How not to be like Korakh: the wisdom of humility

Do not separate yourself from the community – Hillel, Pirke Avot 2.5 This week’s Parashah records a paradigmatic moment of leadership disagreement. While most Israelites are consumed with the daily challenges of life – the tent is tilting, we have to pack for the move, where is the goat? – leadership is comparably, appropriately engagedContinue reading “How not to be like Korakh: the wisdom of humility”

Parashat Korakh: Uprising Time

Five days before this Erev Shabbat, summer time began with the solstice; the perfect balance of day time and night time. Erev Shabbat Korakh is the 103rd day of Coronavirus Time. We don’t yet know what that balance will be. Thursday night Portland saw the thirtieth day of street demonstrations, among the street gatherings thatContinue reading “Parashat Korakh: Uprising Time”

Shabbat Korakh: We Need Light Now

Things are going from bad to worse, worse that we thought they could get, in our parashat hashavua, called Korakh. Hundreds of Israelites, led by Korakh, rise up against the leadership. Hundreds of people die as a result, and – most horrifying – the situation at the end of the day is not fundamentally changed. We areContinue reading “Shabbat Korakh: We Need Light Now”

parashat hashavua Korakh: Makhloket

Our concept for the week is makhloket, which means “argument” or “disagreement” but comes from a root that can also mean “slippery”. It is a Hebrew word with impressive pedigree. In the Talmud, our Sages explain that there are two kinds of makhloket, that which is “for the sake of heaven” and that which is “notContinue reading “parashat hashavua Korakh: Makhloket”