General, Parasha / E-Letter
This week Rabbi Yehoshau Engelman offers a profound look at zealotry and peace, revealing to us the wholeness that only the truest of love can bring us, the loyalty and comfort that the dangerous passion of zealotry offers, and the final, ultimate gift of strength and contradiction that peace bestows. A fascinating, radical new read on Parashat Pinchas:
“And yet, as Albert Camus elucidates in his book The Rebel, every rebellion is, always and inevitably, consciously or not, done in the name of a value and an ideal” CC: Harpercollins
By: Rabbi Yehoshua Engelman
Pinchas seems to be a natural leader, rising from virtual anonymity to do what needs to be done, at the right time. At the conclusion of last week’s portion we read how he stayed the plague which smote Israel who were clinging to the idol’s and the Midianite women of Baal-Peor, driving a spear through Zimri the prince of the tribe of Simeon who, whilst retribution was being meted out to the sinning heads-of-the-people, brought his consort princess of Midian “near before the eyes of Moses and the entire community of the Children of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of appointment” (Num. 25: 4-9). It seemed to have needed Pinchas’ taking the law into his hands, he certainly is the man-of-the-day, saving Israelites from the plague . God, this week, rewards him with His “Peace covenant” of eternal priesthood “because he was jealous for his God” (ibid 13).
Till now – all is clear, as written in the Torah. I would like to share another reading, admittedly radical, based on various commentators: Continue Reading