Illuminations #125, Tamuz 5777, Parshat Pinchas

KollelNerHamizrach__illumination logo

Illuminations #125, Tamuz 5777, Parshat Pinchas

Torah Gems

הנני נתן לו את בריתי שלום “Behold I am giving [to Pinhas], My covenant of peace” (BaMidbar 25:12). The Gemara tells us (Sanhedrin 82b) that the atonement that Pinhas did was worthy of being an atonement (for the Jewish people) forever.

The Ben Ish Hai explains the gemara as follows: The reason why a righteous individual is protection for the generation among whom he lives is because he becomes a partner with them, sharing their merits. Since he has many, on account of his numerous good deeds, the entire generation benefits and is protected. Once the Tzadik passes away, however, even though there are other ways he can proffer protection, that partnership ends and their merits can no longer be shared.

Pinhas never died. He was, as we know, Eliyahu HaNavi, who went up to Heaven in a chariot of fire while he was alive. Since he never died, his “partnership” with the Jewish people was never dissolved. As such, his protection of the Jewish people will last forever.

Parsha Pearls

הנני נתן לו את־בריתי שלום “Behold, I give him my covenant of peace” (Bammidbar 25:12). Pinhas was zealous for the Name of Heaven, and put his life in danger in order to make peace between the Jewish people and the Holy One blessed be He. That is why G-d gave him His covenant of peace.

As we know, Pinhas is Eliyahu Hanavi, and he attends every single Brit Milah (circumcision) that take place around the world. The commandment of Brit Milah is so powerful that, even though it is only performed once in a person’s life, it stands as a great defense for the Jewish people. It saves them from the attribute of judgment, and this creates peace between the Jewish people and our Father in Heaven.

This is why the commandment of the Brit Milah was given to him, to be at every Brit Milah that takes place. Since the Brit Milah brings peace between us and G-d, and he, Pinhas, brought peace between us and G-d, he was the one chosen to be the “Malakh HaBerit” (angel of the covenant).

Glimpses of Greatness

Rav Moshe Feinstein was a great Torah Giant. He was the Posek of his generation. He answered all sorts of difficult questions, whether it was in regards to agunot, life and death questions or other big decisions. Regardless of all this, Rav Moshe was known for his great humility. Once, Rav Moshe was walking down the street when a man called out of his car, “Moshe, Moshe.” Rav Moshe walked over to the window humbly and asked the man what he could do for him. When the man saw the Gadol Hador in front of him he was humiliated. He apologized profusely, and said he was calling his son, whose name was Moshe.

Halacha Weekly

Q. Is one permitted to make aliyah if one’s parents object? [II-3-55]

A. One has a mitzvah of yishuv haaretz, living in the land of Israel, and one has a mitzvah of kivud av, honoring parents. Which takes precedence? Maharam MeRottenberg,  Z”L, (2-28,79)  writes that in any mitzvah matter (where a parent objects), one does not listen to a parent  because the honor of G-d has precedence over the honor of parents. Likewise, the Mabit writes (1-139, R. Moshe Ben Yosef di Trani, Z”L) that one who is commanded by his father not to go up to the land of Israel does not need to listen to him, since it is as if he commands him to transgress the words of the Torah. In this case there is no punishment for the son regarding nullifying the mitzvah of honoring parents because his father is also able to go up with him, and all of them are obligated in the mitzvah of dwelling in the land of Israel. Ben Ish Chai (Shoftim  2-19, R. Yosef Chaim, Z”L), Paat Hashulchan (2,21, R. Binyamin Edelman), and Yechave daath(4-251,R. Ovadia Yosef,  Z”L) agree that if one’s father objects to one going to the land of Israel one should not listen to the parent.

However, Tashbetz (3—288, R. Shimon Ben Tzemach Duran, Z”L) writes that it is permissible to leave the land of Israel for the sake of honoring one’s father and mother. Ish Matzliach(Yoreh Deah 1-30,R. Matzliach Mazuz, Z”L) writes that there is no contradiction. What is written by Tashbetz, that it is permitted to leave the land of Israel for the sake of the mitzvah of kivud av v’eim, is specifically on the condition of returning, but to remain outside the land permanently is prohibited.