The Chapter of Pinchas in the Bible
There Is Nothing More Complete Than a Broken Heart
The Children of Israel are exposed to the immoral conduct described at the end of the portion of Balak. A prince of Israel takes an Aramean woman and has sexual relations with her in front of the entire people. Moses, who can’t believe what is taking place before his very eyes, is in shock and doesn’t know what to do.
Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, takes a spear and kills both the man and the woman. The problem is he did it on his own without court approval. Six miracles were done for him by G-d to make this action happen.
Rabbi Yochanan said: Six miracles were wrought for Pinchas: — [i] Zimri should have withdrawn [from the woman] but did not; If he had he could have defended himself instead of being killed [ii] he should have cried out [for help], but did not; He was the prince of the tribe and had many men outside his tent [iii] he [Pinchas] succeeded [in driving his spear] exactly through the sexual organs of the man and woman; This was important as he lifted them up like a shis ka bob for all to see and the miracle was obvious [iv] they did not slip off the spear; this should have happened by gravity[v] an angel came and lifted up the lintel; How was it possible for Pincus to carry a spear with two people on the top of it. The weight should have broken the spear or been too heavy for him to carry [vi] an angel came and wrought destruction amongst the people.
Was Pinchas’ action worthy and justifiable? Or was he a Zealot? This question is debated by the Rabbis for thousands of years. Following this act is he still permitted to continue his priestly duties in the Mishkan (Tabernacle)?The six miracles should have been enough proof but it was not for the people.
The Almighty Himself answers our question: “Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aaron has turned my anger away from the Children of Israel…” “Therefore say: “I hereby give him My covenant of peace”. (Numbers 25;11-12)
Pinchas is complete and worthy of continuing his tasks in the Mishkan. And from this, we learn that every Kohen who serves in the Temple must also be complete. We learn this from the unique letter that is found only once in the entire Torah. The letter “vav” in the word “shalom” is broken and is found in two parts. From this Rav Yehuda learns in the name of Shmuel that what is written here is not only “shalom” but also “shalem” (complete) (tractate Kidushin 66).
There are times when in order to be complete one must be broken, and this is just what Pinchas did. In the words of the Rebbe from Kotzk:
“There Is Nothing More Complete Than a Broken Heart”.
Moishe’s Trip to the Dentist
Little Moishe Klein had a really bad cavity and that meant only one thing: a visit to the dentist. Moishe was brought into the examining room by the dental hygienist and was made comfortable in the reclining dental chair. Dr. Rosen injected a numbing agent around Moishe’s tooth, and left the room for a few minutes while the medication took hold.
When Dr. Rosen returned, Moishe was standing next to a tray of dental equipment, “What are you doing by the surgical instruments, Moishe?” asked Dr. Rosen, somewhat surprised.
Focused on his task, Moishe replied, “I’m taking out the ones I don’t like.”