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    Taking & betaking – Korach

    The sidra begins with the phrase Vayikkach Korach, “And Korach took”.

    What did Korach take? Was he a thief who makes a living from taking things that belong to other people? Probably not, so what did Korach take?

    Some say that the phrase means, “And Korach betook himself”. In that sense the text is being idiomatic, using a phrase that has a particular sense in the development of language.

    In English you can use the word take in many more senses than simply “to take” with the meaning of “to steal”. Examples are, “Take note… Take a note… Take yourself home… Take yourself off… He was taken with the idea… She was taken with the boy… They were all on the uptake…”.

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