Guardian Angels – Parshat Korach
This week, the Angel of Death showed up twice.
Both appearances were in Rashi’s commentary, in two distinct, but related moments in the narrative that follows Korach’s rebellion. At this point, Korach and his crew have already challenged Moses and Aaron’s authority and been swallowed by the earth, as a both a punishment and a proof of the legitimacy of Moses’ connection to God. But the people are unconvinced, and declare in outrage:
You two have brought death upon the Lord’s people! (Numbers 17:6)
אַתֶּם הֲמִתֶּם, אֶת–עַם ה׳.
That’s it. God has lost patience, and is ready to do away with them altogether in a plague. So God says to Moses:
Remove yourselves from this community, that I may annihilate them in an instant! (v. 10)
הֵרֹמּוּ, מִתּוֹךְ הָעֵדָה הַזֹּאת, וַאֲכַלֶּה אֹתָם, כְּרָגַע; וַיִּפְּלוּ, עַל–פְּנֵיהֶם.
But Moses has a plan to save the people. He turns to his brother Aaron, and says:
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