Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Korach

Numbers 16:1-17:24
Candle Lighting time 8:10 p.m.

In this week’s Torah portion we read about Korach’s rebellion against Moses, the greatest but humblest leader of the Jewish people in our entire history. In his book Love Your Neighbor, Zelig Pliskin warns us on pages 348 - 349 that we should be wary of instigators of disputes’ motivations. On the verse ”Korach, the son of Yitzhar, the son of Kahat, the sons of Levi separated himself with Dotan and Aviram, the sons of Reuvan (Jacob’s firstborn)… And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron” (Nu 16:1, 3)


Korach tried to arouse others to rebel against Moses. He protested that Moses was taking too much glory and power for himself and his brother Aaron. “The whole congregation is holy and God is amongst them,” said Korach. He tried to give the impression that he was interested in equality and the welfare of the entire nation. But Rashi cites the Midrash Tanchuma in which it is explained that Korach rebelled against Moses because he was jealous of the princeship of Elizafon, the son of Uzziel. Moses had appointed Elizafon over the family of Kahat by the command of the Almighty. Korach, however, said, “My father was one of four sons. Amram was the firstborn and his two sons (Moses and Aaron) received high office. One was the king and that the other the High Priest.  On whose shoulders should the next honor devolve? Surely it is I, the son of Yizhar, who is second to Amram. Yet Moses appointed Elizafon as Prince of the family of Kahat, even though he stemmed from a younger brother. Therefore I will rebel against him and nullify his words.”


From here we see a fundamental principle that applies to many disputes. Quite often the person who instigates a dispute is motivated by the desire for personal gain. In order to attract followers, however, he claims that he is interested in the good of others. A person should be aware of this tendency so that he will not be misled by people who desire to create a dispute. Chayai Olam, vol 2pp. 35-36).   


We have a man in the White House whose first thought every morning is, “What is good for me, and how can I get away with it.” For years he was the loudest voice spreading the birther lie that Pres. Obama wasn’t born in the United States. He denies Russian interference in our election despite the fact that every intelligence agency states that they have a high certainty that it did. Despite the fact of 19 indictments and five pleas of guilty, he calls the independent investigation into collusion of his campaign with Russia a “Witch Hunt.” By attacking the Department of Justice, courts, and judges, and the FBI he is weakening a pillar protecting our democracy. He does all these things and more telling his base that it is for the benefit. Instead of bringing our country together, he takes joy in dividing us. He sounds like a modern-day Korach to me. The Torah warns us that we should not be misled by such people.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


Service Schedule

Friday night 6:00 p.m.
Shabbat 9:30 a.m.


Save the Date!

Friday, June 15th will be our next Friday night service with a  free Shabbat dinner. Even if you're not just joining us for supper, please join us for services at 6 PM. Cantor Scott Eckers will join me in leading services.


Shabbat, June 16th Kobrin baby naming

Wednesday, June 20th Join the Little neck /Douglaston Interfaith Faith Action Committee as we travel to the Jewish theological seminary for a unique gathering of clergy, vocalists, and musicians from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions. Songs for the Holy City will feature: Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum, spiritual leader of Kehillat Zion, Jerusalem Imam Abdullah Antepli, chief representative of Muslim Affairs and adjunct faculty of Islamic Studies, Duke University and Ara Dinkjian, world-renowned oud master and liturgical musician in the Armenian Apostolic Church.  

We shall meet at Congregation L'Dor V'Dor (Little Neck Jewish Center) at 6 PM and return home at 10:30 PM. The cost of this round-trip bus ride is $20 per person. Optional box dinner is available for $15 per person. Follow this link to make your reservations:

If you can't make it to the live performance, you can still join your friends and neighbors for live streaming of the program at Saint Anastasia Catholic Church 45-14 245th Street in Douglaston.   Follow this link to make your reservations:


Don't forget about the taxi service Marathon provides-a free wide to and from the synagogue. For more information call the synagogue office.



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