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  • Shema: Whose Voice 3

    There are times when we are praying when we don’t really feel that we are speaking as an accu...

  • Shema: 5: Whose Voice

    A famous Midrash tells us that Jacob, when he was on his deathbed, planned to reveal to his c...

Table Talk: Pinchas Print E-mail

Table TalkThe Gift of Kehunah: “Therefore say to him (Pinchas) I give him My covenant of peace. And it shall be for him and his offspring after him a covenant of eternal priesthood, because he took vengeance for his Lord, and he atoned for the Children of Israel.” (Numbers 25:12-13)  Pinchas was rewarded with Kehuna – Priesthood – because he “experienced my zealousness.” (Verse 11) Pinchas was the second person to be granted the gift of Kehuna. “Is there not Aaron your brother, the Levite? He will rejoice in his heart.” (Exodus 4:14) Rashi explains that Aaron was to be the Levite, and Moshe, the Cohen. Aaron was granted the Kehuna, “because he will rejoice over your greatness”. Both Aaron and Pinchas experience what an other is feeling: Aaron experiences Moshe’s joy, and Pinchas experiences God’s zealousness. It seems that a Cohen must have the ability to empathize with others. Why is that essential to his role?

The New Leader
“Moses spoke to God, saying. May God, Lord of spirits of ll flesh appoint a man over the assembly, who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall take them out and bring them in.” (Numbers 27:15-17) Rashi explains that Moshe asked that the new leader not be prevented from leading the Children of Israel into the Land of Canaan. Did Moshe actually consider that God would appoint a new leader only to stop him from entering Israel?
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