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Torah Teasers Parshat Korach

Korach (Numbers 16-18 )

by Moshe Erlbaum

Challenging questions for the Shabbat table.

1. Besides parshas Korach, which five other parshas are named after a person?

Noach and Chayei Sarah in the book of Genesis. Yisro in the book of Exodus. Balak and Pinchas in the book of Numbers.

2. Aside from Moshe and Aharon, which two brothers are mentioned in this parsha?

Dasan and Aviram, the sons of Eliav, are the antagonists in the rebellion against Moshe (Numbers 16:1).

3. Who is mentioned in this parsha, but nowhere else in the entire Torah?

On ben Peles is mentioned in the original listing of the antagonists against Moshe (Numbers 16:1). He does not appear later in the parsha or anywhere else in the Torah.

4. The leader of the rebellion against Moshe is Korach the son of Yitzhar (Numbers 16:1). In what other context in this parsha is "yitzhar" referred to?

The Torah mentions the obligation to separate terumah from different forms of produce, such as yitzhar - "oil" (Numbers 18:12).

5. In this parsha, which land is described as "flowing with milk and honey?"

Dasan and Aviram describe the land of Egypt as "flowing with milk and honey" (Numbers 16:13).

6. In this parsha, the earth opened its mouth and swallowed Korach and his followers (Numbers 16:32). Where does the Torah refer to the land spitting out people?

In parshas Acharei Mos and Kedoshim, the Torah warns that if the Jews do not behave properly in the land of Canaan, the land will spit them out (Leviticus 18:28, 20:22).

7. In this parsha, Korach and his 250 followers bring incense. Where else is the number 250 mentioned in the Torah?

In parshas Ki Tisa, the ingredients of the anointing oil include 250 measures of fragrant cinnamon and 250 measures of fragrant cane (Exodus 30:23, see Rashi).

8. In this parsha, Moshe refers to Hashem as "God of the spirits of all flesh" (Numbers 16:22). Where else in the book of Numbers does Moshe refer to Hashem by that title?

In parshas Pinchas, when Moshe requested that Hashem choose a worthy successor to lead the Jews after his death, Moshe refers to Hashem with the title "God of the spirits of all flesh" (Numbers 27:16).

9. In this parsha, where are almonds mentioned? Where else in the Torah are almonds mentioned?

Aharon's staff grew flowers and almonds, while all the other staffs remained barren - proving that Aharon was chosen by Hashem (Numbers 17:23). In parshas Miketz, Yaakov sent a gift to Yosef that includes almonds (Genesis 43:11).

10. Which non-kosher animal is mentioned in this parsha? Where is the first time in the Torah that this animal appears?

Moshe states that he has not taken even one donkey from the Jews (Numbers 16:15). In parshas Vayera, Avraham saddled his donkey in preparation to journey to the binding of Yitzhak (Genesis 22:3).

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