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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Pinchas’

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Pinchas: Midian, Moab and Yisrael

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

In light of Midian’s centrality in the Ba’al Peor story and its aftermath in this week’s parsha, it pays to remember the unusual place this nation has in the formative experiences of the Jewish people. The odyssey begins a generation earlier with Moshe’s sojourn in Midian, when he is taken in by Yitro and offered the latter’s daughter in marriage. Marriage to a foreign noblewoman in a foreign land is not unique to Moshe; it parallels Yosef’s experience in Egypt. But neither is it common. In fact, given that the idea of keeping marriage “within the family” is stressed by both Avraham and Yitzchak, marriage with a foreigner is usually far from the ideal.

It is important to stress that Moshe’s marriage was not a generic one. The choice of a specifically Midianite bride should draw our attention even more once we see that God singles out this nation for Israelite enmity (Bemidbar 25:16–18). If Moshe marries into such a nation, it can hardly be accidental.

In trying to better understand Moshe’s connection with Midian, we will need to draw a wider circle and examine Midian’s alliance with the equally reprehensible Moav. It is really much more than an alliance that Midian and Moav share: just as a Midianite woman was the source of both blessing (Tzipporah) and curse (Cozbi) for the Jewish people, the story of Ruth would show the same to be true of Moav (whose women brought on the debacle with Ba’al Peor) as well. Such a link to the Jews is uncommon among most nations. Accordingly, the fact that it was specifically Midianite and Moabite women who were involved with Jewish men shows that an existential bond existed between these nations and Israel. There was an attraction which likely went beyond the physical. The Jews sensed the potential for greatness that both Midianite and Moabite women carried. And that potential was actualized in Tzipporah and Ruth.

We have discussed the positive side of Midian and Moav. But what about the bitter enmity they show the children of Israel? Understanding the former might actually give us insight into the latter. For one, the relationship of the Jewish nation to Midian and Moav shows that these two nations are capable of more greatness than other nations. Yitro and Tzipporah are not just gentiles, they are Midianite gentiles, and Ruth is specifically a Moabitess. The awareness of such potential could frighten and ultimately threaten these two nations. That Ruth can come from Moav, for example, means that – at least theoretically – others like her could come out of that nation as well. Once that is possible, then to fall short is a failure which Moav would prefer not to confront.

Instead of dealing with the potential, these nations may well have preferred to make it irrelevant. Given that the source of the discomfort is ultimately the Jews and what they represent, one way to eliminate that discomfort is to eliminate the Jews. Such has been echoed only too often by those who fault the Jewish nation for holding up mankind to an “unreasonable” standard.

Lest we think this is only a Midianite or a Moabite issue, we need to realize that we all feel threatened by our potential. It is daunting to know how much better we really can be. And who has more potential than the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov? Hence we must sure to accept our potential even if we are not always prepared to meet it. At the very least, let it serve us a positive reminder of who we actually are. For our potential is our self.

Rabbi Francis Nataf

Parshas Balak

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Vol. LXVI No. 27                                   5776

 

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
July 22, 2016 – 16 Tammuz 5776
8:02 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

 

Sabbath Ends: 9:07 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 9:32 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Balak
Weekly Haftara: Ve’haya She’eris Yaakov (Mica 5:6-6-8)
Daf Yomi: Bava Kama 52
Mishna Yomit: Kilayim 6:6-7
Halacha Yomit; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 14:1-3
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Geneivah chap. 1-3
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:45 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunrise: 5:44 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:23 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sunset: 8:20 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 6

 

Tomorrow Sunday, the 18th of Tammuz, is the fast of Shiv’a Asar BeTammuz (nidche –delayed due to Shabbos). The fast commences in the morning at 4:33 a.m. N.Y.C. E.D.T., and concludes according to Rav Tukaccinsky no earlier than 8:53 p.m., N.Y.C. E.D.T., according to Rav M. Feinstein, if one has difficulty fasting they may eat at 8:57 p.m., N.Y.C. E.D.T., one who experiences no difficulty should wait until 9:06 p.m., N.Y.C. E.D.T.,

This fast marks the beginning of the mourning period for the destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem and our dispersion in the exile. There are numerous minhagim regarding this period of mourning that are found in the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 551 – Hilchos Tisha BeAv – see Ba’er Heitev ad loc. All these rules apply until the morning following Tisha BeAv (the 10th of Av after Noon – Chatzos HaYom).

