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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Bemidbar: Parashat Qorah: The Story of Ohn Ben Pelet

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

In the beginning of the parasha we see the name of "Ohn Ben Pelet" included in the list of people who went with Qorah and his Edah.

As the saga with Qorah continues, we see Qorah, Datan Va'Abiram, and Qorah's Edah. We do not see the name of Ohn Ben Pelet throughout the parasha. He only appears in the first pasuk of the parasha.

Masechet Sanhedrin (Daf Quf Tet Amud Bet), relates a story about Ohn Ben Pelet.

Why is Ohn not mentioned in Qorah's demise?

The Gemara relates that Ohn's wife realized a point that he missed. She told him that regardless of who wins the argument, Moshe or Qorah, he will not benefit from it. Upon hearing this Ohn was torn and distraught. He knew his wife was right, but at the same time, he had sworn to Qorah that we would go with the Edah until the very end. He knew that when the time came, Qorah's people will come to get him.

His wife told him that she will take care of it. She gave him wine to drink and he fell asleep. She then sat at the doorway of their residence without her head covering. She said, "Any person who comes to get you, will see me without a head covering, and will immediately go in the opposite direction out of embarrassment." Even the text testifies that the Edah "Kulam Qedoshim" - "All are Holy".

We can learn something very important from this story. In a time when there was a very strong uprising against Moshe Rabeynu, our greatest leader of all time, the people were still embarrassed upon seeing a woman without her hair covering. The people did not lose the core ideals that made them different from the goyim, specifically requiring married women to cover their hair.

In our day and age, though it may be difficult, we must try to slowly return to these ideals. Men should try to learn more during their day, and try to focus less on work. Earn a little less now, but earn a lot more in Olam Ha'ba. Women should try to take something upon themselves, remembering, especially in the upcoming months of the summer to cover them according to our laws of Sniyut.

Rabbi Obadya Yosef writes in his perush on Pirkei Abot, that one of the main reasons that Pirkei Abot is studied between Pesah and Shabuot, is that during that time, one is poised ready to start spending time outdoors and be free with oneself. It is at this very time, Rabbi Obadya writes, that one must learn and review Pirkei Abot, to keep oneself close to the heart of Judaism, and not transgress any halachot at a time where doing so is very easy (i.e. in the summertime).

With Hashem's help, we will return to our sources, and bring the Mashiah Bimhera Amen!

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