Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Parshas Pinchas: A Solution to Succeed Against Israel's Enemies

Tonight is the 17th of Tammuz, the anniversary of the entry of enemy forces (Romans) into Jerusalem at the time of the destruction of the Second Beis HaMikdash. Currently, Israel is involved in a military campaign in Gaza, precipitated by the capture of Gilad Shalit, by Palestinian terrorists. As of today (Wednesday), eight Israeli troops were murdered and two were taken hostage. Almost immediately, Israel sent troops and tanks into Southern Lebanon, and the Israel Air Force has bombed hundreds of targets (150 targets were bombed in the nighttime). Most recently, the news reports that the IAF bombed Beirut International Airport. Based on the way things look, it appears that this will become a major conflict.

Though the situation may look bad, it can turn out to be a blessing - a great opportunity to take out our terrorist enemies surrounding (and in) Israel. I believe that there is a way that Israel can easily defeat its enemies and get its hostages back. HaShem always wants His nation, the Jewish People, to follow in His ways and return to him. In a previous post I note how immodesty leads to a withdrawal of the Divine Protection and how we must combat such immodesty, including opposing the planned "WorldPride" event scheduled for Jerusalem in about three-and-a-half weeks. We should send letters to leaders in Israel (and religious leaders in America), especially the Jerusalem police and Mayor Lupolianski, discouraging them from having the parade in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel, whether from a religious standpoint or from a security standpoint (the current events in Israel). It turns out, if the current security situation persists much longer, the police may feel compelled to cancel the parade altogether.

The Parsha of Pinchas and a Solution to the Crisis:

Zimri, the prince of the tribe of Shimon, has relations with a prostitute. This brazen act must have encouraged many other Israelites to have immoral relations with the Midianites and Moabites, for, when it was all over, 24,000 Israelites died in a plague.

What stops the plague?

Pinchas. He is the grandson of Aharon the Kohen and in maseches Sanhedrin, is called one who "turns back wrath" from HaShem. Pinchas went ahead and killed Zimri and Cozbi, the Midianite woman he was having relations with at the time. Pinchas killed Zimri, for, as we learn in the gemara, there is a halacha that Pinchas was aware of - One who has sexual relations with these type of women, zealots (i.e. those who are zealous for the honor of HaShem shall attack the offenders).

So, sexual immorality led to the deaths of 24,000. According to RaSh"I, all 24,000 who died belonged to the tribe of Shimon. Hence, Zimri, the prince of Shimon acted immorally, in turn many in his tribe acted immorally with the women and died.

Pinchas comes, kills Zimri, stops the outrage of immorality and stops a devastating plague, in all likelihood saving many thousands more Jewish lives. In fact, RaMBa"N notes that Pinchas' act atoned for the Israelites and prevented "them all dying in the plague". As a result, HaShem rewards
Pinchas with His Covenant of Peace and all his descendants can now become kohanim. (Bamidbar: 25; 12)

What does this mean for us?

Pinchas acted in accordance with Jewish law - an exceptional action against an exceptional transgression of the Torah law. Obviously, nowadays the situation is different. However, the actions of Pinchas are very appropriate to learn from, especially nowadays. We must do all we can, within the confines of halacha, to oppose desecration of the Torah. We must understand that even one person can stop great wrongdoings by many people. To help stop events such as the "WorldPride" event and to encourage others to stop desecrating the Torah, we must put pressure on the appropriate leaders in Israel and make them understand that there are real political consequences to not acting in the interest of HaShem and His Torah. We should also learn extra Torah and do extra davening, as well as improve our middos (character traits) to give our cause a great boost from Heaven. We must encourage our leaders to follow the path of Torah and oppose all sorts of acts against the Torah, especially organized actions such as the planned "World Pride" event. A no-confidence vote against the government related to the issue of "World Pride" did not pass on Monday. Less than two days later, a seemingly tough situation in Gaza has become tougher with the attack by Hizbullah. I can't know for sure, maybe the attack would have occurred regardless of the outcome of the vote. However, as the Chofetz Chaim says, immodesty leads to withdrawal of Divine Protection, Heaven Forbid. May the events of today encourage the Jewish nation to improve in the ways of the Torah and lead to the downfall of all our enemies and the speedy rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash and the coming of Moshiach ben Yosef and ben David
. Amen!


Post a Comment

<< Home