Friday, June 7, 2013

Wrestling with Rebels

Tomorrow, my student Abby K becomes bat mitzvah at Temple Beth Shalom in Melrose.  She will read from Parshat Korach and comment on it, and I can't wait to hear what she says.  It's a most puzzling portion!

This is the Torah portion where Korach leads a large group of Israelites in challenging the authority of Moses and Aaron to lead them.  "Are not all God's people holy?", they ask.

My students and I have wrestled with this parshah over the years.  It raises so many questions.  Here are several of my previous posts about Korach's rebellion:

  1. David Matthews (the son of a friend, who became bar mitzvah at Temple B'nai Brith in Somerville) painted Aaron as the model of nonviolence, an ancestor of Gandhi and Occupy.
  2. That made me wonder: didn't Korach have a point
  3. When is questioning authority legitimate and when not?
  4. How should authority respond?
  5. How do we build institutions that force us to do the right thing: to respond to dissenters and not silence them?
Do you have your own answers to any of these questions? Please share them.  Shabbat shalom! 

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