Thursday, July 10, 2014

Parashat Pinchas, 5774/2014 edition

Basics here.

My previous Pinchas posts:

~ Parshat Pinchas (Wednesday, July 13, 2011) Some interesting notes (and comments) regarding both the "briti shalom" of the Torah reading and the "still, small voice" of the haftarah.

~ Parshat Pinchas, 5772/2012 thoughts (Friday, July 13, 2012)  More noteworthy for its links (to posts by Larry Lennhoff and Conservadox) than for my post itself.

This year's thoughts:

Numbers Chapter 25 בְּמִדְבַּר

יא  פִּינְחָס בֶּן-אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן, הֵשִׁיב אֶת-חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת-קִנְאָתִי, בְּתוֹכָם; וְלֹא-כִלִּיתִי אֶת-בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּקִנְאָתִי.11 'Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very jealous for My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy.
יב  לָכֵן, אֱמֹר:  הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת-בְּרִיתִי, שָׁלוֹם.12 Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace;
יג  וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו, בְּרִית כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם--תַּחַת, אֲשֶׁר קִנֵּא לֵאלֹהָיו, וַיְכַפֵּר, עַל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.13 and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.'

Nu, and what became of Aharon's other surviving son, Itamar?  Did the descendants of Itamar become "plain" Leviim, rather than kohanim/priests?

Numbers Chapter 29 בְּמִדְבַּר

Check out verses 12 through 34--apparently, I've slept through years of "sacrifice" readings, because I hadn't noticed until now that the sacrifices for Sukkot decrease in number as the holiday progresses.

~ Conservadox discusses gender bias in biblical inheritance law and provides a link to a rabbinic work-around.

~ Rav Shai Held points out that the ancient sages were uncomfortable with the zealotry of Pinchas.

~ Rav Shlomo Riskin reminds us that influence often lasts longer than power.

~ Rav Dov Linzer posits that it's tough for a zealot to be a true religious leader.


Blogger The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...

Nu, and what became of Aharon's other surviving son, Itamar? Did the descendants of Itamar become "plain" Leviim, rather than kohanim/priests?

I think Rashi deals with this by noting that Pinchas was born to el'azar prior to the establishment of the priesthood, and was therefore not a priest himself since it was given to Aaron and his descendants from that moment. So this verse serves to explain that Pinchas was taken into the priesthood once it was established.

Wed Jul 16, 10:19:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Apparently, I've been even busier at the office than I'd thought--it's taken me a week to respond to this comment. Sorry about the delay.

Rashi's explanation sounds a bit after-the-fact, in my opinion--it seems to me to have been written simply to justify the story. And does this explanation "prove" that Itamar's sons also became priests? I see no evidence in the Torah sheh-BiChav/Written Torah/Bible itself.

Wed Jul 23, 11:16:00 AM 2014  

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