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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  PARASHAT PINCHAS  
 
By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

       

Shalom and Bracha!

 

  This Shabbat we read the portion of Pinchas. Amongst the subjects that are discussed in the portion is the apportioning of the Land of Israel to the twelve tribes. The Torah (Bamidbar 26:53-56) describes what seem to be two very different divisions of the Land. At first the Torah says that the Land should be divided demographically, with the larger tribe receiving the larger portion of land. Thereafter, the Torah says that the Land must be divided by lottery. Rashi, based on the Talmud, explains that Israel was divided into twelve portions. The twelve portions were written on wooden lots and mixed in a container. The names of the tribes were written on other wooden lots and mixed in another container. Elazar the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) wore the Urim and Tumim (a special garment which aided in prophecy) and announced that if a particular tribe would be picked, this would be the portion of the tribe. The leader of that tribe would then pick the lots, and by divine miracle his tribe and portion would come up. By a further miracle, the wooden lots themselves would announce the tribe and portion. Thus the division of the land was by size, lottery, and prophecy.

 

  The division of the land has an important teaching both in our attitude toward life and in our service of Hashem. Each tribe received the portion that suited them logically. Underlying this was the prophecy that this was to be their portion and the lottery. This teaches us that even those things that we think that we do understand have a deeper meaning and are parts of a greater plan that we cannot perceive.

 

  This applies even more to our service of Hashem. Many Mitzvot are within our comprehension. It is important to realize that underlying those Mitzvot that we do understand are deeper reasons that are beyond our comprehension. We must serve Hashem not only on the level of reason but also on the levels of lottery and prophesy which transcend our understanding.

 

  This is the Shabbat immediately preceding the Three Weeks, when we mourn the destruction of the Temple and intensify our prayers for its rebuilding. Interestingly, all of the Jewish holidays are mentioned in the portion. Their total number is twenty-one, paralleling the days of the three weeks. This is because when Moshiach comes the days of mourning will be transformed to days of joy and great holidays. Although we mourn during the week, rejoicing on these three Shabbats help to speed their transformation into days of joy. The Midrash teaches that Pinchas, for whom the portion is named, is the soul of Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet) who will herald the redemption. May we hear his announcement this Shabbat!!

 

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/

 
   
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