Challenging Moshe’s Authority

Rabbi Soloveitchik introduces the קרח rebellion as being the first time since יציאת מצרים that Moshe Rabbeinu’s authority was challenged. Even by חטא העגל, they were upset that Moshe had not returned on time. They still never doubted that he was the true leader.

Korach felt slighted when Aharon was elevated to the position of כהן גדול. He also accused Moshe of wanting to be king of Israel. And all of this, despite the fact that Korach was the wealthiest man in the world.

The Rav clarified that Moshe never saw himself as king. He was the ultimate “Rebbe”. He saw his role as the teacher of Torah to the עם. This is why he was known as Moshe Rabbeinu, Moshe, our teacher.

A great deal can be learned from the Korach rebellion. The main point is to be careful not to use religion as the justification for one’s personal aspirations. People fool themselves into thinking they are acting in a righteous manner when it is honor and glory that they seek.