 

Shacharis: usual tefilla with the addition of the beracha of Anenu between the berachos of Go’el Yisrael and Rofeh Cholei Amo Yisrael in the Chazzan’s repetition. Following the repetition all say the Selichos and Avinu Malkenu as found in the Siddurim. We remove a Sefer Torah from the ark and call three Aliyos and read in Parashas Ki Tissa (Shemos 32:11-14, 34:1-10) from “Vaychal.” We then conclude Shacharis as usual.

 

Mincha: we begin with Ashrei, followed by half-Kaddish as usual; we then remove a Torah scroll and call three Aliyos and [again, as in the morning] read in Parashas Ki Tissa (Shemos 32:11-14, 34:1-10) from “Vaychal.” The last aliya serves as Maftir, and he reads from Yeshayahu (55:6-56:8), Dirshu Hashem be’himatz’o. Upon returning the Torah to the ark, the Chazzan says half-Kaddish – all say Anenu within the beracha of Shema Kolenu, as found in the Siddur. In the silent Shemoneh Esreh we also substitute Sim Shalom for Shalom Rav in the beracha of Shalom (according to Nusach Ashkenaz – whereas most of those who follow Nusach Sefarad always say Sim Shalom at Mincha.) In the Chazzan’s repetition(as during Shacharis), Anenu is a separate beracha between Go’el and Rofeh. Birkas Kohanim is recited as well, and the Chazzan concludes with Sim Shalom. Following the Shemoneh Esreh all say Avinu Malkenu – Tachanun, and then the Chazzan recites Kaddish Tiskabbel, followed by Aleinu and the Mourner’s Kaddish.

 

The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

The Power of Zealots

Friday, July 10th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai to discuss Pinchas and other biblical figures.

Though a zealot who killed the immoral Zimri, unlike most zealots, Pinchas was completely in line with God’s will. The daughters of Zelaphchad, five righteous biblical women, were zealous for the land of Israel, and they were rewarded for it.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Fanatics Suspected of Arson of Church on the Kinneret

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

UPDATE: Police arrested 16 suspects for arson but then released them two hours later.

Arsonists caused heavy damage to the offices and rooms at the Church of Loaves Fishes at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) early Thursday morning and left graffiti which, freely translated, read: “Cut off the false idols of the Galilee.”

The original verse appears in the second part of the “Aleinu” prayer, said three times day, in which it is written “You shall cut off their false gods.”

The church that was set on fire is where Christians believe Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians visit the site every year, and the Tourism Ministry in recent years has promoted the development of Christian sites and churches, including places where missionaries are hard at work to convert Jews.

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said that firefighters arrived at the church at 3:30 Thursdays morning and found the graffiti, which is firm ground for suspicions that arsonists set the blaze.

There always is the outside chance that the graffiti was several months old, that an electrical fire caused the blaze, that the Shin Bet was behind it to frame Jews, or perhaps the Christians themselves lit the match to spread an anti-Semitic blood libel.

It would be great to discover that one or all of the above are true, but until proven otherwise, Jews are assumed to be guilt, justly or not.

The Torah, in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:3 states:

וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ וּפְסִילֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֶת שְׁמָם מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא

And you shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their asherim [false gods] with fire, cut down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name from that place.

If the arson was set off by idiots who decided that they are God’s direct missionaries, they forgot there is another verse in the same book, chapter 17, verses 14-15:

כִּי תָבֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי:

שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָחִיךָ הוּא

When you come to the land the Lord, your God, is giving you, and you possess it and live therein, and you say, “I will set a king over myself, like all the nations around me,”

You shall set a king over you, one whom the Lord, your God, chooses; from among your brothers, you shall set a king over yourself; you shall not appoint a foreigner over yourself, one who is not your brother

In three weeks, Jews read the Torah portion of Pinchas, the priest who took a spear and killed a Jew and a non-Jewish woman form Midian for publicly joining idol worshipers.

God awarded him with the “covenant of peace” for his act, which stopped a plague that God brought on the people because of idol worship.

But Pinchas and only Pinchas could have done such an act and be rewarded. Anyone else would have been tarred and feathered.

The arsonists who torched the church this morning are not priests. They are not kings. They are not police. Their lunacy was an act of the low-life of low-lives.

