Parshat Pinchas

(Numbers: 25:10-30:1)

(Haftara: Melachim I, 18:46-19:21)

  1. [25:12] “Therefore I am giving him my covenant of peace.” The Talmud Yerushalmi tells us after Pinchas killed Zimri and Kozbi and stopped the plague, the chachamim wanted to excommunicate him. However, when they saw that Pinchas was rewarded by God with the priesthood and the covenant of peace they changed their minds. How can it be that the wise men of the time were so out of touch with God’s way of seeing this incident?
  2. [27:1] Tzelafchad died and left behind 4 daughters and no sons. The daughters requested that the inheritance go to them, and Moshe asked God and God agreed that the inheritance should go to them. Why wasn’t this law obvious? Why did Moshe have to ask God?
  3. [27:1] Apparently, if the daughters of Tzlafchad had not requested the inheritance, they would not have received it. What might the Torah be trying to teach us here?
  4. [27:15] Moshe asks God to appoint a new leader for the Israelites, who would lead after Moshe dies. In addressing God, Moshe calls Him “God of the spirits of all flesh”. What is the meaning of this description of God, and why specifically at this point does Moshe use this description?
  5. [Haftara: Melachim I, 19:11,12] “…God was not in the wind…God was not in the earthquake…God was not in the fire…a still, small voice.”  God was in the still, small voice. The commentaries say, “…speaking and silence at the same time”.  What does this tell us about the nature of prophecy and communication with God?

Commentary

[27:17] “…a leader who will take them out and who will bring them in. And let not the congregation of God be like sheep that have no shepherd”.

Moshe was asking for a real leader—”…who will take them out and who will bring them in”. An ineffective leader follows the will of the people and is dragged into their impurity, but a real leader raises the people out of their impurity and up to the heights of holiness.

(–Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Ger (1799-1866

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer

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