Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Pinchas

The following is a brief summary of some of 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.

In Bamidbar 27:26, the Torah begins its discussion of Moshe's conversation with Hashem about Moshe's successor. The topic begins with the unique statement "Vaidaber Moshe el Hashem Leimor". R' Frand stated that this is the only time that such a pasuk is found in the Torah.

R' Frand linked this to a story involving a chassid who came to the Kotzker Rebbi and asked him, why is it Moshe had to approach Hashem and ask Him who would succeed Moshe? Did Moshe think that Hashem did not have a plan?

The Kotzker Rebbi responded that of course Moshe thought Hashem had a plan, but that the plan involved Pinchas taking his place. However, after Pinchas killed Kozbi and Zimri, Moshe knew that Pinchas would not succeed him, because the role of leader requires someone who has an even keel and not a Kanai (loosely translated as zealot). Once Pinchas publicly stood up and took the lives of Kozbi and Zimri, although his actions were justified and rewarded, Moshe knew that there would be a different leader of the Jews.

Rabbi Frand said a second vort on this topic. He first quoted from Bamidbar 27:20 where Moshe is told to give Meihodcha. Rashi states that Moshe was told to give from his Hod (loosely translated as glory or majesty) to Yehoshua, but not all of it. He then utters the famous statement that Moshe was like the sun and Yehoshua the moon and the moon is not as radiant as the sun.

R' Frand next quoted the Gemara in Bava Basra which states that the elders of the generation said what a Busha and Klima that Moshe is the sun and Yehoshua the moon. R' Frand asked two questions about this: (1) why did only the elders make this statement and (2) how could they say it in front of Yehoshua?

R' Frand answered the first question by quoting the Ohr Sameach which explains that everyone saw the difference between Moshe and Yehoshua, but the younger generation figured that Yehoshua would grow to be a Moshe and they were not bothered by it. To this the elders said - Moshe was always Moshe, he did not grow into the job. We remember when Moshe was made the leader and he was always like this.

R' Frand also quoted R' Bukspan who cited R' Isser Zalman Meltzer in explaining that they were lamenting themselves - the generation receives the leader that the generation deserves and the leader who can relate to the problems of the generation. They bemoaned that they did not receive a leader like Moshe because they were not worthy of such a leader.

R' Frand also said another explanation similar to his vort last year (see link here  as to the leaders observing that Yehoshua had been just like them when younger, but he worked on himself to become Yehoshua, and they did not.

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting the Chafetz Chaim who explained that Busha refers to a person who feels unworthy to stand in the presence of greatness, while Klima is a person who recognizes in himself that he has not accomplished all that he could.

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