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    No repentance – Korach

    The death of Korach, by Charles Foster, 1873

    The sages point out that some of Korach’s camp deserted him and some of his sons regretted their support of their father. They repented – but Korach didn’t.

    The Torah does not spell out the details, but one can read between the lines that Korach remained adamant (though some of the rabbis say that on the spot where the earth opened and swallowed Korach, a voice may be heard saying, “Moses and his supporters have the truth, and Korach and his company are liars”).

    It is a good thought for this time of the year as the calendar moves on towards Ellul and Tishri, the months of the Three Rs – remorse, repentance and return.

    Being adamant and stiff-necked is the sign of the sinner who cannot move out of his rut.

    Blessed is the man whose children are sorry for their father’s lapses. Blessed is the man whose children repent on his behalf.

    This suggests the true interpretation of the verse in the Ten Commandments that is usually understood as saying that “God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children”. Actually what the verse may be saying is that God recognises in the children the repentance they perform for the sins committed by the fathers.

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