January 23, 2019

Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parashat Korach with Rabbi Rachael Bregman

Our guest this week is Rabbi Rachael Bregman, leader of Temple Beth Tefilloh in Brunswick, Georgia. Rabbi Bregman earned her ordination at Hebrew Union College in New York and a Master’s in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Upon ordination in 2010, Rabbi Bregman took a position with The Temple in Atlanta, where she served for three years as The Rabbi for Open Jewish Project, a grant-funded endeavor under the umbrella of Synagogue 3000 and NextDor. She now serves on the board of Faithworks, a local faith-based social justice organization, and is a fellow of CLAL and a founding member of Tzedek Georgia. Rabbi Bregman has recently been named as one of the Forward's most inspiring rabbis in North America.

This week's Torah Portion – Parashat Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) – tells the dramatic story of a mutiny incited by Korach against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Korach is joined by Datan and Aviram as well as by 250 distinguished members of the community who offer incense to prove they are worthy of the priesthood. The earth opens up and swallows the mutineers, and a fire kills the incense offerers. Aaron subsequently stops a plague by offering incense of his own and his staff then brings forth almonds, proving that his designation as high priest is divinely ordained. Our discussion focuses on what the Korach rebellion tells us about the relationship between Moses and Aaron.

Our Previous discussions of Parashat Korach:

Rabbi Joshua Katzan on what the character of Korach symbolizes

Rabbi David Nevins on the Torah’s concept of clergy

Rabbi Susan Silverman on the punishment given to Korach and his followers