Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Pinchas

The Right Thing

By Rabbi Label Lam

Therefore say, “Behold I am giving to him My covenant of peace! (Pinchus 25:12)

On the surface there’s room for confusion. Pinchus kills a couple of violators and he’s given the “peace prize”. Moshe hits a rock instead of talking to it and he’s denied entry to the Holy Land. Avraham almost sacrifices his own son and he’s the recipient of promises galore. Yaakov deceives his father and walks away with the family blessings. The spies speak ill of the Land of Israel and a whole generation is doomed to die in the dessert. It’s too hard to figure what the standard is.

It all seems so uneven and unpredictable which deeds big and small earn which degrees of punishing results light and heavy. Yet the Torah tells us and we live confidently with the notion, “The rock, His doings are perfect that all of his ways are just, He is a reliable G-d and He makes no mistakes, a Tzadik and He is straight.” (Devarim 32:4) We must ask ourselves, “What are we missing?”

Years and years ago I made my first public appearance at a family wedding with a Yarmulka planted atop my head and Tzitzis peaking out from beneath my jacket. I tried to socialize and mix but for some mystical reason the reaction I was receiving was one of disgust and repulsion. I sensed that people were looking at me like I had some communicable disease. My Aunt Fanny motioned that she wanted to talk to me. I approached her and leaned over to hear what she had to say. She was one of my grandfather’s nine siblings and from the crop that had lived in Europe. I was bent over low to catch her soft voice and I believe I remember her pulling my beard to get even closer. She told me, “Darling, I want to tell you something. Everybody thinks you’re crazy!” I thought to myself, “This conversation is really going someplace!” Then she said, “I want to tell you something else!” With this, her voice jumped up to volume ten. “You’re doing the right thing!!!!!” She shouted, as if to say, “Who’s going to give names for the ones gone lost and who is going to carry on into the future?! I’ll be grateful forever for her zetz of encouragement.

Avraham had only done what HASHEM had asked him to do. Yaakov was following a direct commandment from his mother Rivka. Moshe failed to speak to the rock as he was told to do. Even a slight deviation is not tolerated. The spies too violated the spirit of their mission and more. Although what Pinchus did was amazingly difficult and perhaps grossly unpopular at the time, ultimately he did what Hallacha- Jewish Law required and for the right reason. Why then did Pinchus get, of all things, the ‘Peace Prize”? When putting our heads on the pillow at night what allows us to sleep peacefully is the knowledge that we have done the right thing.


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

The Plague of Darkness of Every Generation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

The Great Mirror in the Sky
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Freight and Handling
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Seamless Integration On A Higher Plane
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Everyday Miracles
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Understanding Injustice
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

> Tu BeShevat
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

No Need to Sell Yourself
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Patience
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

ArtScroll

The Gateway to Freedom
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Taking Matters Into One's Own Hands
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5767

A Thing or Tu 'bout Shvat
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Trying Experience
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

An Investment In Our Future
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Parnasah: Wherein the Toil?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

Jewish Survival
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information