what follows is most interesting as a pestilence broke through, and many began to die for yet another act of defiance and lack of understanding of YHVH’s kingdom, it is not a democracy, it never was and it never will be. God was about to wipe the lot out yet Moses understood what pleases YHVH, and sent the high Priest to atone for the sins of the people not with an animal sacrifice or animal blood, but rather with a censer, fire from the altar and incense. It is not what sacrifices we do and what we strive with our lives that makes us acceptable in the eyes of YHVH but rather a contrite and pray-full heart, in unison with Messiah, the incense of old represented the prayers of the Tzadik, the righteous, and that has not changed, in Yahoshua YHVH’s Salvation, Yeshua, we are deemed righteous.
Lets not forget that what it is written in the Torah is not just a story but rather a means that we may learn by past mistakes and successes, it said that you can trip a dog once, and possibly twice but never more than that. If animals that are deemed dumb in the eyes of some, are capable of learning a lesson so quickly why are we so slow at learning more valuable lessons?, that are more to do with eternal life and death issues. Are we able to see if we are acting like Korach or are we acting more like Moses? with an ever more finely tuned ear on the Spirit of YHVH, that we may discern the path that we are to take, that which is given to us in the Torah itself, a verse that comes to mind and resonates in my hear at this time is “if you love me, keep my commandments” John 14:15, and to keep His commandments is to be in Messiah, to be in Messiah is to be in Torah, John 1:1 and John 1:14.