Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Matos/Masei

By Rabbi Yona Zohn

In this weeks Torah portion G-d informs Moshe (Moses) that he must exact revenge from the Midianites and then he will die. The Medrash explains that had Moshe delayed the war with Midian for twenty years he would have lived twenty years longer because his death was contingent upon fulfilling his mission to wage war. Nevertheless, Moshe discharged his responsibility immediately, hastening his imminent demise.

Rabbi Leib Chasman expounds that Moshes alacrity was based in honoring the name of G-d. The Midianites had disgraced G-ds name when they enticed the Jewish nation to sin in Shittim, and this ignominy needed to be avenged. With the honor of G-d in the balance, Moshe did not hesitate and went to war immediately. Moshes swift response to restore honor to G-d at his own personal expense clearly displays the importance to be given to G-ds honor and teaches the efforts which must be made to enhance the honor of G-d and avoid the desecration of His holy name. We consecrate the name of G-d through our behavior. Acting in a refined, dignified manner glorifies the name of G-d because the masses behold the people of G-d conducting their business with nobility, while disgraceful, ill-perceived conduct lowers the respect of G-d in the eyes of others.

Oddly, we find that Moshe himself did not lead the charge into battle. He sent Pinchas and Elazar in his stead. If the import of this mitzvah was so great that Moshe exercised such eagerness to complete it, even to his own detriment, why did he not complete it himself?

The Medrash explains that Moshe spent a few decades of his adult life in Midian and found himself unable to harm the Midianites. Because of all he had benefited from the Midianites it was not proper for him to engage them in battle. This is the greatness of appreciation for past chessed (acts of kindness). Despite the enormity of the mission to avenge the disgrace of G-d s glory and the accompanying death of 24,000 of his Jewish brethren, the material good he received from the people of this nation, although from different members of the populace than those he would be fighting, dictated he could not with his own hands bring misfortune upon the Midianites. How much more are we obligated to appreciate the Almighty for all of the goodness He showers upon us. The gratitude we have for G-ds grace should create within us a desire and sense of obligation to understand His will and fulfill His commandments. We also have tremendous appreciation of our parents and mentors who spent so many years giving of themselves for our benefit and it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate our indebtedness.

Have a Good Shabbos!

Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and Project Genesis, Inc.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of the Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 414-447-7999

 

ARTICLES ON PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Pinchas & The Three Weeks
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Not So Simple, Not So Mundane
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Finding Ourselves - It's The Rage
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

> A Judgement Call
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Fragile Peace
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

A Day of Rebuilding
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

What One Person Can Do!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Moshe Demonstrates The Priorities Of A Leader Of Israel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

The Nine Days of Mourning
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Glass House Real Estate
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

ArtScroll

How?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

A Dove Amongst Eagles
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Peace Pursued
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

One Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771



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