Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Parshat Pinchas Preverted
This weeks Torah portion is Parshat Pinchas. It begins by finishing the story of the Zealotry of Pinchas, wherein he spears Zimmry and Cosby, killing them while they are in the peak of their sinful act. In doing so he averts a plague and is elevated by G-d to the status of a Priest.
The story of Pinchas is not one easily understood. The key is to remember that, just like his grandfather Aaron, Pinchas was also an Ohev Shalom v'Rodef Shalom (a lover of peace and a pursuer of peace).
Unfortunately, a lot of people use the story of Pinchas as an excuse to promote violence and subvert the law against individuals who are involved in sinful behavior. As if on cue with the parsha this week, fliers in Jerusalem have appeared offering NIS 20,000 (20,000 New Israeli Shekels, or about $4,500) to anyone who will kill participants in the International Gay Pride Parade scheduled for Jerusalem next month. [Read the Arutzsheva Story Here]
Now, while I may not personally be a fan of having the parade in Jerusalem. (I do feel that it is an unnecessary slap in the face to the Torah Observant communities.) There are many other ways of dealing with it that are both more appropriate, and less criminal. Hate and Aggression are not the answer. I certainly hope no one takes those fliers seriously.