Parashat Korach / Between memory and oblivion
Korach asks: What is one to do with a prayer shawl that embodies memory? Does it require fringes as reminders? Behind this seemingly innocuous question lurks a challenge to Moses’ and Aaron’s leadership.
Tractate Sanhedrin of the Jerusalem Talmud mentions heretics as one of the categories of individuals denied an afterlife. Rav cites Korach, one of the chief protagonists in this week’s Torah portion (Numbers 16:1-18:32), as the classic example of a heretic and explains how he became one.
“Rav says: Korach was a heretic. What did he do? He fashioned tallitot [prayer shawls] that were sky-blue in...
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