Torah Portion: Pinchas B’midbar (Numbers) 25:10-30:1
HafTorah: I Kings 18:46-19:21
Tonight we read the Torah portion Pinchas. The incident which began last week ends in the opening verses of this week’s portion. We read where Pinchas is rewarded for his actions with a covenant of peace and an everlasting priesthood. All of this brings up questions. How would you describe Pinchas? Fanatic might come to mind. How do we normally look at fanatics? We don’t think positively of them especially when they are religious fanatics. We have all heard or been taught that religious fanaticism is to blame for much of the evil in the world today, and is the underlying cause of many or even every conflict around the globe. Think of ISIS, Boko HaRam, Al Quida to name but a few. And yet here we see it rewarded. How do we reconcile the two? Now think for a bit about Zimri and Kosbi. They may not seem all that strange today. We live in a time when boundaries are being constantly re-examined and changed, sometimes publicly. In the 60’s we had free love, today marriage is fast becoming old fashion or no longer needed.