Sunday, June 26, 2011

Korach was an example of a modern politician

One of the phony arguments used by Korach to attempt to trigger his revolt was to tell the "story" of a poor widow. This is actually like the story of the "poor children" who were put in front of the cameras to try to get Obamacare passed.
There was a widow with two small children who owned a plot of land
This story was being told shortly after the sin of the spies and after the בני ישראל had been condemned to wander in the dessert for forty years. However, noone could have actually owned land at that point. Any land in Egypt had that might have been under the control of the slaves would have been abandoned when they left. The land of Israel had not yet been entered so that the "widow" could not own land that had not yet been distributed.

In fact, even if it was meant to be set after the entry and settlement in the land it could not have been true. The land would have been inherited by her children and not by the widow. She could at most have been the administrator of her husband's estate. However, the people who died in the desert were those who were already at least 20 years old at the time of the spies. No man who was younger than twenty at the time of the spies died.  However, even if the children had been born just before the entry into the land, by the time the seven years of conquest and the seven years of distribution were over, the "children" would have been old enough to take over their inheritance.
When she went to plow the land, Moshe appeared and reminded her that she was forbidden to plow with an ox and a donkey together (kilayim).
Since he pretends that Moshe appeared and gave her the law, the incident must have occurred before they entered the land. However, besides the fact that they did not have land to sow while they were in the desert (which is why they were eating the manna), this law did not take effect until fourteen years after Moshe died and they first entered the land. In any case, she was not a "poor" widow considering what she was able to do.
When she went to sow the land, Moshe again appeared and told her that she could not plant a multiple seeds together (kilayim).
 Again the story has the problems mentioned above. Besides which we see that this is a wealthy widow and the "little field" is not so little since multiple crops could be sown.
At the harvest, Moshe reminded her of the laws of לקטת שככה ופעה (Leket, Shikchah, and Peah) which must be left for the poor. When it came time to store the produce Aharon appeared and demanded the levitical and priestly gifts of מעשר and תרומה (the tithe and the priestly portion).
Now we see Aharon entering the story even though he died before Moshe and before the entry into the land. Again the laws are described even though they could not have taken effect yet.

We also see that even if they had not taken effect, the laws announced for the benefit of the poor are treated as if they were unjust. Everyone was still wandering in the desert so that they could not have had a field to plant and till and harvest. They were still eating the daily manna so that they would not have needed the portions of the harvest that were set aside for the poor.

Besides that, the Levite and Priest cannot demand "their" portion of the grain. The owner of the grain, while required to give the portion, is able to choose which Levite or Priest is to receive the sacred portion.
In despair, she sold the land and bought two sheep for the wool, milk, and lambs. When the first lambs were born, Aharon appeared and demanded the first born of each sheep (בכור) When shearing time came, he appeared and demanded his portion (ראשית הגז - the first of the shearing).
Again we see the falsity from the actual words of the story. A כהן is forbidden to demand the required presents because the owner is allowed to choose whichever priest is to receive these "gifts".

We see that this widow was actually a very mean spirited person. She could not stand to enjoy her crop as long as any one else benefited. Just because she was reminded that the poor people or the Levite or Priest who had no other form of income were to get a portion of her crop, she sold the field so that no one would benefit.

Actually, the land was not hers, but her children's and by now they would have been old enough to claim the property. They would also have been required to make sure that she was supported, not just by the laws of the כתובה, but by the laws of honoring their mother. Even if she had the right to sell the field, she could only have sold it until the יובל (Yoveil - fifty year mark).

Consider also the price she supposedly got for the field. A field would have gone for more than the price of two female sheep that had never given birth. Had she bought fully grown sheep, of proven fertility and already giving milk, they would not have been subject to the law of the first born. What does this say about her character. She had to get rid of the field at once even if she had to sell it at a loss and she could not bring herself to buy anything that might have been of benefit to someone else in the past.

Notice how Korach carefully avoids bringing up the fact that she had no ram in order to impregnate the sheep. Thus, it is as if the lambs that were born appeared miraculously.

Of course, since she did not exist, this says more about Korach's character (who made her up) than the widow's.

Again in despair, she slaughtered the sheep, and Aharon appeared again and demanded the shoulder, the jaw, and the stomach in accordance with the laws of the Shelamim sacrifice.
Note again the fact that the "widow" could not bear to have any use out of something that someone else had benefited from. Now that the sheep had given birth, and the first shearing had been completed, they were no longer subject to the requirements of Priestly gifts. In spite of that, she could not allow herself to keep them even though she would have an income from now on and the flock would continue to increase (Assuming that the invisible rams continue to impregnate the sheep).

Korach silently changes the rules so that she has to give the priestly gifts for the slaughtered sheep just as in the time in the desert. The Children of Israel would not have noticed this as this was the situation that they were used to. All meat slaughtered for food were handled as a Shelamim sacrifice. Korach ignored the fact that once the land was entered, the people were allowed to slaughter and eat the meat separately and no longer required to bring all slaughtered animals to the altar.
In despair again, she declares the meat "cherem" or "hekdesh" so that no one can get any use out of it. Aharon appears again, claims the meat for the sanctuary and she is left with nothing.
Again she cannot bear to touch something that any one else has gotten benefit from. Instead of eating the meat, and getting a full meal (or meals) out of it, she attempts to make it totally unusable by anyone. Again, Korach attempts to make the law appear to be harsh and destructive. Just because she appears to have forgotten that the Priests eat from that which has been sanctified (because they have no other source of income), he pretends that she is being harmed in some way.

Note that he again changes the rules so that instead of eating the meat of the Shelamim sacrifice as required, she treats it as non sacred meat that can be made sacred. Also note that the ox and the donkey and the ram that appeared when they were needed to be part of the story have disappeared.

This is the way modern politicians attempt to bring up a story in order to convince people that their pet projects need to be passed. Similarly, when the politicians were trying to pass Obamacare, they claimed that children would be unable to get the drugs that they need even though the examples that they used actually were fully covered by current health insurance or were given the drugs free by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. In fact, it is only because of the laws that have been passed as a result of these stories that people find themselves in trouble.

Korach is an example of the modern day politician and used his false story to try to put himself in a position of power. He acted in the same way that Al Gore has acted with respect to "global warming" and his story is just as true.

Another interesting point about this is that it shows that Korach was like Bilam. He was greedy, and arrogant. This "widow" shows the characteristics of Bilam in refusing to allow any one else to benefit from something that is "hers".

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