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Pinchas: Oznaim LaTorah: A Fixing

The 9th of Tammuz is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Zalman (ben Ben-Zion) Sorotzkin, the Lutzker Rav and author of Oznaim L’Torah (1881-1966). After learning at Volozhin and Slabodka, he married the daughter of Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe, and moved to Telshe to help run the yeshiva. He was appointed Rav of Voronova at the age 30, then served as Rav of Zhetel for 18 years. In 1914, he fled to Minsk and became a close friend of the Chazon Ish. He moved to Lutsk in 1930 to accept a position as Rav and stayed there until WW II (he is known until today as the Lutsker Rav). He moved to Eretz Yisrael during the War. Led by Rav Aaron Kotler and the members of the Israeli Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, Chinuch Atzmai was formed in 1953. Rav Zalman Sorotzkin was chosen to head it.


We are taught that at the time that Pinchas killed Kozbi and Zimri, the souls of Nadav and Avihu attached to his. Why these two souls? And why at that moment?

Nadav and Avihu saw that Moshe’s humility also led to weakness, such as when he turned his face from the Burning Bush. Moshe had to plead after the golden Calf, “Manifest Your Ways to me,” and, according to some, his request was denied as a consequence of his looking away at the Burning Bush.

Nadav and Avihu were always searching for ways to see what Moshe has chosen to not, which led them to make a halachic ruling in front of their Rebbi, in their quest to see more.

Pinchas too, ruled in the presence of his Rebbi, but acted only as he was taught by Moshe, and therefore was able to repair the ruling of Nadav and Avihu. They chose that moment to attach their souls to his so as to repair their sin. (Oznaim LaTorah)

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