Program Notes: Soo’s Back

William F. Hohn’s, “SH’MOT”

This Overture is the opening piece to a two act musical play called KORAH’S CURSE, a musical depiction of the time following the Israelites escape from captivity in Egypt when they are wandering in the Sinai Desert to find a place to rest.

The opening scene to this musical play is when Moses and his brother, Aaron, discuss how the Isrealites will be governed.

Moses declares himself the “Prophet,” or the one who talks to Adonai (God), and gets all His commands. Moses tells Aaron that he will be the “High-Priest” administering the office of “cohen” and telling the Isrealites how they must conduct their lives.

Korah (the story is taken from THE ANTIQUITY OF THE JEWS-Josephus Flavus) is angry with Moses that he appoints his brother, High-Priest. He wants the office and claims nepotism. Aaron and Korah argue, and Korah tries to kill Aaron with his knife.

Korah stumbles and falls on his own knife. As he lay dying, he puts a curse on the Isrealites that they will only have two great great temples. One will be created by a child of Isreal, while the other will be created by a child of Essau. Once the second temple is destroyed, the nation of Isreal will disappear and will never have another High-Priest again.