Pinchas 5779
1 א

Pinchas in a Nutshell

Numbers 25:10–30:1

Aaron’s grandson Pinchas is rewarded for his act of zealotryin killing the Simeonite prince Zimri and the Midianite princess who was his paramour: G‑d grants him a covenant of peaceand the priesthood.

A census of the people counts 601,730 men between the ages of twenty and sixty. Moses is instructed on how the Land is to be divided by lottery among the tribes and families of Israel. The five daughters of Tzelafchad petition Moses that they be granted the portion of the land belonging to their father, who died without sons; G‑d accepts their claim and incorporates it into the Torah’s laws of inheritance.

Moses empowers Joshua to succeed him and lead the people into the Land of Israel.

The Parshah concludes with a detailed list of the daily offerings, and the additional offerings brought on Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh (first of the month), and the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret.

2 ב
(טו) וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶל־ה' לֵאמֹֽר׃ (טז) יִפְקֹ֣ד ה' אֱלֹקֵ֥י הָרוּחֹ֖ת לְכָל־בָּשָׂ֑ר אִ֖ישׁ עַל־הָעֵדָֽה׃ (יז) אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵ֣א לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם וַאֲשֶׁ֤ר יָבֹא֙ לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר יוֹצִיאֵ֖ם וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר יְבִיאֵ֑ם וְלֹ֤א תִהְיֶה֙ עֲדַ֣ת ה' כַּצֹּ֕אן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵין־לָהֶ֖ם רֹעֶֽה׃
(15) Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, (16) “Let the LORD, Source of the breath of all flesh, appoint someone over the community (17) who shall go out before them and come in before them, and who shall take them out and bring them in, so that the LORD’s community may not be like sheep that have no shepherd.”
3 ג
(יב) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה עֲלֵ֛ה אֶל־הַ֥ר הָעֲבָרִ֖ים הַזֶּ֑ה וּרְאֵה֙ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (יג) וְרָאִ֣יתָה אֹתָ֔הּ וְנֶאֱסַפְתָּ֥ אֶל־עַמֶּ֖יךָ גַּם־אָ֑תָּה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר נֶאֱסַ֖ף אַהֲרֹ֥ן אָחִֽיךָ׃
(12) The LORD said to Moses, “Ascend these heights of Abarim and view the land that I have given to the Israelite people. (13) When you have seen it, you too shall be gathered to your kin, just as your brother Aaron was.
4 ד

Bamidbar Rabbah 21:14

What was Moses’ reason for making this request after declaring the order of inheritance? Just this, that when the daughters of Tzelophehad inherited from their father, Moses reasoned: The time is right for me to make my own request. If daughters inherit, it is surely right that my sons should inherit my glory.

The Holy One, Blessed Be He, said to him, “He who keeps the fig tree shall eat its fruit” (Prov. 27:18). Your sons sat idly by and did not study the Torah. Joshua served you faithfully and showed you great honour. It was he who rose early in the morning and remained late at night at your House of Assembly. He used to arrange the benches and spread the mats. Seeing that he has served you with all his might, he is worthy to serve Israel, for he shall not lose his reward.

