נשען והולך על מקלו וכיון שהגיע אצל שבטו של שמעון אמר היכן מצינו ששבטו של לוי גדול משל שמעון אמרו הניחו לו אף הוא לעשות צרכיו נכנס התירו פרושין את הדבר
walking, leaning on his walking stick, the shaft of the spear. And once he reached the tribe of Simeon he said: Where did we find that the tribe of Levi is greater than that of Simeon? If all the members of your tribe submit to the temptation of the women of Moab, I may do so as well. After hearing that statement, the members of the tribe of Simeon said: Allow him to enter; like us, he too is entering to attend to his needs and engage in intercourse with the Moabite women. They rejoiced and said: Apparently, the pious and God-fearing have permitted this matter, as Pinehas is one of them.
א"ר יוחנן ששה נסים נעשו לו לפנחס אחד שהיה לו לזמרי לפרוש ולא פירש ואחד שהיה לו לדבר ולא דבר ואחד שכוון בזכרותו של איש ובנקבותה של אשה ואחד שלא נשמטו מן הרומח ואחד שבא מלאך והגביה את המשקוף ואחד שבא מלאך והשחית בעם
Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Six miracles were performed for Pinehas when he killed Zimri. One is that Zimri should have separated himself from Cozbi, and he did not separate himself. Had he done so, it would have been prohibited for Pinehas to kill him. And one is that Zimri should have spoken and alerted the members of his tribe to come to his assistance, and he did not speak. And one is that Pinehas directed the spear precisely to the male genitals of Zimri and to the female genitals of Cozbi so that the reason that he killed them would be evident. And one is that Zimri and Cozbi did not fall from the spear. And one is that an angel came and raised the lintel of that chamber so that Pinehas could emerge holding them aloft on the spear. And one is that an angel came and caused destruction among the people, distracting them from interfering with the actions of Pinehas.
בא וחבטן לפני המקום אמר לפניו רבש"ע על אלו יפלו כ"ד אלף מישראל שנאמר (במדבר כה, ט) ויהיו המתים במגפה ארבעה ועשרים אלף והיינו דכתיב (תהלים קו, ל) ויעמד פנחס ויפלל
Pinehas came and slammed them on the ground before the Omnipresent and said before Him: Master of the Universe, will twenty-four thousand of the children of Israel fall due to these sinners? As it is stated: “And those that died in the plague were twenty-four thousand” (Numbers 25:9). And that is the meaning of that which is written: “And Pinehas stood and wrought judgment and the plague was stayed” (Psalms 106:30).
אמר רבי אלעזר ויתפלל לא נאמר אלא ויפלל מלמד כביכול שעשה פלילות עם קונו בקשו מלאכי השרת לדחפו אמר להן הניחו לו קנאי בן קנאי הוא משיב חימה בן משיב חימה הוא
Rabbi Elazar says: It is not stated in the verse: And prayed [vayitpallel]; rather, it is stated vayefalel. This teaches that Pinehas, as it were, wrought judgment [pelilut] with his Creator. The ministering angels sought to push him away because he spoke harshly to God. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them: Leave him be; he is a zealot, son of a zealot, from the tribe of Levi, who was zealous in avenging the violation of his sister Dinah; he is an alleviator of wrath, son of an alleviator of wrath, a descendant of Aaron, who alleviated the wrath of God during the plague that followed the assembly of Korah.
התחילו שבטים מבזין אותו ראיתם בן פוטי זה שפיטם אבי אמו עגלים לעבודת כוכבים והרג נשיא שבט מישראל בא הכתוב ויחסו פנחס בן אלעזר בן אהרן הכהן
The tribes began to demean Pinehas: Did you see this son of Puti, so-called because his mother was one of the daughters of Putiel (see Exodus 6:25), and they interpreted homiletically: As Yitro, the father of his mother, according to one rabbinic tradition, fattened [shepittem] calves for idol worship, and he impudently killed the prince of a tribe of Israel without a trial. In response, the verse comes and provides his lineage as “Pinehas, son of Elazar, son of Aaron the priest” (Numbers 25:11). It is due to that lineage that he zealously executed Zimri.
א"ל הקב"ה למשה הקדם לו שלום שנאמר (במדבר כה, יב) לכן אמור הנני נותן לו את בריתי שלום וראויה כפרה זו שתהא מכפרת והולכת לעולם
The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Moses: Be the first to greet Pinehas with a blessing of peace, to honor him before the people, as it is stated: “Therefore say: I hereby give to him My covenant of peace” (Numbers 25:12), and it is stated: “And it shall be unto him and to his descendants after him a covenant of eternal priesthood, because he was zealous for his God and he atoned for the children of Israel” (Numbers 25:13), and this atonement that he facilitated is worthy of continuing to atone forever.
