Ahavas Sholom – an Historic Landmark and Sacred Space

Newark's Last Remaining Synagogue born of the Great European Migration at the turn of the 20th Century

145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104
Phone: 973-485-2609 | Email: cahavassholom@optimum.net


Simon Says, June 23, 2023

This is my last Simon Says.  Since 2009, I was writing Simon Says weekly.  Occasionally, I missed a week.  Clara, Tim, and Jeff reminded me the Simon Says column was due.  I liked writing Simon Says, and I think you liked reading my column.

This week’s Torah portion is Korach.  Korach led a rebellion against Moses.  The rebellion ended badly.  Korach and his followers were swallowed in the earth.  Later in the Torah is written, “The sons of Korach did not die.”  (Num. 26:11).  The descendants of Korach were the priests in the Northern Kingdom, and they fled to Southern Kingdom (Judah) before the Assyrian invasion in 721 b.c.e.  The descendants of Korach had very large influence on the religion in the Southern Kingdom, and the Torah was amended to say the sons of Korach did not die.

I digress.  Moses said to God at the start of the rebellion, “I have not taken an ass from Korach or his followers.”  The Haftarah this week is from I Samuel 11:14-12:22. Samuel complained that he was a prophet, and that the Israelites should be satisfied with his leadership.  The Israelites demanded a king, and Samuel responded, “Whose ox have I taken away?  Whose ass have I taken away?

Samuel was descendant of Korach.  The questions were posed as echo for Moses.  Samuel, descendant of Korach, vindicated Moses, centuries later.