Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Did Pinchas have to fear for his life?

I saw an interesting Chizkuni the other day. In the beginning of parshat Pinchas, Hashem promises Pinchas a special covenant:
יא פִּינְחָס בֶּן-אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן, הֵשִׁיב אֶת-חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת-קִנְאָתִי, בְּתוֹכָם; וְלֹא-כִלִּיתִי אֶת-בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּקִנְאָתִי. 11 'Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very jealous for My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy.
יב לָכֵן, אֱמֹר: הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת-בְּרִיתִי, שָׁלוֹם. 12 Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace;

Chizkuni explains that this covenant of peace means that Pinchas would not have to fear from Zimri's relatives or Cosbi's relatives.

Alternatively, he would have to fear that he lost his priesthood because of the act of violence he committed, because a kohen who shed blood does not raise his hands. But Hashem promised him that since the killing was for the sake of Heaven, he could still function as a kohen.

This first idea, that he might have to fear from Zimri's relatives or Cosbi's relatives, relates well to the theme developed of their relative importance, as we read in a few pesukim (14 and 15), something echoed in the midrashic Putiel comments. This also calls to mind the reaction of Yaakov after Shimon and Levi's actions in Shechem.

Even so, I would guess that on a peshat level it is somehow synonymous with Brit Kehunat Olam.


Anonymous said...

I just got this in a Halacha Email I think You would find it intresting and Maybe even Post Worthy
The custom of Sefardim (which follows the opinion of the Rambam) is to not answer Amein when hearing a beracha made by a non-Jew unless the non-Jew is an Arab, because their intent is not for Avodah Zorah. Kaf Hachaim 215:14,15

Anonymous said...

This Means you have to say Amen to an Arabs Bracha?


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