Would you dare? - Pinchas

Thursday, 1 July, 2021 - 9:38 am

 Για να το διαβάσετε στα Ελληνικά, κάντε κλικ εδώ

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Imagine yourself in the following situation.

You are in a hall full of important leaders, professors, parliament members and judges. Suddenly an important personality comes in and does something completely forbidden. All the honorable people stay silent. Would you intervene to stop it?

In this week’s Parasha Pinchas, something similar happens. In presence of Moses, the High Priest Aharon and the Sages, all the important people of the time, one leader from one of the 12 Tribes makes a very severe sin. Everybody stayed silent. Only Pinchas, who was the youngest there, stood up and stopped him. His action was right and thanks to it Pinchas became a Priest in the Temple*.

But why did the rest of the people stay silent? Was Pinchas the only one who knew what needed to be done? According to the Midrash, G-d arranged the events in such a way for Pinchas to have a chance to be rewarded and become a Priest.

The same applies to us as well. Sometimes, we notice an issue that needs change, but no one is doing anything to improve it. This does not mean that it is not important. It could simply mean that it is waiting for us to do something about it.

Rabbi Nissan Mangel recounts that when he was a young student in a yeshiva in Montreal, he had an audience with the Rebbe. The Rebbe asked him if he was going every Shabbat to other synagogues in the city to share the things he had learned during the week. He answered in the negative. The Rebbe asked him “Why not?”. He answered that there were older students with more knowledge than him and since they did not go to speak in other synagogues, he thought that he did not have to do it either. The Rebbe then asked him: “Tell me Nissan, if you saw $1000 on the street and no one was picking them up, would you not pick it up?”

Let us dare to be the first to do something right and good. Even if the esteemed people around us do not do it. Do not let the opportunity pass.

Shabbat Shalom,


*The Priests were all descendants of Aharon. How could Pinchas suddenly become a Priest? Pinchas was a grandson of Aharon. But his case was different. He was a baby when the Priests underwent the ceremony to become Priests, ceremony after which all the newborn babies would automatically become Priests. But Pinchas was already born, yet not old enough at the time to go through the ceremony. This is why Pinchas was not a Priest until this story.

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