Saturday Morning Torah Study with RabbiBob
Greetings all -
Oy - what to do with Pinchas, who so "zealously avenged" G-d's own vengeance by blatantly slaying two of G-d's creations (OK - only one of them was an Israelite...) without having been explicitly ordered to do so.
We missed reading about the actual event, which was the tail end of last week's reading, so you might want to review it: Numbers 25:1-9.
I'm left with two burning question from the opening verses of our parasha:
- Was G-d pleased with Pinchas and his deliberate action? and
- How do we interpret the "reward" Pinchas receives from G-d?
Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center, who consistently offers updated, and perhaps revisionary, interpretations, offers this alternative to these same verses
"YHWH so-worded it through Moses, saying:
"In a blind rage, consumed with jealousy/zealotry, I began killing My people with the plague. Then Pinchas imitated Me: in his own blind and jealous rage, he turned his hand to killing.
"His jealous/ zealous act opened my eyes, shocked me into shame at what I Myself was doing. I said to him, 'I will stop, and you must stop!' That is why I stopped the plague; that is why I made with Pinchas my covenant of shalom/ peace."
And to bring this parasha into today:
- How are we dealing with our various levels of rage/anger/frustration/sadness regarding the plague of Covid-19?
- Are our actions a reflection of what G-d might want of and from us?
Lots for us to ponder and discuss!
Our readings are:
- Numbers 25:10-12
Here's our link, which as usual will go live at 8:30 for shmoozing, followed by our Torah bracha at 9, followed by our individual check-ins:
Topic: TBE Torah Study
Meeting ID: 836 7286 8876
See you there - Good Shabbos to all! Bob R.