Zohar Korach Section 1 - Now Korach Took ...

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Zohar Commentary on the Parasha KORACH


Rabbi Yitzchak tells us that if the children of Yisrael had followed the Torah they would not have been exiled, because whoever deals in the Torah has freedom from everything including death. The Torah is the power of the right, and whoever exchanges the left for the right is as if he destroys the world. Rabbi Yitzchak says that Aaron is right and the Levites are left, and that Korah wanted to exchange them in that he desired the priesthood; this is why he was punished. Korah had an evil tongue, he took bad counsel, he chased after something that was not his, and he turned to disagreement which brought conflict instead of peace. The Shabbat is the peace of the upper and lower grades, and by this peace the world endures; whoever creates dissension in this peace will be destroyed.

Pasook 1.from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי וְגוֹ'. רִבִּי אַבָּא פָּתַח הַנֶּחֱמָדִים מִזָּהָב וּמִפָּז רַב וּמְתוּקִים מִדְּבַשׁ וְנוֹפֶת צוּפִים. כַּמָה עִלָּאִין פִּתְגָּמֵי אוֹרַיְיתָא, כַּמָה יַקִּירִין אִינּוּן, תְּאִיבִין אִינּוּן לְעֵילָּא, תְּאִיבִין אִינּוּן לְכֹלָּא. בְּגִין דְּאִינּוּן שְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא. וְכָל מַאן דְּאִשְׁתְּדַל בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא, אִשְׁתְּדַּל בִּשְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא, וְאִשְׁתְּזִיב מִכֹּלָּא, אִשְׁתְּזִיב בְּעָלְמָא דֵּין, וְאִשְׁתְּזִיב בְּעָלְמָא דְּאָתֵי. ת"ח, כָּל מַאן דְּאִשְׁתְּדַל בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא, אָחִיד בְּאִילָנָא דְּחַיֵּי. כֵּיוָן דְּאָחִיד בֵּיהּ, בְּכֹלָּא אָחִיד, דִּכְתִּיב עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ וְגוֹ'.

"Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi took..." (Bemidbar 16:1). Rabbi Aba opened the discussion with the verse: "more to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" (Tehilim 19:11). How supreme are matters of Torah, and how precious they are. They are desired above and they are desired by all, because they constitute the Holy Name. Whoever toils in the Torah strives for the Holy Name and is saved from all EVIL; he is saved in this world and rescued in the World to Come. Come and behold: whoever deals in the Torah is attached to the Tree of Life and, since he is attached to the Tree of Life, he is part of everything, as is written: "she is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her..." (Mishlei 3:18).

chanoch's Commentary

There are two Mitzvot dealing directly with Torah. One is the study of Torah and the other is the LaAsoak Torah. LaAsoak is best understood as being busy with Torah. In more clear words it means to transform yourself into a living Torah. Both of these levels are hinted at in this Pasook. Also there is a hint about the "Holy Name" and the meaning of Torah. This hint takes a tremendous amount of connection through study. There is an even deeper hint in the idea that by attaching to the Tree of LIfe one is part of everything. Contemplate this well and deeply.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

Please note the phrase / sentence "he is saved in this world and rescued in the World to Come" It is teaching that a protection shield is protecting a person through Torah Study; and also when the world that is coming manifests prior to the manifestation of the Mashiach the protection will be more dramatic. This comes from the difference between the words save and rescue.

Pasook 2. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

רִבִּי יִצְחָק אָמַר, כָּל מַאן דְּיִשְׁתְּדַּל בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא, חֵירוּ אִית לֵיהּ מִכֹּלָּא, חֵירוּ מִמִּיתָה, כְּמָה דְּאַמָרָן. בְּגִין דְּחֵירוּ עָלֵיהּ שַׁרְיָא, וְאָחִיד בֵּיהּ. אִילּוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתְעַטְּרִין בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא, יִשְׁתְּזִבוּ מִכֹּלָּא, וְלָא יִשְׁתְּכָחוּ בְּגָלוּתָא, וְדָא הוּא דִּכְתִּיב חָרוּת עַל הַלֻּחוֹת, אַל תִּקְרֵי חָרוּת אֶלָּא חֵירוּת. וְחֵירוּת דָּא בְּאוֹרַיְיתָא אִשְׁתְּכַח, אוֹרַיְיתָא אִיהִי חֵילָא דִּימִינָא, כד"א מִימִינוֹ אֵשׁ דָּת לָמוֹ, וּשְׂמָאלָא אִתְכְּלִיל בִּימִינָא, מַאן דְּעָבֵיד יְמִינָא שְׂמָאלָא, וּשְׂמָאלָא יְמִינָא, הָא אִיהוּ כְּאִילּוּ חָרִיב עָלְמָא.

