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    Korach’s children – Korach

    The death of Korach & his followers, from the 1890 Holman Bible

    The death of Korah, from the 1890 Holman Bible

    Contrast Korach and Haman.

    Haman’s ten sons were hanged on the gallows and that disposed of them. Korach’s children survived and are credited with writing a whole group of psalms.

    The difference seems to be that Haman’s children were thoroughly behind their father. His evil was a family policy.

    Korach’s sons, however, are described by Rashi as having their doubts. Rashi says that at first the children backed their father but then they repented and tried to undo his evil.

    Where Korach used his tongue to attack Moses, the leader appointed by God, Korach’s children used their tongues to extol God and His wisdom (note that the “Sons of Korach” psalms are mostly meditative and thoughtful).

    This illustrates the teaching of the medieval authority Rabbi Jonah Gerondi that whatever faculty you have used for sin is the one which you should now divert to righteousness. If you used your feet to follow wrong paths, those same feet should now be utilised to take you to the synagogue and house of study.

    If you used your hands to fashion weapons, you should use the same hands to create gardening and agricultural tools (the great prophetic passage talks of turning swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks).

    I often tell the story of the sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein who as a child squashed a bird to death with his hands, and in later years he used those same hands to create wonderful works of art.

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