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Gematria Shorts for Korach 5783

The first two words of parashat Korach are “Korach took [himself]” (וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח). Looking at these two words carefully, we notice that they both have the letters קח. The letters that are different are וי and ר. These three letters are ריו, a well-known combination of letters and value in Kabbalah, 216 or 63, which is the value of “might” (גְּבוּרָה). The entire parashah centers on the status of the Levites who belong to the left axis of the sefirot, the axis of might, gevurot.

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The value of the letters ריו, 216 is also equal to 2 times קח, the two letters in common in the first two words of the parashah. Thus, the first two words of the parashah, “Korach took [himself]” (וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח) equal 4 times קח, the two letters in common, or 432.
432 is also the value of a well-known kavanah (spiritual intent) for Oneg Shabbat, the pleasure experienced on Shabbat, “Eden-River-Garden” (עֵדֶן נָהָר גַּן), whose initials spell the word “pleasure” (עֹנֶג). This intent is based on the description, “And a river flows from Eden watering the garden” (וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן לְהַשְׁקוֹת אֶת הַגָּן)

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This analysis of the first two words of our parashah reveal a hidden link between Korach and the Wood Gatherer, who desecrated the Shabbat and its experience of Oneg. The account of the Wood Gatherer appears at the end of the previous parashah, Shelach. This link is alluded to in the Zohar that writes, “Korach pursued dissent… and Tzlofchad dissented from the Shabbat by gathering wood” (Zohar 3:176b).

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The name Korach literally means someone who is “bald” (קֵרֵחַ), indicating that Korach’s rectification is achieved by those who are bald. There are two famous tzaddikim who are described as being bald: The prophet Elisha and Rabbi Akiva (as his son is identified with Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korchah). Indeed, the filling of Korach is קוף ריש חית. The value of the “filling letters,” וף יש ית, is 806, which is the sum of Elisha and Rabbi Akiva together (אֱלִישָׁע רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא).

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