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In Parshas Yisro G-D guarantees Moshe that his prophecy will not be doubted by the Jewish nation from hereon "וגם בך יאמינו לעולם". However in Parshas Korach (although not in Korach's original claim and only in Moshe's response) Moshe seems to suggest they did and that only through the miracle they will once again believe his prophecy (16,28) בְּזֹאת֙ תֵּֽדְע֔וּן כִּֽי־יְהוָ֣ה שְׁלָחַ֔נִי לַעֲשׂ֕וֹת אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַֽמַּעֲשִׂ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה כִּי־לֹ֖א מִלִּבִּֽי.

What happened to the original guarantee? Is this discussed in the Meforshim?

Thanks

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  • It's definitely discussed. It's an obvious question which demands an answer.
    – robev
    Jun 9 '21 at 19:50
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    Personally, I would have said that Korach was not denying that Moshe had personal communication with God, but was claiming that Moshe was using this to make things up (like with the laws of Tzitzit and Mezuzah), sometimes to further his own agenda (like appointing Aharon's descendants, instead of other Leviyim, or Yisra'elim). In other words, he was denying Rambam's 8th principle of Torah (making him a Kofer ba-Torah), rather than his 7th (making him an Apikoros).
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 11 '21 at 7:02
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The Ohr HaChaim asks a similar question and answers that Korach's claim was that either: 1) when Moshe appointed his relatives to positions of authority, he made his own selection, to which Hashem did not object. Had he chosen someone else (specifically him), Hashem would also have agreed to that. Or, 2) Hashem read Moshe's mind and picked whomever Moshe wished to choose.

To this Moshe said 1) בְּזֹאת֙ תֵּֽדְע֔וּן כִּֽי־יְהוָ֣ה שְׁלָחַ֔נִי that Hashem told me to choose these people, and 2) כִּי־לֹ֖א מִלִּבִּֽי, it was not based on my desires at all.

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R' Elchonon Wasserman (Or Elchanan pg. 258) posed this question to the Imrei HaEmes (Gerrer Rebbe), who explained that Korach didn't deny Moshe's authenticity, but rebelled against it. There is a difference between someone who doesn't believe versus someone who doesn't accept.

This question is also asked by R' Chaim Kanievsky in Taama Dekra. He answers that they weren't denying Moshe's authenticity, but accused him of davening for superiority - to which he replied כי לא מלבי. (See Netziv in Haamek Davar, who explains כי לא מלבי similarly).

However, this answer contradicts the Rambam (Yesoidei Hatorah Ch 8), who explicitly writes that they denied Moshe's nevuah.

Another answer (posed by the Steipler Gaon and R' Shach) is that וגם בך יאמינו לעולם was a promise that no one would ever naturally deny Moshe Rabbeinu's authenticity. However, through exposure to kefirah or timtum of maachalos asuros and other spiritually damaging entities, it is possible to lose the natural purity.


[These answers are taken primarily from R' Chaim Kaufman's Mishchas Shemen, see inside for further discussion.

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    Regarding Rambam in Yesoidei Hatorah Ch 8: All he says that they denied Moshe ("משה רבנו ... כפרו בו עדת קורח, בלעה אותן הארץ"). A better source of contradiction would be the Yerushlmi of Sanhedrin ch. 10 (Cheleq) halakhah 1, which says: "באותו שעה אמר קרח אין תורה מן השמים ולא משה נביא ולא אהרן כהן גדול".
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 11 '21 at 7:01

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