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    Frightened of knowledge – Korach

    The death of Korach & his followers, by Gustave Dore

    The death of Korah, by Gustave Dore

    Korach was no crude bully. Nor was he a fool but a man who had the knowledge to ridicule and undermine Moses on intellectual grounds.

    He knew that the Torah which Moses taught ordains mezuzot on one’s gates and doors. Inside the mezuzah were verses from the Torah.

    Korach said, “So does one need a mezuzah on a whole house of books?” He knew that people needed fringes with a thread of blue. He said, “If you wear a whole garment of blue do you still need fringes?”

    Korach exemplified the saying, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

    At the beginning of history when God told Adam to keep away from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam was not yet mature enough to know how to handle knowledge.

    By Korach’s time, mankind should have had the requisite maturity. But no, Korach had to show off his learning without the leavening of humility and respect.

    Had he listened to Moses he would have seen what else he needed to learn. He would also have realised the wisdom of the first chapter of Pir’kei Avot which warns against rushing in to judge or criticise.

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