Rabbi Yitzchak said: Whoever deals in the Torah is free from everything, even free from death, as mentioned, since liberty, WHICH IS BINAH, dwells upon him and is attached to him. If Yisrael had adorned themselves with Torah, they would have been saved from everything and would not have found themselves in exile. This is what is written: "engraved (Heb. charut) upon the tablets" (Shemot 32:16). Do not read it WITH AN 'A', but rather WITH AN 'E', as "Cherut," since this freedom (Heb. cherut) is available in the Torah. The Torah is the power of the right, as it is written: "from His right hand went a fiery law for them" (Devarim 33:2), and the left is included in the right. Whoever makes the right left and the left right is as if he destroys the world.

chanoch's Commentary

As this pasook says understand the relationship between engraving and freedom. In Hebrew they are the same letters with different vowels. The Tablets have been engraved by the finger of HaShem. The Nation was taken out of slavery and brought to freedom by the hand of HaShem. The Parasha of Korach is related to the right column and the left column of the Tree of Life which is also hinted to within these two concepts of engraving and freedom. There is much to contemplate through meditation.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

The Zohar explains that Korach wanted to make Left more important than right. That is making receiving more important than sharing. This pasuk hints to this grave mistake by Korach.

Pasook 3. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

ת"ח, אַהֲרֹן יְמִינָא. לֵיוָאֵי שְׂמָאלָא, קֹרַח בָּעֵי לְמֶעְבַּד חִלּוּפָא דִּימִינָא לִשְׂמָאלָא, בג"כ אִתְעַנָּשׁ. וְלָא עוֹד אֶלָּא דְּאִשְׁתְּכַח בֵּיהּ לִישָׁנָא בִּישָׁא, וְאִתְעֲנָשׁ בְּכֹלָּא. רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אָמַר, שְׂמָאלָא אִתְכְּלִיל תָּדִיר בִּימִינָא, קֹרַח בָּעָא לְאַחְלְפָא תִּקּוּנָא דִּלְעֵילָּא וְתַתָּא, בג"כ אִתְאֲבִיד מֵעֵילָּא וְתַתָּא.

Come and behold: Aaron is right, WHICH IS CHESED, and the Levites are left, WHICH IS GVURAH. Korah wanted to exchange the right for left; HE DESIRED THE PRIESTHOOD, WHICH IS RIGHT, FOR THE LEVITES, WHO ARE LEFT; therefore, he was punished. Furthermore, he had the evil tongue, BY SPEAKING OUT AGAINST MOSES, and was punished for everything. Rabbi Yehuda said: The left is always contained in the right, BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THE LEFT IS CORRECTED. Korah wished to substitute the correction of above and below, SINCE HE ASPIRED TO THE DOMINATION OF THE LEVITES, WHICH ARE LEFT, SO THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE PRIESTS, WHICH ARE RIGHT. Therefore, he was annihilated from above and below.

chanoch's Commentary

This pasook in the Zohar teaches a significant truth. The correction of the left which is desire is by being included in the right which is sharing. There is no other way to correct the desire of any individual. If we do not change the consciousness of any specific desire we do not correct it. The more we change our desire to be a desire for the sake of more and more people is creating greater Tikune for oneself.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

If the left is not included in the right then the desire is for oneself alone.

Pasook 4. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח, מַאי וַיִּקַּח. נָסִיב עֵיטָא בִּישָׁא לְגַרְמֵיהּ, כָּל דְּרָדַף בָּתַר דְּלָאו דִּילֵיהּ, אִיהוּ עָרִיק מִקַּמֵּיהּ. וְלֹא עוֹד, אֶלָּא מַה דְּאִית בֵּיהּ אִתְאֲבִיד מִנֵּיהּ. קֹרַח רָדִיף בָּתַר דְּלָאו דִּילֵיהּ, דִּילֵיהּ אָבִיד, וְאַחֲרָא לָא רָוַוח.

chanoch's Commentary

"Now Korah...took" (Bemidbar 16:1). HE ASKS: What is the meaning of "took"? HE RESPONDS: He took faulty counsel for himself. If one chases after something that does not belong to him, it escapes from him and he even loses what he has. Korah chased after something that was not his. Therefore, he lost his own and no one else gained.

chanoch's Commentary

Actually the first verse in this Torah Parasha is expressing "desire" for oneself alone through the word "took". There is no movement without desire. Desire either is for oneself alone or has some limited aspect of correction having been attained. An example is one loves the Creator and shows this through the love of his or her spouse. Yet if the love of the spouse does not have connection to the love of the Creator than it is not yet complete.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

The midrash explains that when one takes on must be clear that what one takes one has the merit to receive it otherwise they will lose this essence for themselves and also have the tikune that someone elae loses as well.

Pasook 5. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

קֹרַח אָזִיל בְּמַחְלוֹקֶת. מַאי מַחֲלוֹקֶת. פְּלוּגְתָּא. פְּלוּגְתָּא דִּלְעֵילָּא וְתַתָּא. וּמַאן דְּבָעֵי לְאַפְלְגָא תִּקּוּנָא דְּעָלְמָא, יִתְאֲבִיד מְכֻּלְּהוּ עָלְמִין. מַחֲלוֹקֶת, פְּלוּגְתָּא דְּשָׁלוֹם. וּמַאן דְּפָלִיג עַל שָׁלוֹם, פָּלִיג עַל שְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא, בְּגִין דִּשְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא, שָׁלוֹם אִקְרֵי.


