Thursday, July 28, 2016

The covenant of peace for Pinchas

After Pinchas kills Zimri and Kozbi, Hashem declares (25: 11-12):
11Phinehas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen has turned My anger away from the children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy the children of Israel because of My zeal. יאפִּינְחָס בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הֵשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת קִנְאָתִי בְּתוֹכָם וְלֹא כִלִּיתִי אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקִנְאָתִי:
12Therefore, say, "I hereby give him My covenant of peace. יבלָכֵן אֱמֹר הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת בְּרִיתִי שָׁלוֹם:


On the name, Rashi says, 
Phinchas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen: Since the tribes were disparaging him, saying, Have you seen the son of Puti, whose mother’s father [Jethro] fattened (פִּטֵּם) calves for idols, and who killed a chieftain of an Israelite tribe? For this reason, Scripture traces his pedigree to Aaron. — [Sanh. 82b, Num. Rabbah 21:3, Mid. Tanchuma Pinchas 2] פינחס בן אלעזר בן אהרן הכהן: לפי שהיו השבטים מבזים אותו, הראיתם בן פוטי זה שפיטם אבי אמו עגלים לעבודה זרה והרג נשיא שבט מישראל, לפיכך בא הכתוב ויחסו אחר אהרן:


My grandfather points out that, undoubtedly, the tribes knew that Pinchas was the grandson o f Aharon. Their point in naming him for his mother's father was to relate his actions to that side of the family. The declaration here confirms that his actions stemmed specifically from his father side, the trait of Aharon HaKohen. 

He reference the Sforno who says on the Parashas Vayechi,48: 16  "וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק Yaakov names his father and grandfather but not Terach and Nochar because the righteous are not linked to the name of their wicked ancestors. The opposite is true as well.  As it says in Sanhedrin  52a that wicked people are not linked to their righteous fathers but to their wicked ancestors. Accordingly, what Yaakov expressed in his blessing was that his granchidlren be worthy of being linked to their righteous ancestors. 

My grandfather then suggests that this is what underlies the promise of  בְּריתִי שָׁלוֹם. Shalom is the outstanding characteristic of Aharon who was ohev shalom verodef shalom [a lover and pursuer of peace]. Pinchas' action in this case was truly for the sake of true peace for klal Yisrael, to prevent disunity of the nationand to establish peace among the people and between them and Konenu, for the name of Hakodesh Baruch Hu is Shalom.

No comments: