because i don’t know how he’ll change it tomorrow

so I’ll write it here and take credit for my own words, especially since my gag rule for him mentioning me in shul is still in place.

I like to read the upcoming parashat hashavua on Shabbat afternoon/evening to be ready for the week ahead.  It’s a good habit left over from teaching for so many many years.  Last week, I used the Arbarbanel as a take-off point, since I like looking at his questions (more than the answers, usually).  So many people get caught in what the first sentence is about; what did Korach take?  But I think the parashah is about so much more than that one action.  Somehow and I don’t remember exactly how and why, I was struck by the over-emphasis of action verbs in this week’s parashah of Korach.

Here is a list of the verbs:

take, rose up, assembled,(talking), falling on face, separating, gathering, taking, falling some more, departing, swallowing up (the earth), fleeing…

You get the picture.  Very cinematic, right?  You can see for yourself here, if you want.  This is Chapter 16.

Now comes 17 and, all of a sudden, in the midst of tremendous activity, with Aharon running around, comes this:

יג וַיַּעֲמֹד בֵּין-הַמֵּתִים, וּבֵין הַחַיִּים; וַתֵּעָצַר, הַמַּגֵּפָה. 13 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

Stop action.

The different commentaries look at this as either a time when Aharon is dovening or trying to get information from various heavenly representatives, but I think it’s clear that he is figuring out for himself what his stance should be.  Figure out what you’re about and make your stand.  Good advice, no?

It’s also fascinating that the Torah says that the plague stops, then the next sentence states how many people died, and then goes on

15 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tent of meeting, and the plague was stayed. {P}

So, Aharon (or Aaron, whatever) makes his stand, figures out what he’s about, goes back to Moshe, but then why the need to mention the plague stopping again? Even if you say it’s to state that it had finished (as 0pposed to it starting to be finished; clumsy), why repeat?

I ‘ll have to work on that.

If you have any thoughts, let me know.

Shabbat Shalom.


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