Korah turned to disagreement. What is the meaning of disagreement? Distancing and repulsion; the distancing and repulsion of what is above and below, and whoever wishes to postpone the restoration of the universe will become lost from all the worlds. Conflict is a distancing of peace, and whoever is in conflict about peace is in disagreement with His Holy Name, because His Holy Name is called 'Peace'.

chanoch's Commentary

There is much to be contemplated here. Korach did not want to create disagreement yet he wanted what he wanted and pursued disagreement in order to achieve his desires. Can peace be expressed through disagreement? NO it can not. How do we then create unity since there is so much disagreement? There is a difference between disagreement and appreciation of diversity. Diversity is about unity while disagreement is about me being right or me having what i want because i want it.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

Kabbalah teaches that where ever there is space there is Satan. Where ever is Satan there is discord and a lack of peace.

Pasook 6.from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

ת"ח, לֵית עָלְמָא קָאֵים אֶלָּא עַל שָׁלוֹם, כַּד בָּרָא קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא עָלְמָא, לָא יָכִיל לְאִתְקַיְּימָא, עַד דְּאָתָא וְשָׁרָא עָלַיְיהוּ שָׁלוֹם. וּמַאי הוּא. שַׁבָּת, דְּאִיהוּ שְׁלָמָא דְּעִלָּאֵי וְתַתָּאֵי, וּכְדֵין אִתְקָיָּים עָלְמָא. וּמַאן דְּפָלִיג עָלֵיהּ, יִתְאֲבִיד מֵעָלְמָא.

Come and behold: the world does not exist except through peace. When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, it could not endure until He came and made peace dwell upon them. What is it? It is the Shabbat, which is the peace of the upper and the lower grades. And then the world endured. THEREFORE, whoever creates dissension about this PEACE will be lost from the world.

chanoch adds: Do not read this as "lost from the world permanently". There is no disappearance in spirituality. The energy of peace and the essence of the world is separated from each other. The world has many differences and diverse creations. What does it mean that peace rests on this world - this diverse Creations

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

Peace can only be established through an appreciation of the Creator manifesting diverse Creations. This diversity only enhances our own individual Creation, even when sometimes we don't realize this truth.

Pasook 7.from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

צְלָפְחָד פָּלִיג עַל שַׁבָּת, דַּהֲוָה מְקוֹשֵׁשׁ עֵצִים. וּמַאן אִינּוּן עֵצִים. אִינּוּן אִילָנִין אַחֲרָנִין כִּדְאַמָרָן. וְאִינּוּן מִלִּין דְּחוֹל, וְחוֹל בַּקֹּדֶשׁ לָא שַׁרְיָיא, דְּפָלִיג עַל שְׁלָמָא דְּעָלְמָא.

Zelophehad was in dissension with the Shabbat because he was gathering wood (or: 'trees'). What were these trees? These were the other trees OF THE SEVENTY CHIEFTAINS, as we mentioned. These were secular matters and secular concerns do not prevail in sanctity. HENCE, he was in conflict with the world peace, WHICH IS SHABBAT, BECAUSE HE BLENDED THE SECULAR WITH THE SHABBAT.

chanoch's Commentary

This verse from the Zohar is one of many that explains what Zelophehad did incorrectly. In every secular item there is an aspect of Holiness that needs to be elevated. The timing that is good for this elevation may not be correct to do so on Shabbat. That is what someone needs to learn. When is the time to elevate a sparks that need to be elevated by each soul? If the elevation takes place at the inopportune time the elevation does not become complete and that spark falls deeper into the negativity. The next time that soul tries to elevate the spark it is more difficult but never impossible.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

Peace has an essence of no movement and no space between any creation. This is true even if the physical illusion is not yet seeing this lack of space between different Creations.

Pasook 8. from the Zohar Commentary on Parasha Korach

רִבִּי יוֹסֵי אָמַר, כְּתִיב שָׁלוֹם רָב לְאוֹהֲבָי תוֹרָתֶךָ וְגוֹ'. אוֹרַיְיתָא הוּא שָׁלוֹם, דִּכְתִּיב וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם. וְקֹרַח אָתָא לְאַפְגָּמָא שָׁלוֹם דִּלְעֵילָּא וְתַתָּא, בג"כ אִתְעֲנִישׁ הוּא מֵעֵילָּא וְתַתָּאָה.

Rabbi Yosi says that it is written: "great peace have they who love Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:165). The Torah is peace, as is written: "and all her paths are peace" (Mishlei 3:17). And Korah came to blemish that peace of above WHICH IS THE TORAH, MEANING THE CENTRAL COLUMN THAT IS CALLED 'TORAH' THAT PRODUCES PEACE BETWEEN THE RIGHT AND LEFT, and of below, OF MOSES. Therefore, he was punished from the higher and the lower aspects BY FIRE AND BY THE OPENING OF THE EARTHLY CHASM.

chanoch adds: There is always a Midda Kneged Middah aspect to what happens in the earthly realm. Look for this cause and you will become wiser.

chanoch's Commentary from the year 5778

What do you think is the difference between peace and great peace?