In parshas Ki Sisa, the portion of Levi is long in order not to read the story of the eigel (golden calf) by the regular Yisroelim in order not to embarrass them by repeating their transgressions. The Leviim didn't participate in the Eigel so therefore we read it by their portion. (Magen Avraham Orach Chayim siman 449 and Machatzis Hashekel there) However, in Parshas Korach we read the story of Korach who was a Levi, during the portion of Kohen and Levi. Why don't we afford the same courtesy to the Leviim as we give to the rest of Klal Yisroel?

  • Note also the splitting of Ki Sisa as you described is a relatively late custom and is not universally practiced.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 13:16
  • Also the start of Korach is at the very beginning of the Parsha so it cannot be avoided. It is also shown because it emphasizes that the kohanim and leviim wer specifically appointed to their roles by Hashem. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 13:55
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    @sabbahillel The Kohanim weren't involved. Why not give the Kohein half the Parsha?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 14:17
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    @DoubleAA The revolt of Korach was an attempt to replace both Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohen as well as an attempt to remove the leviim from their positions. As a result, it is actually showing the Leviim as worthy of their positions, unlike the Eigel Hazahav Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


So, I asked a Rov and got a few answers:

  1. By the golden calf, the party lines were split cleanly. When Moshe Rabeinu called out מי לה׳ אלי, all the Leviim came forward and nobody else did. (Whatever amount of participation there was, that announcement and response shows something) Over here, there were many people from Shevet Reuven involved, so it wasn't a shevet Levi vs. the rest of the nation, therefore it wouldn't help to give a regular person that portion.
  2. Rashi actually points out (don't have the exact place of Rashi, but I saw it this morning), that most of the 250 rebels were from Shevet Reuven
  3. Even if all 250 people were Leviim, they were still a very small percentage out of the 20K+ Leviim. So a Levi won't be embarrassed being called up, as he most probably does not descend from the rebels.
  4. Same answer as Double AA's: Korach's children did Teshuva, so there are no descendants of the rebels that would be embarrassed by being called up to the Torah for that portion.
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    To add to that, note that the other side of the dispute was Moshe and Aharon, both of whom were also Leviim.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 20:40

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