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    Bamidbar 25:1

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    Arik
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    Bamidbar 25:1

    Post  Arik on Thu May 31, 2012 10:00 am

    1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto the LORD in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.' 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.' 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand. {P}

    10 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 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. 12 Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace; 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.' 14 Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeonites. 15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a fathers' house in Midian. {P}

    16 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 17 'Harass the Midianites, and smite them; 18 for they harass you, by their wiles wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.'




    We see from the above what some would call "vigilante justice" Phinehas took matters into his own hands when he saw something terrible happening and saw Zimri in open defiance brought a Midianitish woman into the very Tent of Meeting and cohabitated with her in the sight of all.
    There are some modern readers who may think that his reaction to what was going on. They may think his behavior was rather harsh or even "extreme".
    What one local rabbi said in commentary to this was that simply put, we were still a young nation, this type of behavior could not be tolerated since Balak sent these women among the people of Israel with the intention of destroying them from within since his attempt to destroy them from without (Bilaam's curse) had failed.
    Tractate Sanhedrin goes into much more detail of Balak's mindset and his reasoning behind this plot)
    Balak according to the Talmud was informed by Bilaam that what needed to be done if he wanted to destroy Israel was separate them from their G-d by turning them towards idolatry. The worship of the baal p'or was worshiped in ways that involved sexual rituals, something else that would have further separated the Children of Israel from G-d.
    The actions of Phinihas may have seemed extreme.. But The young nation had a choice, take extreme measures or risk the demise of the entire nation. Then more than ever, the risk of the young nation assimilating. By allowing themselves to be corrupted, they surly wouldn't last very long. It's somewhat reminded the rabbi of that one scene in the movie DEFIANCE where at one point the leader had to shoot a fellow Jew. It wasn't something pleasant but as the lead character put it: "There is ONE order of Law here" The people in the forest would never have been able to survive if anarchy became the rule, they needed to be of one purpose. Much like the young nation of Israel who at that point didn't even have a kingdom yet, they simply could not allow themselves to be destroyed from within by outsiders who were attempting to undermine the people and their unity by separating them from G-d and his commandment and at the same time trying to cause them to assimilate into the G-dless nations around them.
    We deal with a lot of the same problems today as we have throughout our history. There have always been people surrounding us attempting to pull us away from Torah, getting us to follow other religions or being more "like everyone else" And while we can;t go around wielding spears today, we need to be on guard because assimilation and falling away from G-d and Torah is in the end destructive and only helps anti-semites in their quest to make the Jewish people vanish.
    We understand from reading the Tanach, that there are times that military might prevailed, but also aside from arms in the physical sense, we also need to be armed with knowledge of and dedication to the Torah.



    ...Thoughts?


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    Yehudah

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    Re: Bamidbar 25:1

    Post  Yehudah on Thu May 31, 2012 7:55 pm

    Bilam, I think was the one to told the king of moab to use his daughters against us. This is much like what is happening today. We are returning to the times of rome. There is no modesty, no speck of life that is not destroyed by sexual deviance.

    We may as well be in greece or rome.

    That's my take on 25:1


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    Arik
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    Re: Bamidbar 25:1

    Post  Arik on Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:51 am

    I think the deeper meaning is Jewish survival. there is a much deeper lesson there. The warnings both there and the Talmud to cling to our observance of Torah and avoid getting caught up in the world's idolatry and immorality and always be on guard. Anyone who tries to pull is away from Torah should be counted as an enemy


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