Parshas Korach
Numbers 16:1 -18:32

Elazar, Korach, Shuvah, Pride and Depression ©

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Michael and Mrs Channah Sakash, may they rest in peace.

Korach's pride was wounded. He felt ignored by Moshe. He felt excluded by Moshe's appointments. He resented the fact that he was not selected to be a Kohen. He was only a Levi. Korach felt slighted! His view was that his grandfather Amram had four sons of which his father Yitzhar was one. He was jealous of his uncle, Amram, and his uncle's children. He thought, 'Moshe is a king, his brother Aharon is Kohen Godal, his son Elazar is a Kohen and I am only a Levi!' The Midrash comments that Korach thought he was at least Elazar's equal. The Midrash states that Korach calculated that even the Gematria of his name was the same as the Gematria of Elazar, 308.

From this Korach commented, 'I cannot believe that Hashem commanded Moshe to distribute the offices so unjustly. Rather, Moshe must have done so by his own choice. Who says that each of his acts is dictated by Hashem, as he asserts?'

From this Korach began a series of verbal challenges directed at Moshe.

Korach remarked that the majority of the positions of dignitaries appointed to the Mishkon were to the immediate relatives of Moshe and his brother Aharon.

Korach remarked that Moshe appointed the Levium merely as assistants for his brother Aharon and his sons.

Korach questioned the princes of each tribe: "By what right did Moshe declare you unfit for the avoda and put the {Levium} in your place?"

Korach remarked to the tribe of Reuvein that Moshe slighted them at the inauguration of the altar by selecting the nassi of Yehuda to offer first instead of the nassi of Reuvein. Korach said that it was because Aharon, Moshe's brother, married Nachshon's sister, Elisheva.

Korach questioned, 'Why does Aharon deserve the position of priesthood?'

Korach's assault on Moshe is much deeper. The Midrash states, "Korach mocked the purification {process} ceremony...,... felt an intensified desire to rebel against and blaspheme the mitzvos. (In reality, Torah and mitzvos are an elixir for those who wish to purify themselves {by fasting}, but poison for those who seek to defile themselves.)"

The Gematria of Korach is 308.

{From right to left}

308 =
Chess = 8 + Reish = 200 + Kuf = 100

The Gematria of Elazar is 308.

308 =
Reish = 200 + Zayin = 7 + Ayin = 70 + Lamid = 30 + Aleph = 1

The Gematria of Li Ahr Baw Aw, meaning four as in the four sons of Kehas:
Amram, Yitzhar, Chevron and Uziel. This was Korach's first point of contention. Why were the descendants of Amram selected over the descendants of Yitzhar?

The Gematria for Li Ahr Baw Aw is 308.

Li Ahr Baw Aw
308 =
Hey = 5 + Ayin = 70 + Bais = 2 + Reish = 200 + Aleph = 1 + Lamid = 30

When given the opportunity to do Shuv, meaning repentance, he rejected it.

The Gematria for Shuv is 308.

308 =
Bais = 2 + Vav = 6 + Shin = 300

Korach, instead, was Vaw Eh Saw, meaning very lifted up. He was prideful! He was arrogant!


The Gematria for Vaw Eh Saw is 308.

Vaw Eh Saw
Aleph = 1 + Sin = 300 + Aleph = 1 + Vav = 6

Finally, Korach's jealousy, pride, arrogance and desire for money and power brought him down. One could say that he was Shach, meaning depressed, dejected. When a very powerful person, a prideful person, a person with great wealth cannot have what they want this can result!

Korach was the opposite of Moshe! The difference between their Gematrias is 37.

345 =
Hey = 5 + Shin = 300 + Mem = 40

308 =
Chess = 8 + Reish = 200 + Kuf = 100

37 = 345 - 308

Moshe was humble and because of his humble obedience to Hashem's Word he was Gaw Dol, meaning Great while Korach was Loh, meaning NOT {for Naught}.

The Gematria of Gaw Dol = 37.

Gaw Dol
37 =
Lamid = 30 + Dalet = 4 + Gimmel = 3

The Gematria of Loh = 37.

37 =
Aleph = 1 + Vav = 6 + Lamid = 30

Notice the direction of the letters to these two words. As Moshe approached the right from the direction of the left in the word Gaw Dol, he decreased 30 to 4 to 3. He was humble. As Korach approached the right from the direction of the left in the word Loh, his self importance increased 1 to 6 to 30. He was prideful. The point is that Korach chased honor while Moshe ran from honor. Moshe was exalted and Korach was destroyed. Moshe uplifted Hashem's Word and Korach challenged Hashem's Word. This disputing of the Holy One's Word, this scorning of Hashem's Word brought Korach's destruction.

One must be careful to honor Hashem's Torah, not dispute or scorn it!

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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