Pinchas: Man of Decisive Action

Zionism begins and ends with Torah. Even Jon Voight who is a Righteous Catholic Actor understood this when he said in the Knesset on January 31st 2011 that the "Torah has all the answers."

He further said, "The Jews have given the world the Torah which includes every possible answer to your life's needs. I witnessed the victims of barbaric Palestinian attacks and it is outrageous that the world accepts the barbarism as a means of attaining goals such as a State."  Not  to many could have said it better.

Because Torah is so important to Zionism I decided that in addition to my articles on Politics and World Affairs, I would start a Parsha Series that would analyze Torah from a political prism. The Parsha of Pinchas will be my starting point. I have witnessed Politics first hand for the past 30 years.

I have Ateret Cohanim to thank for giving me the great privilege and honor of seeing Pinchas in action in the modern era. Every time a Jew moves back into a home in Jerusalem that was formerly owned by Jews in 1881 or before 1936 I see Pinchas. I see Pinchas in Israel's pre-emptive strike of the Egyptian Air Force in 1967. I see Pinchas in Menachem Begin when he struck the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor in Osirak in 1981. I hope to some day I'YH see Pinchas in Bibi Netanyahu when he finally decides to strike the Iranian Nuclear Facilities-Deal or No Deal. Pinchas in Gematria equals the numerical value of the letters of Yitzchok.

Yitzchok stood for Gevura. He was ready to be sacrificed. He was ready to die Al Kiddush Hashem. Pinchas was also ready to sacrifice himself for the Jewish People. This is the ultimate Gevura exemplified by both Pinchas and Yitzchok. Very few comment on the meaning of Pinchas' name. The "Shaamei Aharon" says Pinchas stands for "Pani Chas"-which means "he had pity on my face". Pinchas had pity on G-d Almighty by removing G-d's anger from the Jewish People, "Heishiv et Chamati Meial Bnei Yisrael". The name Pinchas could relate to both its prefix and suffix "Pen" and "Chas" which each means "lest" as in lest it befall the Jewish People as in Chas VeChalila or Chas VeShalom. Pinchas was all about preventing Sin and maintaining Spiritual Order in the Jewish People. Pinchas risked his own life to save us. The tribe of Shimon were ready to kill him.

He was rewarded by G-d with the ultimate prize which was the Brit Shalom. It was a Peace Prize that actually brought about "True Peace" unlike many of the Nobel Peace Prizes that that are handed out in Stockholm that often trigger War-the one to Yasir Arafat comes to mind. Pinchas was also given the Brit Kehunot Olam. The Zohar says that Pinchas was the Gilgul of Nadav and Avihu (since they were not married their "half" Souls combined to make Pinchas). Nadav and Avihu died for many reasons but one was that they died as punishment for Aharon's involvement in the Eigel Hazahav. Pinchas was the Tikun for this tragic episode.

Pinchas learned a valuable lesson from Aharon's mistake. Yes, he knew well the Halachot of "Kanai Pogim Bo" but he also understood that Aharon, who was the greatest Peacemaker who ever lived, had erred with the Eigel Hazahav. Yes, Aharon could have been killed like his nephew, Chur, but felt it better to live, and try to counter the movement for the Eigel by stalling for time. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts and intentions, he ended up with an Eigel Hazahav.

Pinchas would have none of this.He was willing to die for the Jewish People. He believed decisive action by his Grandfather Aharon would have worked out better. He was proved right and taught the Jewish People one of its most valuable lessons. Shabbat Shalom.


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