Korach 2024



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

The end of this parsha describes the giving of trumot and ma’asrot to the Kohen and Levi respectively. This matter shows a differentiation between the Kohen and the Levi, a matter put to challenge by Korach and his followers in this parsha. The trumot and ma’asrot coming from the produce grown in the Holy Land can also be seen as a way to connect the entirety of the Holy Land where the Holy Presence rests with the primary focal point of the Holy Presence, the Holy Temple. This connection is made through giving the trumot and ma’asrot to the Kohanim and Levi’im which are chosen by Hashem to serve before Him in the Temple.
This painting emphasizes the vegetation and beauty of the Holy Land in the vicinity of the Temple. We see throughout the painting seven gateways. Seven is known to be a number that represents the sanctity in the natural world. The fact that there are seven gateways may represent how the natural world has “gates” and entrances to approach the Temple, representing holiness in general. Adjacent to the Temple there is a hill with ten trees. The number ten represents the realm of holiness itself, as there are ten sefirot, ten to complete a muinyan to say matters of sanctity, and more examples. The fact that this hill is adjacent tot the Temple may hint to the idea that the Temple represents the realm of sanctity itself beyond the realm of seven, the realm of sanctity in nature.
There are sources that place Hebron as the place where prayers rise to Heaven. Nevertheless, there are sources that prayers rise via the Temple Mount. The Lubavitcher Rebbe bridged these two ideas , saying that first the prayers come to Hebron, then they arise to Jerusalem, and finally they arise from Jerusalem to Heaven. Hebron has been associated with the number seven, as we find that King David ruled here seven years and the verse “Hebron seven years was built etc.”. We just associated the Temple with the number ten. In this way we may say the two themes of seven and ten in this painting may hint to the connection between Hebron and Jerusalem, especially through prayer and the trumot and ma’asrot that we mentioned!

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