The Sting of Accusation
Parashat Korach

Dena Weiss

Korah’s rebellion was so deadly and so tragic because he and his allies met with resistance. When Korah confronted Moshe, Moshe could have ignored him. Korah’s claim that Moshe and Aharon had elected themselves was false and Moshe did not need to take it seriously. In fact, Aharon himself is silent throughout the episode, apparently unconcerned by Korah’s baseless claims. However, Moshe responds directly and repeatedly and in a way that escalates the level of confrontation. Had Moshe not engaged with Korah and his men, perhaps they would have disappeared of their own accord. So why does Moshe respond to them at all? Why doesn’t he walk away? By understanding the nature of this confrontation and the response more clearly we also gain insight into the dynamics of cruel and harmful speech, lashon hara, which we will learn does not only take place behind a person’s back, but also to their face.

The Sting of Accusation
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