Parsha Pinchas 5770: The Magnitude and Completeness of Pinchas’ Zealousness

by Moshe Burt

We learned in Parsha Balak that Bila’am’s scheme to seduce Jewish men to avodah zora by way of immorality (co-habitation) resulted in a plague which killed 24,000 Jewish men until Pinchas’ act brought the plague to a halt. However, Bamidbar, Perek 25, posuk 4 and 5 read;

And Hashem, said to Moshe: Take all of the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the Hashem in the face of the sun, that (there) may turn away the fierce anger of Hashem from Israel. And Moshe said unto the judges of Israel: Slay you every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Ba’al Peor. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Balak 5770: What Levels of Evil are Deemed Tolerable in the Camp?

by, Moshe Burt

In previous years when speaking about Parsha Balak, about Bila’am’s scheme to lure Jewish men to immorality and avodah zora, as well as connecting Pinchas’ action, in killing Zimri and Kosbi in the act of co-habitation before the Assembly, this author referred back to a posuk in Parsha Ki Tisa;

You shall annoint Aaron, his sons and their descendents as Kohanim…

But Pinchas was omitted by the posuk in Parsha Ki Tisa as he was born in Mitzrayim, before Yetziyot Mitzrayim, before Matan Torah, to Aaron’s son Elazar, heir to Aaron’s position of Kohen Godol. The Kohanic inheritance and lineage would only kick in after Matan Torah, thus by the annointment of Aaron and his sons, Pinchas Ben Elazar fell through the cracks. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Chukas 5770: Rachel Imeinu’s Tefillot: Dividing Line Between Corruption and Caring?

by Moshe Burt

The placement in Torah of the Parah Adumah in our Parsha Chukat raises questions as to why it and it’s Halachot are mentioned here in our Parsha; only after Korach’s rebellion and after the continued murmuring of the Am against Moshe Rabbeinu, after the plague which killed thousands only ending with Aaron’s carrying an incense pan amongst the people (upon Moshe’s instruction), and after the story of the rods.

“Rabbi Artscroll” presents one answer to the question of placement in a commentary in The Stone Chumash on the words at the beginning of our Parsha “…el Moshe, v’el Aaron” [1] The answer speaks of the symbolism of the Parah Adumah (the Red Heiffer) coming to atone for the sin of the Eigel Zahav (the Golden Calf) “… as if to say let the Mother come and clean up the mess left by her child…” [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Korach 5770: Leadership Based on Divine Merit, vs Protexia and Political Self-Interest

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Korach may seem to the reader a to be a logical continuation of Parsha Shelach as it would seem very much that Korach and his attempted power grab is a logical after-affect, a consequence of the denial of Eretz Yisrael by 10 of the 12 miraglim (spies). But the commentaries indicate that Korach’s rebellion was a result of Hashem’s stripping firstborns of their Divine service after the Golden Calf, and conveying this service upon the Levi’im, of which Korach was a member.  [...]  Click here to read more.