They appointed themselves to carry out a commandment that is not necessarily directed at each and every Jew in Israel but at the entire people, who today have a country and a government.

It often does not function properly. It is not a religious government.

And there never will be religious government so long as some crazy people, possibly with a kippa on their heads, go around as if they are direct agents of God.

They even took a revered prayer and added the word “Galilee” on their authority.

And the truth is, they didn’t even cause much damage the church itself. They not only did not carry out a commandment, but they also violated several others, including the law of the Jewish country in which they have the privilege to live.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Parshat Pinchas: What Does It Mean To Be Zealous For God?

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The midrash tells us that Pinchas, the title character of this parsha, and Eliyahu, the prophet of Kings, are one and the same. In this week’s parsha video, Rabbi Fohrman compares these two characters and asks, what does it mean to be zealous for God?

 

Visit AlephBeta.  /  Rabbi David Fohrman  

 

Rabbi David Fohrman

The Tremendous Heart Of Pinchas Daddy

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

We’ve just read the Torah portion about Pinchas, an amazing tzaddik who performed an unusual act instinctively and for the sake of Hashem and His honor.

About two weeks ago I was tidying my desk area and the shelves above it. Suddenly, on the floor, seemingly out of nowhere, I saw an old article from a major Hebrew daily, written the day after Sergeant Pinchas Daddy was stabbed in the heart by an Arab who had crept up and attacked him from behind.

Pinchas Daddy. How I loved him; how everyone involved at the Kotel loved him. I had a kiosk near the Kotel and he always greeted me – as well as all the Arab shopkeepers – with a gleaming smile. He was 38 but seemed older – wise and fatherly.

He was like a television cop, twirling his nightstick and helping children cross the street. I’m telling you we all cried, Jews and Arabs alike, when our Daddy was suddenly, and ruthlessly, taken from us.

I picked up the old yellowed article, looked at the photo of that beautiful man and said to myself, “I must call his family and tell them how much I loved and miss him.”

I dialed information and asked for the Daddy family in Talpiot. Moments later I was speaking to Mrs. Daddy. I immediately started crying and told her how I found the little article and picture. She probably couldn’t believe that out of the blue someone on the line was crying for her tzaddik husband.

She told me his 20th yahrzeit – this Thursday, erev Rosh Chodesh Av – will be marked by a ceremony on Mount Herzl. I assured her I would be there.

“Did you ever get remarried?” I asked.

“No,” she replied.

“Yes, I understand,” I said. “Who could ever replace a husband like yours? Pinchas was so gentle, so loving.”

“Our oldest son is a ramach [the abbreviated term for head of a division] at the Russian Compound police station,” she said, “and believe me, he emulates his father’s ways. Pinchas, I’m sure, is very proud of him.”

And now, in his honor, I present the secret power of Pinchas.

When we read in the Torah that Pinchas took the romach, the spear, with which he stabbed Zimri and his idol-worshipping girlfriend, the word romach is spelled without the Hebrew letter vav. Therefore it can be read as ramach, which we use for the number of positive commandments in the Torah.

Ramach is spelled resh (numerical equivalent: 200) mem (40), ches (8), which corresponds to the 248 organs in the body. Each positive commandment fixes and nurtures a different organ.

So the verse hints to us that Pinchas’s meticulous keeping of all 248 positive commandments gave him the strength to do what he did.

But I still didn’t have a proof for my theory until I walked into the Diaspora Yeshiva on the fast day of the 17th of Tammuz and heard Rav Goldstein, the rosh hayeshiva, quoting the famous Mussar sefer Shaarei Teshuvah, which deduces from a pasuk in Devarim that keeping all the positive commandments makes a person a yorei Shamayim – someone who properly fears Heaven – while a person who tramples even one positive commandment is not a yorei Shamayim.

Now it was clear to me that the verse reveals to us the true power of Pinchas – that it was his careful observance of the positive commandments that gave him the strength to avenge God’s honor.

Returning to our Pinchas, of the Daddy family, let’s remember that Rebbe Akiva declared that loving your neighbor like yourself is klal gadol b’Torah – equal to all the positive commandments and all the negative ones too.

Even though the human body contains 248 organs and 365 arteries that are fixed and nurtured by each of the 613 positive and negative commandments, the heart is essentially the most vital organ in the body, without which nothing will work. In police terminology, as mentioned above, the ramach is the chief of the department. So certainly the great mitzvah of loving your neighbor like yourself is klal gadol b’Torah – the heart of all 613 mitzvahs.

