Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Pinchas

The following is a brief summary of two thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand began by quoting a pasuk in Tehillim which states Vaya'mod Pinchas Vayipallel. The gemara in Sanhedrin 44 states that the pasuk does not use the term Vayispallel (meaning that he prayed) and instead uses the term Vayipallel which the gemara interprets that Pinchas argued with Hashem and presented legal arguments to save the Jews. In so doing, Pinchas argued to Hashem - why kill 24,000 people because of the acts of these two insignificant people?

R' Frand quoted R' Albo in Sefer Ha'ikrim who asked - how does prayer help us? Indeed, if Hashem has decided that a person should be sick, how does the prayer help him recover? R' Albo explains that prayer changes the person and makes him into another individual. He further explains that while person x may have been the subject of the gezeirah, this person is no longer person x.

R' Frand then noted that the word for prayer - mispallel - is reflexive as it connotes doing an action to one's self. The reason for the conjugation is that a person's prayer works a change in that person and therefore he is doing an action to himself.

Pinchas did not pray for himself as he did not need to change and he himself had not sinned. As such Tehillim states that Pinchas was arguing - Vayipallel - arguing that Hashem should save the Jews.

Another vort said by R' Frand this evening related to Pinchas' lineage. The Torah explains that Pinchas was not a Kohen prior to his actions in killing Zimri and Kozbi. Rashi on Bamidbar 25:13 explains that even though the kehuna had been given to Aharon and his sons, Pinchas did not receive the kehuna because he was already born at the time and could not inherit it by birth. Furthermore, since he was under the age of majority he was too young to be anointed. As such, Pinchas (until the 40th year in the desert) lived his life as a non-kohen, even though his father and brothers were kohanim.

R' Frand quoted R' Gedalyah Shore in the sefer Ohr Gedalyahu who explained that Pinchas' life without kehuna was part of Hashem's master plan. Had Pinchas been a kohen when he killed, he would have lost his capacity to act as a kohen, since (according to the Zohar) a kohen who kills is forbidden to serve as a kohen. Therefore, Hashem did a favor for Pinchas by not giving him kehuna so that when he killed he did not lose his position.

R' Frand then added in the name of R' Shore that if Pinchas was a minor when he lost out on kehuna and was six at the time, he then spent forty years thinking that he had lost out. Indeed, because of an accident of birth he was not a kohen, even though his relatives had the title. Pinchas went around for forty years thinking - what does Hashem have against me?

However, Pinchas learned later that Hashem was doing him a favor by not making him a kohen early in life, thus permitting him to act against Zimri. The lesson he learned was that although he did not understand the reason that he was deprived of kehuna - this happened for a reason. Pinchas was lucky enough to learn the lesson and understand why this occurred while he was still alive.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: