As I was learning Maseches Moed Katan Daf 16a, the following question occurred to me (Just in time for the Parsha).

The Gemara in Moed Katan (see https://www.sefaria.org/Moed_Katan.16a.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en ) learns something regarding the laws of Beis Din from the Pesukim by Korach. It's seems to clearly imply that the Dispute between Korach and Moshe was considered a formal "Din Torah" between two parties.

The question is, since Torah Lo Bashamayim Hi (see https://www.sefaria.org/Bava_Metzia.59b.5?vhe=Wikisource_Talmud_Bavli&lang=en ), how was the dispute solved by a Miracle i.e., the ground swallowing up Korach...?

I was excited to find this question asked by R' Tzadok Hakohen, albeit without him referencing the Gemara in Moed Katan. You can see his answer here: https://www.sefaria.org/Tzidkat_HaTzadik.64.1?lang=bi

I am looking for other possible answers. Please get involved!

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/110736/6592
    – shmosel
    Jun 19, 2023 at 23:16
  • @shmosel Regarding Micha Berger's answer on that post (judaism.stackexchange.com/a/110742/31919), their long answer seems pretty irrelevant and baseless to me, besides it's quite self-evident that Torah Lo Bashamayim begins right when it's first brought down to earth. That is, when it is all communicated to Moshe on Har Sinai. And regarding Binyomin's answer there (judaism.stackexchange.com/a/113981/31919), it's helpful to know Tosafos's opinion there, but see my comment challenging the contradiction. Jun 19, 2023 at 23:35
  • I wonder if the principle of תורה לא בשמים is that they can't override terrestrial halacha. So if there's an open question that can be settled Upstairs, or if it's a dispute that could only be settled by Hashem (as implied in the above gemara), maybe they do have a say.
    – shmosel
    Jun 19, 2023 at 23:46
  • I'm not sure what you are adding as it sounds like what I commented there, but I actually just realized that this in itself is a possible path to answering this post's very question! However, that would need to assume that Korach did not have the "Rov". Jun 19, 2023 at 23:57
  • Sorry, I hadn't read your comment, but yes, it's a similar idea, and yes, I'm saying it could apply here too. I'm not sure Korach's majority or Moshe's greatness would be relevant in a personal dispute, and it's not like there was a greater earthly authority to turn to.
    – shmosel
    Jun 20, 2023 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Perhaps this case is different then other “Torah Lo Bashamayim Hi” cases, being that the entire argument (in Beit din) was if moshe always acts only when hashem commands him (in particular appointing Aron)(visit https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Numbers.16.11.1, and https://www.sefaria.org/Numbers.16.28 + Rashi on that pasuk) Therefore a miracle that proves that would provide sufficient proof, and the only possible proof is “Bashamayim Hi”

  • 1
    Thanks for that interesting answer and welcome to the Community! My main issue with what you're saying is that this is far from the first miracle Moshe performed. What exactly is it that this has over all the earlier miracles? Honestly, I want to point out in your favor that the wording of the verse seems to imply there was something different and extraordinary about this miracle. "V'im Briah Yivrah Hashem..." Jun 20, 2023 at 17:56
  • Visit (sefaria.org/Numbers.16.28) and Rashi. It seems from there that that was the argument
    – A Weiszner
    Jun 21, 2023 at 17:21
  • But After reading sefaria.org/Mishneh_Torah,_Foundations_of_the_Torah.8.1 it seems that the argument was not about if he is a Navi, but perhaps just that if when he appointed Aron it was from hashem or not
    – A Weiszner
    Jun 21, 2023 at 17:38

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