May 21, 2018 ~ Shabbat NASO. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Qorah

Bad Neighbors

ואון בן פלת בני ראובן - In an effort to solicit supporters, Qorah, a Levite from the Qehat clan, recruits his neighbors, members of the tribe of Reuben; both whose camps were located south of the Tabernacle. Among the Reubenites was On Ben Pelet; mentioned once in Numbers 16:1, but then never again. In speculation of his mysterious absence, the Midrash explains what may have happened to him. Initially, On was recruited by Qorah, his neighbor, due to his family links with Datan and Abiram. But then, On's wife insists that On withdraws; saying that he had absolutely nothing to gain from any involvement. Her wisdom of neutrality is what saved On from suffering the same fate as Datan and Abiram. This story teaches about the importance of הרחק משכן רע; distancing oneself from a bad neighbor (Abot 1:7). One should always try to stay away from negative influences and those who will bring you down. Beth Torah Bulletin, June 24, 2017.