Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person “goes up” to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.
1st Aliya: Korach, along with Dattan, Aviram, and 250 men from Shevet Reuven, challenged Moshe and Aharon’s leadership. Moshe set the next day for a showdown, hoping that the rebels would reconsider their rebellion.
2nd Aliya: After attempting to convince Korach to reconsider, Moshe attempted to sway Dattan and Aviram. Moshe’s efforts were rebuffed.
3rd Aliya: The next day Hashem instructed Moshe and the nation to separate themselves from the tents of Korach, Dattan, and Aviram. Moshe proclaimed that his and Aharon’s leadership would be divinely confirmed through the way in which Korach and his followers would die. Korach, Dattan, and Aviram, along with their entire families were swallowed up by the earth, while the 250 men from Reuven were consumed by a heavenly fire.
4th Aliya: A rebellion broke out among the people, and Aharon had to intervene in order to stop the plague sent as a punishment against the people. 14,700 people perished in the plague.
5th Aliya: Aharon’s appointment as Kohain Gadol is reconfirmed through the test of the staffs. Aharon’s staff was the only staff that miraculously sprouted almonds.
6th Aliya: Aharon’s staff is placed in the Holy of Holies. The duties of the Kohanim and Leviyim are stated along with a list of the Kohain’s share in the nations produce and live stock.
7th Aliya: The Levite’s share of the nation’s produce and the gifts given by the Laviyim to the Kohanim are stated.
Samuel 1 11:14 – 12:22
This week’s Haftorah takes place after Shmuel the Navi had anointed Shaul to be the first king of Israel. Shmuel, who was a descendent of Korach, exhorts the nation to follow the ways of Hashem. He criticizes them for wanting a king while at the same time, pointing out that everyone, including the king, is subject to Hashem’s law.
The connection to this week’s Parsha is the fact that Shmuel was a descendent of Korach. Whereas Korach expressed a right to interpret the Torah as he saw fit, Shmuel tells the people that the success of the king and the nation is totally dependent upon their adherence to the letter of the law. In the end, it was Korach’s own grandson who founded our nations leadership upon the unquestioned teachings of Moshe Rabbeinu.