Pearls of Rashi: Parshas Pinchos

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This week we read the Torah portion Pinchos. Several weeks ago, we read how Korach fomented a rebellion against Moshe and Aharon. Their punishment was that the earth opened up and swallowed Korach and his assembly. In this week’s Parshah, the Torah tells us that[1] “Korach’s sons, however, did not die.” Rashi explains that “They were originally involved in the conspiracy, but during the dispute, they contemplated repentance. Therefore, an elevated area was set apart for them in Gehinnom, and they stayed there.”

We need to understand why the Torah chose to tell us now that Korach’s children were saved? Why did the Torah wait over twenty chapters to let us know?

The explanation may be as follows. Regarding Korach’s assembly, the Torah tells us that[2] “They, and all they possessed, descended alive into the grave; the earth covered them up, and they were lost to the assembly.” That assembly was not aware of the fate of Korach’s children. They saw that Korach’s children initially participated in their father’s insurrection against Moshe. They also saw their punishment. However, they did not witness their Teshuvah, for, as Rashi explained, they only “contemplated Teshuvah” in their hearts. Korach’s children were lost to that assembly.

However, there was no reason for them to be lost to a subsequent assembly. The Jews who were alive now did not witness Korach’s rebellion. Rashi told us earlier that[3] “All were perfect, ready to enter the Land. There was not among them even one of those upon whom the decree had been pronounced, for all those destined to die in the desert had already perished, and these were of those about whom the Torah writes, ‘you… are all alive this day.'”

At this point, the generation that had witnessed Korach’s rebellion was no longer present. That is why now Korach’s children could leave the “elevated area was set apart for them in Gehinnom.” Now it became clear that “Korach’s sons did not die.”

I wish one and all a good Shabbos and a healthy summer! May we merit the time of the complete and true redemption, which will begin an eternal Shabbos!

Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 33, Pages 173 ff.

מוקדש לזכות כ”ק אדמו”ר נשיא דורנו מליובאוויטש

The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris

חיילי “צבאות השם” חיים ועדן עודד שיחיו מאריס
נדפס ע”י הוריהם
הרה”ת ר’ מנחם מענדל וזוגתו מרת חי’ מושקא שיחיו מאריס


[1]. Our Parshah, Bamidbar 26:11.

[2]. Parshas Korach, Bamidbar 16:33.

[3]. Parshas Chukas, Bamidbar 20:22.

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