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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Bemidbar: Parashat Qorah: Mishkan Qorah

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

"Ha'alu Misaviv Le'Mishkan Qorah"

"Mishkan" - the Tabernacle?

Why is the dwelling of Qorah referred to as "Mishkan", the name we use for the Tabernacle, the temporary dwelling of the divine spirit until Bet Hamiqdash was built-? Why is this word used to describe the tent of Qorah?

The answer lies in understanding what Qorah stood for. Qorah believed that the divine spirit dwelled by everyone and not solely in one specific place (i.e. the Tabernable). Similarly, Qorah did not agree with Moshe and Aharon being placed above the nation, when really all people are equal and holy. Therefore, to help highlight the crux of Qorah's argument, the pasuk tells us "Le'Mishkan Qorah"- that Qorah considered his tent like a personal Mishkan EQUAL to the actual Tabernacle.

Many people, until this day, continue to have similar issues. They believe that the Rabbi should not be above the people he leads, but rather just like the people he leads. Like Qorah found fault with Moshe & Aharon in that they were placed above the people, there are people today who have a similar opinion of Rabanim.

This is a tragic understanding of the role of a Hacham. A Rabbi is a person who must be a role model in all he does and in all he teaches. If the Rabbi was just an intelligent, charismatic man, but acts like one of the crowd, how can he ever succeed in raising the people's holiness? The Rabbi must be on a higher spiritual status in all he does, as Moshe and Aharon, so that he will be able to elevate the people through his teachings and by serving as a constant role model.

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