for Parashat Pinchas
On an Upswing
Bamidbar has been a bit depressing lately. From the Sin of the Spies to the rebellion of Korach, from this plague to that one, 250 deaths here, 14,700, there another 24,000 in the other place. Complaining here, Idolarty there.
Pinchas might have broken the downsliding. We've got a successful battle coming up and only the stories and reminders of past problems. We are on the threshold of Eretz Yisrael and things are looking up a bit.
And just in time. Because we are entering the Three Weeks. The Torah reading on this first of the three Shabbatot gives us hope. Hope that we can break the vicious cycle of Jewish History. Not only does the parsha find us on the threshold of Eretz Yisrael, but we have the uplifting episode of B'not Tz'lafchad and we havethe description of the daily korbanot in the Beit HaMikdash and the special korbanot of Shabbat and Chagim. Perfect timing. We are entering the mourning period for our loss of Eretz Yisrael and the Beit HaMikdash.
So here it is. Not a clash between the Calendar and Parshat HaShavua, but a challenge that the one poses vis-a-vis the other. The Calendar says to us that our City was breached, our Mikdash was destroyed and our people were exiled. Parshat HaShavua brings us way back and says, take a fresh look at what took place beforethe destruction and exile, and before we came to Eretz Yisrael in the first place. It says, recapture the enthusiasm of the daughters of Tzelafchad and their desire for E. Yisrael, turn yourself around, and proceed in the right direction.
The Meraglim did not want E. Yisrael, and they didn't get it. B'not Tzelafchad wanted E. Yisrael, and they got it. It is certainly an over-simplification, but probably true to say that it is the same situation today.
If the Jewish people in Israel and around the world want Eretz Yisrael, really want it, then BS"D, we'll get it and have it and keep it.
If, G-d forbid, we don't want it, then there are others that do.
Have you noticed how our P.M. keeps saying that we will have to make VERY PAINFUL concessions.
Why do we have to? You don't hear Arafat telling his people about conces sions. You don't even hear him talking about peace with Israel. All he tells his people about are the expectations of the fulfilment of their demands, and the threatened consequences if they are not.
But I digress.
Let's all want E. Yisrael, like we are supposed to. Let's all want a Torah way of life, the Beit HaMikdash, and all good things. Then the upswing will continue.
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