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Parshas Pinchas

by Rabbi Dovid Green

In Parshas Pinchas the Jewish People are counted. There are various reasons given for this. One is that since there was a plague, and judgments done with many from the Tribe of Shimon, G-d wanted Moshe to count the Jews again. It's compared to a shepherd whose flock was attacked by wolves. After the attack the shepherd wants to take account of the flocks which remain. The numbers of each tribe are given, and the tribe of Dan is the most numerous. It's interesting to note that the entire tribe came from only one son of Dan. His name was Chushim, and he was deaf. Being deaf in those days basically meant a person remained very immature and uneducated. Yet, his tribe merited to be the largest.

On the other hand the tribe of Binyomin started from ten sons, and even Binyomin did not have a larger tribe than Dan. We see from here, the Chafetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir Cagan d. 1933) points out, that what G-d wants will always succeed.

This is important for us to know, because we are the foundation upon which every subsequent generation is being built. Who knows what could come from us? Our thoughts, our speech, and our actions should be exemplary, because they are the basis for the younger generation who will see, hear, observe and emulate us. A small kindness we show can multiply exponentially in the hands of the children and grandchildren who witnessed it, or heard the stories. The potiential is limitless. We are potentially the mothers and fathers of hundreds of thousands of people!

The Chofetz Chaim was once asked how it is possible that the Messiah will come to us when there were generations which preceded us which achieved greater levels of piety and closeness to G-d. His answer was that we may be smaller than they were, but we are like midgets standing on the shoulders of giants.

The student of Torah knows that he is part of a historical process. He is participating in the fulfillment of a great destiny. The Torah is the map which leads him to his destination. May we all merit to contribute positively to the fulfillment of this great destiny.

Good Shabbos!

Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



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