General Overview: Korach stages a rebellion against Moshe, accusing him of a power grab. He and his entourage are swallowed up by the earth. The people protest, and a plague ensues. Of the staffs submitted by all the tribes, only Aaron’s blossoms; proving that he is G‑d’s chosen. The Israelites are instructed the various presents due to the priests and Levites.
In the first Aliya, Korach, Moshe’s first cousin, stages a rebellion against Moshe and Aaron. Together with a few ringleaders, he gathers 250 men of renown and accuses Moshe and Aaron of power hoarding. “The entire congregation is holy, and the L-rd is in their midst. So why do you raise yourselves above the L-rd’s assembly?” They took specific issue with the appointment of Aaron as High Priest. Moshe proposes that on the following day they all participate in a test which would determine who indeed was worthy of the mantle of High Priest. Everyone would bring an incense offering to the Tabernacle, and G‑d would make known His choice for High Priest. Moshe then tries to placate the rebellious group, unsuccessfully attempting to dissuade them from participating in this suicidal test.