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Torah from Dixie presents "Cloning in Jewish Law" 

Summary of this week's Torah portion


by the editors
of Torah from Dixie

Summary of this week's Torah portion: Parshat Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) begins with the famous rebellion led by Korach against his cousins, Moses and Aaron, claiming that the two of them had usurped power from the rest of the Jewish people. After attempting to convince the rebels to retreat, Moses tells the dissenters and Aaron to offer up ketoret (incense) to Hashem, the acceptance of which would determine who is the chosen leader. At Moses' request to Hashem, the earth miraculously opens up and swallows the leaders of the rebellion, and a flame comes forth to consume the other antagonists. When the survivors complain about the mass death, Hashem threatens to destroy them too; once again Moses and Aaron intervene, using the ketoret service to prevent the demise of the complainers by a plague. In this way, and through the wondrous blossoming of Aaron's staff from amongst those of the other tribal heads, they were proven to be the chosen leaders. Aaron's role as the kohen gadol (high priest) is reiterated, and the Torah describes the gifts to be given to the kohanim (priests) as a reward for their service in the mishkan (tabernacle), including the right to eat certain portions from the karbanot (offerings). The Levites are also to be rewarded for their dedication by receiving ma'aser, or one tenth, of all crops produced by the Jewish people.



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