אמר רב נחמן אמר רב מאי דכתיב (משלי ל, לא) זרזיר מתנים או תיש ומלך אלקום עמו ד' מאות ועשרים וארבע בעילות בעל אותו רשע אותו היום והמתין לו פנחס עד שתשש כחו והוא אינו יודע שמלך אלקום עמו
§ With regard to the same matter, Rav Naḥman says that Rav says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The thigh-belted greyhound [zarzir], or the he-goat, and the king against whom none can rise” (Proverbs 30:31)? That wicked Zimri engaged in four hundred and twenty-four, the numerical value of the word zarzir, acts of intercourse with Cozbi that day. And Pinehas waited until his strength waned from all that activity. And Pinehas did not know that it was not necessary to wait that long because the king against whom none can rise, a reference to the Holy One, Blessed be He, was with him.
במתניתא תנא ששים עד שנעשה כביצה המוזרת והיא היתה כערוגה מליאה מים אמר רב כהנא ומושבה בית סאה תני רב יוסף קבר שלה אמה
It was taught in a baraita: Zimri engaged in intercourse sixty times until he became like an addled egg whose contents are a muddled and non-differentiated fluid, and Cozbi was like a garden bed full of water. Rav Kahana said to underscore her disgrace resulting from her extensive sexual activity: And her seat was as wide as the area required for sowing one se’a of seed [beit se’a]. Rav Yosef taught: The opening of her womb was a cubit.
אמר רב ששת לא כזבי שמה אלא שוילנאי בת צור שמה ולמה נקרא שמה כזבי שכזבה באביה ד"א כזבי שאמרה לאביה כוס בי עם זה
Rav Sheshet says: Cozbi was not her given name; rather, Shevilnai, daughter of Zur, was her real name. And why was she called Cozbi? Because through her actions, she distorted [shekizzeva] the instructions of her father. He told her to submit only to the greatest of the children of Israel, and she submitted to the leader of a tribe. Alternatively: She was called Cozbi because she said to her father: Slaughter [kos] this people through me [bi], as I will seduce them to engage in licentiousness.
והיינו דאמרי אינשי בין קני לאורבני שוילנאי מאי בעיא בהדי קלפי דקני שוילנאי מאי בעיא גפתה לאמה
Her name was Shevilnai; and this is as people say in reference to a famous prostitute: Between reeds and willows, what does Shevilnai seek? Clearly, she seeks licentiousness. There is another adage: Among the peels of the reeds, what does Shevilnai seek? Clearly, she seeks licentiousness. She prostituted her mother. Apparently, Shevilnai became a name popularly used to connote a prostitute. Since everyone refers to her as prostitute, daughter of prostitute, she has implicated her mother with her licentiousness.
א"ר יוחנן חמשה שמות יש לו זמרי ובן סלוא ושאול ובן הכנענית ושלומיאל בן צורי שדי זמרי על שנעשה כביצה המוזרת בן סלוא על שהסליא עונות של משפחתו שאול על שהשאיל עצמו לדבר עבירה בן הכנענית על שעשה מעשה כנען ומה שמו שלומיאל בן צורי שדי שמו:
Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Zimri has five names: Zimri; and son of Salu; and Saul; and son of the Canaanite woman; and Shelumiel, son of Zuri Shaddai. He was called Zimri because of the fact that he became like an addled [hamuzeret] egg as a result of engaging in multiple acts of intercourse. He was called son of Salu because of the fact that he evoked [shehisli] the sins of his family. He was called Saul [Shaul] because of the fact that he lent [shehishil] himself to sinful matters. He was called son of the Canaanite woman because of the fact that he performed an act of Canaan, as the Canaanites are renowned for their licentiousness. And what is his given name? Shelumiel, son of Zuri Shaddai, is his name, the leader of the tribe of Simeon (Numbers 1:6).
כהן ששימש בטומאה: בעא מיניה רב אחא בר הונא מרב ששת כהן ששימש בטומאה חייב מיתה בידי שמים או אין חייב מיתה בידי שמים
§ The mishna teaches: In the case of a priest who performed the Temple service in a state of ritual impurity, the young of the priesthood kill him. Rav Aḥa bar Huna raised a dilemma before Rav Sheshet: In the case of a priest who performed the Temple service in a state of ritual impurity, is he liable to receive death at the hand of Heaven or is he not liable to receive death at the hand of Heaven?
