Thursday, July 03, 2008

Korach: Are Egypt and Israel equal?

Parshat Korach

In 16:13-14, Dasan and Aviram are giving their response to Moshe who had called upon them to come talk with him. He was trying to sway them to drop out of the fight. They respond by saying (passuk 13) that he took them out of a land flowing with milk and honey... and (passuk 14) he did not even bring them into the promised land flowing with milk and honey.

Chazal broke up the aliya right in between those two psukkim. That is very unusual - to break an aliya in the middle of a sentence. Really it should even have waited, possibly, to break it up after Moshe's response, but at least wait until Dasn and Aviram finish saying what they were saying?

I would suggest that the reason Chazal put the break there is to cause us to think about what they were saying. Dasan and Aviram used the same exact words to describe Eretz Yisrael and Egypt. They described both as being the land flowing with milk and honey. They were equating the two lands - you took us from one, bring us to the other.

Chazal are making us think about that and saying stop. Dasan and AViram want to equate Eretz Yisrael and Egypt, but you cannot. they are not equal. We will make a division between them to show that.

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