Sharing Torah Insights

Korach- Look Away, I’m Hideous!

Posted on כ״ט בסיון ה׳תש״ע (June 11, 2010) | in Korach | by

Unlike Korach, Dasan and Aviram and the other 250 men, the Torah never reports what ultimately happened to On ben Peles, one of the member’s of Korach’s group.

The gemara in Sanhedrin 109b-110a, however, reports that On was ultimately swayed by his wife to leave the whole fracas. She told him in the nicest way possible, Honey, no matter who wins the fight (Korach or Moshe) you aren’t going to become Kohen Gadol! Why are you getting involved?” On responded that he already made a commitment to Korach and co. His wife then sedated him with wine and while he was sleeping, she sat outside the tent and uncovered her hair. All the men who were looking for On ran away at the sight of a married woman’s uncovered hair! It was the perfect potion to keep away those in Korach’s camp who were looking for On. On then broke off contact with Korach and was ultimately saved from destruction.

The question is, why did On’s wife choose this method specifically?

There is another gemara in Yoma 47 which relates the following anecdote: There was a righteous woman named Kimchis who had seven sons, all of whom served as Kohanim Gedolim, high priests, She was asked how did you merit such great sons and she answered that she never kept her hair uncovered even in her own house! (This is a far out stringency, way above what the halacha, law, requires. However, for her, it was considered a very meritorious action)

Here is the midrashic, exposition, part. The story of Kimchis showed that somehow covering one’s hair is connected to the Kehuna Gedola, the high priestship. On’s wife, therefore did the opposite of Kimchis to achieve the opposite result. She specifically wanted her husband to stay far away from the Kehuna Gedola of Aharon HaKohen, Aaron, so she uncovered her hair!! (That Moshe “elected” his brother Kohen Gadol was one of the gripes Korach had against Moshe)

[Obviously, we are not saying On’s wife was following Kimchis’ advice, for Kimchis came after the time of On. Rather, midrashically, we can say that both women were aware of this concept and how to utilize it.]

{ The conceptual connection between covering of one’s hair and the priesthood can be food for thought.}

Good shabbos from Baltimore Yaakov

(Rav Rosner did not cite any particular author of this dvar torah)

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