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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha

This parsha sheet is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan,Z"L.May it be a merit for his soul.


" Pinchas , the son of Eleazer, the son of Aaron..............................................." (25:11)

A leader in Israel, Zimri, was killed by Pinchas because Zimri was committing immorality in public with a Midyanite Princess. This took great courage, and in fact saved the Israelites from a plague. Rashi quotes Sanhedrin 82 , as follows (Paraphrase): The tribes were belittling Pinchas by pointing to the fact that his mother's father , Yitro, was in an Idol worshipper before changing his ways, and believing in G-d. They called him "Ben Puti" to emphasize this very fact.We must realize that the nation was outraged when one of their leaders was killed by Pinchas (end of paraphrase). So how does G-d react to this gossip, He focuses on the positive that Pinchas was also descended from very great people, namely Aaron.This is why the Torah reiterates Pinchas lineage in verse 25:11. The Torah is teaching us a tremendous lesson by doing this. Every person has both positive and negative traits about themselves. People tend to focus on the negative. We all notice instinctively on whether a person is short, bald, or overweight. This is human nature. Yet we find that although the nation was clamoring about the "Ben Puti" aspect of Pinchas life, G-d was focusing on the positive.This is the difference between being an ordinary person and being "G-dlike". The contrast is blatantly apparent. G-d created man with a soul which is G-dlike, this is known as man's "Elokus"(according to many religious texts).Because this is a "part" of G-d, it is readily apparent to G-d. However, a person that does not see "Elokus" in himself, it is very difficult to see it in others. This is the reason why the people focused exclusively on the negative, while G-d focused on the positive. The question remains, how do we see ourselves and how does this manifest itself on how we view others?This was the Israelites failings, and its probably ours as well. If we see the "Elokus" in ourselves, then we can surely see it in others. This is very profound indeed. A person with "Elokus" will find it extremely difficult to belittle another. have a good Shabbos


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