א"ל תניתוה כהן ששימש בטומאה אין אחיו הכהנים מביאין אותו לב"ד אלא פירחי כהונה מוציאין אותו חוץ לעזרה ופוצעין את מוחו בגיזרין ואי ס"ד מחייב בידי שמים לישבקיה דליקטול בידי שמים אלא מאי אינו חייב
Rav Sheshet said to him: You learned the resolution of that dilemma from the mishna itself, as we learned: In the case of a priest who performed the Temple service in a state of ritual impurity, his priestly brethren do not bring him to court for judgment; rather, the young of the priesthood remove him from the Temple courtyard and pierce his skull with pieces of wood. And if it enters your mind to say that he is liable to receive death at the hand of Heaven, let the young of the priesthood leave him, so that he will be killed at the hand of Heaven. Rather, what must one say? He is not liable to receive death at the hand of Heaven.
מי איכא מידי דרחמנא פטריה ואנן ניקום וניקטול ליה ולא והתנן מי שלקה ושנה ב"ד מכניסין אותו לכיפה רחמנא פטריה ואנן קטלינן ליה האמר ר' ירמיה אמר ר"ל במלקות של כריתות עסקינן דגברא בר קטלא הוא
Rav Aḥa bar Huna rejects that proof: Is there any act for which the Torah absolves him of the death penalty and we shall arise and execute him? Rav Sheshet said to him: And are there not cases where one is executed even though the Torah absolves him? But didn’t we learn in a mishna: One who was flogged for violating a prohibition and then repeated the violation, the court places him into the vaulted chamber? There too, the Merciful One absolves him of the death penalty and we execute him. Rav Aḥa bar Huna rejects that proof: Doesn’t Rabbi Yirmeya say that Reish Lakish says: We are dealing with lashes administered for violations of prohibitions punishable by karet? As in that case, the man is essentially liable to be punished with death at the hand of Heaven.
והא גונב הקסוה האמר רב יהודה בכלי שרת עסקינן ורמיזא (במדבר ד, כ) לא יבואו לראות כבלע את הקדש ומתו
Rav Sheshet said to him: But isn’t there the case of one who steals a kasva, who is exempt from punishment by Torah law, and the mishna says that zealots strike him? Rav Aḥa bar Huna rejects that proof: But doesn’t Rav Yehuda say: We are dealing with a service vessel utilized in the Temple, and the fact that one who steals a service vessel is liable to be killed by zealots is intimated in the verse: “But they shall not come to see the sacred items as they are being covered, lest they die” (Numbers 4:20).
והא המקלל את הקוסם הא תני רב יוסף יכה קוסם את קוסמו דמיחזי כמברך את השם
Rav Sheshet said to him: But isn’t there the case of one who curses the sorcerer, who is exempt from punishment by Torah law, and the mishna says that zealots strike him? Rav Aḥa bar Huna rejects that proof: But didn’t Rav Yosef teach that the reference is to a case where one says: Let the sorcerer strike his sorcerer, which appears to be like one who is blessing, a euphemism for cursing, the name of God, and he is liable to be executed for desecration of the name of God.
והא בועל את הכותית הא אקריוה לרב כהנא בחלמיה ואדכריה רב לגמריה
Rav Sheshet said to him: But isn’t there the case of one who engages in intercourse with an Aramean woman, who is exempt from punishment by Torah law, and the mishna says that zealots strike him? Rav Aḥa bar Huna rejects that proof: Didn’t they read a verse to Rav Kahana in his dream and when he related his dream to Rav, Rav remembered that which he learned through tradition that God will excise the soul of one who engages in intercourse with a gentile woman?
איתיביה היוצק והבולל והפותת המולח המניף המגיש והמסדר את השולחן המטיב את הנרות והקומץ והמקבל דמים בחוץ פטור
Rav Aḥa bar Huna raises an objection to the opinion of Rav Sheshet that a priest who performs the Temple service in a state of ritual impurity is not liable to receive death at the hand of Heaven. A baraita teaches: With regard to a priest who pours oil onto a meal-offering, and one who mixes the oil into the meal-offering, and one who breaks a baked meal-offering into pieces, and one who salts the meal-offering, and one who waves it toward the altar, and one who brings the meal-offering to the altar, and one who arranges the Table of the shewbread, and one who removes the ashes from the lamps of the Candelabrum, and one who removes the handful from the meal-offering, and one who collects the blood after the slaughter of one of the offerings; if the priest performs any of these sacrificial rites outside the Temple, although there are severe prohibitions with regard to performing the Temple service outside the Temple, he is exempt from karet.
ואין חייבין עליהן
And one is not liable for their performance,