Balak 5784

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Pinchas’ justified suspicion causation[1]

וירא פינחס בן-אלעזר בן-אהרן הכהן ויקם מתוך העדה ויקח רמח בידו
Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon HaCohen saw, and he got up from the assembly and took a spear in his hand[2]

The end of this week’s parsha describes the tragic sin of Pe’or. The Midianite women came to the Jews in order to entice them to sin. There were thousands who fell for their scheme and succumbed to idol worship and illicit relations. Zimri, the leader of the tribe of Shimon, brazenly took one of the non-Jewish women and was together with her in a public fashion.

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Chukas 5784

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Rebellious fools[1]

ויקהלו משה ואהרן את-הקהל אל-פני הסלע ויאמר להם שמעו-נא המרים המן-הסלע הזה נוציא לכם מים
Moshe and Aharon gathered the congregation in front of the rock, and he said to them: “Listen now, you rebels! Will we really draw forth water from this rock?”[2]

The infamous episode of Mei Merivah, the waters of strife, is fraught with questions. One of which centers on a comment of Rashi[3]. When Moshe called the people “rebels” for requesting miraculous water in the wilderness, Rashi says his intent was “fools”. Now, the Jewish people are known as a “wise and understanding nation”[4]. Why then would Moshe call them fools?

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Korach 5784

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Moshe’s mechila measurement[1]

‏…רב לכם בני לוי
…It’s too much for you, sons of Levi![2]

This week’s parsha chronicles the tragic rebellion of Korach, the Levi, and his band of supporters. Korach claimed that the entire nation was Holy, and was against this whole caste system. Everyone is worthy to be the Kohen Gadol. He also challenged the leadership of Moshe, and the authenticity of his transmission of the word of G-d.

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