A year before he was killed, Pinchas Daddy had suffered a heart attack at the young age of 37. He recovered and was stationed at the holy Kotel, where he shared his heart with every human being, appreciating the importance of the heart to the body and to the mitzvah of loving your fellow man with all your heart – regardless of his color or religion.

Dov Shurin

Pinchas: Zealous For Hashem

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

In a moment of zealousness, Pinchas earned eternal honor for himself and his family. As Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains, such is the power of zeal in the service of Hashem and His Torah.

“Pinchas Ben Elazar Ben Aharon the kohen turned away my wrath from upon the sons of Israel by his zeal for my sake in their midst; and I did not bring destruction upon the sons of Israel because of my jealousy. Therefore, say, behold, I give to him my covenant of peace” (25:11-2). This is a special proclamation of acclaim. Though Moshe certainly approved of Pinchas, Hashem here teaches the necessity to render public recognition to the righteous.

“And they shall justify the just, and they shall condemn the wicked” (Devarim 25:1) actually means that the just shall be held up to public view as men all should admire, and that the wicked must be held up as examples of scorn and public shame. Thus, in the rare instances when a prophetic Bat Kol was heard during the Second Sanctuary era, we find an instance (in the Gemara in Sanhedrin) when this miraculous phenomenon was used to point out the excellence of Hillel; and similarly, a Bat Kol came forth later to proclaim the excellence of Shmuel the Little (ibid.).

“Hashem encourages the meek” (Tehillim 147:6) (i.e. the righteous) “but He lowers the wicked to the ground” (ibid.). “Condemning the wicked, and justifying the righteous” (I Kings 8:32): this is a principle of all the narrations of the Scriptures concerning the righteous.

Against every good man (or good deed) there will always be detractors and opponents, or at best the people will fail to appreciate properly the worth of the righteous and their deeds. Here in these verses Hashem supplies a model of how to react to the deeds of the righteous and how highly we should admire their personalities and publicize their importance.

Pinchas is commended for being jealous (i.e. his zeal) for Hashem, and this jealousy was especially commended for being performed in their midst, meaning in open public demonstration. This quality of public open speech or action on behalf of Hashem is especially prized. Moshe became angry when he saw any infraction of Hashem’s Torah and was constantly commended by Hashem; we understand that Moshe was protecting the sons of Israel from the consequences of Hashem’s wrath.

When Moshe, during the episode of the golden calf, broke the Tablets, it was a monumental deed of jealousy for Hashem’s honor, and this prepared the way for the final pardon that was granted for that transgression. Similarly, when Abraham prayed that Sodom be spared destruction, Hashem consented if there would be ten righteous men, but the condition was made that they be righteous men in the midst of the city (Bereshis 18:26), meaning that they openly and publicly demonstrated their disapproval of the sins of the city. Just as the ketoret brings forgiveness from Hashem’s retribution, even more does public action for the honor of Hashem and His Torah bring forgiveness. This is the highest ketoret of all.

In the following verse, a covenant of priesthood is bestowed upon him and his posterity. But the covenant of peace for Pinchas himself is a separate covenant whereby he is assured of peace throughout his lifetime (Bamidbar Rabbah 25:1). Why was Pinchas granted an assurance of peace throughout his lifetime? Because he brought peace to the sons of Israel. This is twice stated: 1) He turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel and 2) he was zealous for his G-d and atoned for the sons of Israel (25:13). The second statement is added to explain the priesthood was bestowed upon him because he atoned for the sons of Israel, therefore he and his posterity shall atone for Israel as kohanim. Thus we learn that the man who is zealous for Hashem and His Torah is considered as one who brings peace to Israel and protects them against misfortune; and therefore he deserves a long life of enjoying the fruits of his deeds.

Pinchas was active even in the days of the War of the Concubine at Giveah (Shoftim 20:28). Similarly, though Eliyahu Hanavi departed from men (II Kings 2:11), he was rewarded in not having to die like other men (ibid.) because he was zealous for Hashem (I Kings 19:10); and in our tradition the deathless Eliyahu appeared to the Sages numerous times. Men such as these have brought upon Israel the assurance that our nation would continue deathless.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/pinchas-zealous-for-hashem/2012/07/12/

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