7/12/2012

Shabbat Pinchas

Begins Friday July 13th at 8.05pm. Ends July 14th at 9.05pm.
Rosh Chodesh Av - Friday July 20th

The story of Pinchas is a highly controversial one. After Bilaam realized that cursing the Israelites was not going to work, the advice he gave Balak was that the weakness of the Israelites was sex! Yes, amazing as it sounds, then it was the same as it is today. Sexual urges are so strong that they can totally destroy the lives of otherwise clever men and get them to behave like self-indulgent children. They abandon solid relationships to run after glitter and delusion and transient pleasure that soon loses its attraction. And so it was three thousand years ago. The Midianites sent in their sexy, half-naked women to seduce the Israelites and they succeeded. First it was sex and then it was idolatry and soon they lost the will to fight. It got so bad that some of leaders actually flaunted their sexual betrayal publicly, right in front of Moses. He was so shocked he didn’t know how to react.

His nephew, Pinchas decided extraordinary circumstances required extra judicial action. He took it upon himself to run through the Israelite Prince and Midianite princess in the act. What was the reaction? Some wanted to kill Pinchas for taking the law into his own hands. In fact we do not approve of extra judicial actions. Jewish law does not approve of vigilantes taking the law into their own hands. It took Divine Intervention to say that this was an exception and Pinchas should not be punished but praised. Sometimes logic and common sense do not work. Unless one acts immediately and with force, one can find that it is too late and one has lost the battle altogether.