by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS PINCHOS 5771 BS"D
Ch. 25, v. 12,13: "Hin'ni no'sein lo es brisi sho-lom, V'hoysoh lo ulzaro acharov bris K'hunas olom" - Behold I give his My covenant of peace, And it will be for him and his descendants after him a covenant of permanent priesthood - In a small town in eastern Galicia the Rov died. A tremendous argument broke out among different factions in the town as to who would fill his position. It was so contentious that even during the funeral loud rumblings of arguments were heard. This matter came to the eras of Rabbi Meir of Premishlan. He said that upon hearing this he now had an insight into the juxtaposition of the words at the end of verse 12 and the beginning of verse 13. He was promised a covenant of peace and then that this would extend to his descendants forever. What is the connection? We see that when a position becomes vacated great arguments can come in its wake. Thus Pinchos was told that he would have priesthood, a very coveted position and that it would extend to all future generations. This could very easily bring in its wake extreme arguments. Hashem therefore told him that he would likewise have a covenant of peace.
Ch. 25, v. 13: "Tachas asher kino lEilokov" - Since he was zealous for his G-d - Commentators say that the words of the Ten Commandments were said in the singular to drive into each and every person the idea that his attitude should be one of "I am the only one." He should not say that it is no big deal if he sins as there are probably others who do likewise, or if he does not fulfill a certain mitzvoh it is likewise no bog deal because others also do not do it, or the opposite, that there are others who will fulfill it.
When Zimri sinned among all of the bnei Yisroel, everyone was aware, and even Moshe did not react. The first reaction a person might have is, "If even Moshe did nothing about this why should I?" Nevertheless, Pinchos acted on his own, notwithstanding all the above. This is "Asher kino lEilokOV," he was zealous for HIS G-d. It was as if only he was commanded and there was no reason to take into consideration what others did or did not do. (Chomas Aish)
Ch. 25, v. 15: "Kozbi bas Tzur rosh umos" - Kozbi the daughter of Tzur a head of nations - Rashi comments that Tzur was the most prominent of the five kings of Midyon, and nevertheless he was not mentioned here first in the list. This is because he was relegated because he so cheapened himself to give over his daughter, a princess, for promiscuity, to bring the bnei Yisroel to sin. If so, why is he mentioned third and not pushed to the end of the list?
Although we do not know Hashem's calculations, it seems that even taking into account his shameful behaviour, he deserved no greater degradation than being demoted to third place. This serves as a powerful lesson to us. Even if someone has sinned grievously, it does not open the floodgates to embarrass him to the utmost. We must always calculate how we react. (Pri Chaim)
Ch. 26, v. 11: "Uvnei Korach lo meisu" - And Korach's sons did not die - Rashi explains that although they began to descend into the abyss, a ledge protruded, and they were saved from falling further down. Why wasn't this mentioned in parshas Korach, when the earth-shattering event took place? It was not mentioned there out of respect for Moshe. At the time of the uprising and rebellion it would be disrespectful to mention that anyone from Korach's family was saved. (Ro'isi)
Ch. 26, v. 2: "HaChanochi" - The Chanochite - Rashi comments that Hashem placed the letters Hei and Yud, which make up one of His Names and placed these letters before and after the tribal descendant names as testimony to the family purity of the descendants and any thought of illegitimacy of the bnei Yisroel families is not true. Why is the letter Hei placed at the beginning and the letter Yud at the end, and not the other way around (especially considering that This Name is first a Yud and then a Hei)?
Hashem has placed these same letters of His two-letter Name into a Jewish household. A woman, "ishoh" has a Hei and a man, "ish" has a Yud, which combine to make up the Holy Name, which is present in their home when holiness and peace are present.
The concept of family fidelity was embodied in the women more than in the men. When the new ruling of restrictions of marriage to certain very close relatives came into being, the men cried and the women accepted it with equanimity. Since they were more introspect in fidelity than the men, their letter Hei deserves to come first. (Kli Yokor)
Ch. 26, v. 43: "Arbo'im v'shishim elef v'arba mei'os" - Sixty-four thousand and four hundred - Even though Dan had only one son his tribe multiplied greatly, to the point that his was the second most populace tribe, bettered only by that of Yisochor. Binyomin had ten sons and his tribal count was just forty-five thousand and six hundred. We see from this that it is only Hashem who controls the world and even when one might think that in a certain matter or realm he is very secure and established, there can be extremes ups and downs, all orchestrated by Hashem. (Chofetz Chaim and MVRHRH"G R' Yaakov Kamenecki ztllh"h)
Ch. 27, v. 5: "Va'yakreiv Moshe es mishpotoN lifnei Hashem" - And Moshe brought their judgment in front of Hashem - We derive from the words "V'haachalticho nachalas Yaakov ovicho" which come right after numerous guidelines in how we are to keep Shabbos hallowed, that he who safeguards Shabbos deserves an inheritance portion in Eretz Yisroel and he who does not does not. According to the opinion that their father Tz'lofchod desicrated Shabbos it seems that he would have no portion in Eretz Yisroel to give his offspring as an inheritance. However, there is an opinion cited in Tosfos on the gemara B.B. 115 that he had the intention of strengthening Shabbos observance with his desecration of Shabbos. Since this was an issue of what his intention was, something that no person could testify to, it was necessary to bring the matter to Hashem, who knows even the intentions of a person. (Likutei Bossor Likutei)
Ch. 29, v. 35: "Ba'yom hashmini atzerres ti'h'yeh lochem" - On the eighth day there shall be an assemblage for you - After Rosh Hashonoh, Yom kippur, and Sukos, days of awe, of acceptance of Hashem's sovereign kingship, of contrition and repentance, of leaving behind our this-worldly residences, we come to Shmini Atzerres. This is a day that is "lochem," where we ask for our physical needs so that we may serve Hashem with clear minds and happiness. This day is a "regel bifnei ATZMO," for one's own needs. (Yeitev Lev)
Ch. 29, v. 35: "Ba'yom hashmini atzerres ti'h'yeh lochem" - On the eighth day there shall be an assemblage for you - On the day of Simchas Torah before Mussof we sing the stanzas "Sisu v'simchu b'simchas Torah." Why not simply say, "Sisu v'simchu baTorah?" We are expressing that we are happy with the Torah's happiness. This is that the Torah was given to us, the bnei Yisroel, rather than to any of the other nations of the world, albeit that the Torah was offered to them. No other nation would have accorded the Torah so much honour, nor would it have been as happy with all that the Torah encompasses. (Divrei Shmuel of Slonim)
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