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June 16, 2015 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Korah

In response to a rebellion, Moses states “I have not taken one ass from them.” (Num. 16:15)- which means, according to the Soncino Chumash, that “I have never taken from them even an ass for my public services.”  In other words, Moses is saying “I am not a crook.”

But this claim kind of misses the point.  Nobody is accusing Moses of being financially corrupt; rather, Korach and his supporters are accusing him of being power-hungry, perhaps a more insidious (and often more dangerous) type of corruption.

So why does the Torah even repeat Moses’s remarks.  Possibly to tell us that at a minimum, public officials should be most careful about financial corruption because it is easiest to detect and thus makes citizens the most easily enraged.   Or alternatively, maybe we should learn that Moses doesn’t quite understand why people are rebelling against him- that is, that he is beginning with lose touch with the people, which in turn foreshadows his continued decline in the next few Torah portions.

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