5 ה
(ג) וַיִּֽקָּהֲל֞וּ עַל־מֹשֶׁ֣ה וְעַֽל־אַהֲרֹ֗ן וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֲלֵהֶם֮ רַב־לָכֶם֒ כִּ֤י כָל־הָֽעֵדָה֙ כֻּלָּ֣ם קְדֹשִׁ֔ים וּבְתוֹכָ֖ם ה' וּמַדּ֥וּעַ תִּֽתְנַשְּׂא֖וּ עַל־קְהַ֥ל ה'׃
(3) They combined against Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all the community are holy, all of them, and the LORD is in their midst. Why then do you raise yourselves above the LORD’s congregation?”
6 ו
(כט) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לוֹ֙ מֹשֶׁ֔ה הַֽמְקַנֵּ֥א אַתָּ֖ה לִ֑י וּמִ֨י יִתֵּ֜ן כָּל־עַ֤ם ה' נְבִיאִ֔ים כִּי־יִתֵּ֧ן ה' אֶת־רוּח֖וֹ עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃
(29) But Moses said to him, “Are you wrought up on my account? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD put His spirit upon them!”
7 ז
(ז) ה' מוֹרִ֣ישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁ֑יר מַשְׁפִּ֖יל אַף־מְרוֹמֵֽם׃ (ח) מֵקִ֨ים מֵעָפָ֜ר דָּ֗ל מֵֽאַשְׁפֹּת֙ יָרִ֣ים אֶבְי֔וֹן לְהוֹשִׁיב֙ עִם־נְדִיבִ֔ים וְכִסֵּ֥א כָב֖וֹד יַנְחִלֵ֑ם כִּ֤י לַֽה' מְצֻ֣קֵי אֶ֔רֶץ וַיָּ֥שֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם תֵּבֵֽל׃

(7) The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He casts down, He also lifts high. (8) He raises the poor from the dust, Lifts up the needy from the dunghill, Seating them with princes. Has them inherit seats of honor.

8 ח
(ב) דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כָּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֥ אֲלֵהֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י ה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃
(2) Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.
9 ט

(א) בִּשְׁלשָׁה כְּתָרִים נִכְתְּרוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל. כֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה וְכֶתֶר כְּהֻנָּה וְכֶתֶר מַלְכוּת. כֶּתֶר כְּהֻנָּה זָכָה בּוֹ אַהֲרֹן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כה יג) "וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו בְּרִית כְּהֻנַּת עוֹלָם". כֶּתֶר מַלְכוּת זָכָה בּוֹ דָּוִד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים פט לז) "זַרְעוֹ לְעוֹלָם יִהְיֶה וְכִסְאוֹ כַשֶּׁמֶשׁ נֶגְדִּי". כֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה הֲרֵי מֻנָּח וְעוֹמֵד וּמוּכָן לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים לג ד) "תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ משֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב". כָּל מִי שֶׁיִּרְצֶה יָבוֹא וְיִטּל. שֶׁמָּא תֹּאמַר שֶׁאוֹתָם הַכְּתָרִים גְּדוֹלִים מִכֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (משלי ח טו) "בִּי מְלָכִים יִמְלֹכוּ וְרוֹזְנִים יְחֹקְקוּ צֶדֶק" (משלי ח טז) "בִּי שָׂרִים יָשֹׂרוּ". הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה גָּדוֹל מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם:

(1) With three crowns was Israel crowned – with the crown of Torah, the crown of Priesthood, and the crown of Kingship. The crown of Priesthood was bestowed on Aaron and his descendants. The crown of Kingship was conferred on David and his successors. But the crown of Torah is for all Israel. Whoever wishes, let them come and take it. Do not suppose that the other two crowns are greater than that of Torah…. The crown of Torah is greater than the other two crowns

10 י

(א) משֶׁה קִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִסִּינַי, וּמְסָרָהּ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ לִזְקֵנִים, וּזְקֵנִים לִנְבִיאִים, וּנְבִיאִים מְסָרוּהָ לְאַנְשֵׁי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. הֵם אָמְרוּ שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים, הֱווּ מְתוּנִים בַּדִּין, וְהַעֲמִידוּ תַלְמִידִים הַרְבֵּה, וַעֲשׂוּ סְיָג לַתּוֹרָה:

(1) Moses received the torah at Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly.

11 יא
(ד) תּוֹרָ֥ה צִוָּה־לָ֖נוּ מֹשֶׁ֑ה מוֹרָשָׁ֖ה קְהִלַּ֥ת יַעֲקֹֽב׃
(4) When Moses charged us with the Teaching As the heritage of the congregation of Jacob.
12 יב

(יב) רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, יְהִי מָמוֹן חֲבֵרְךָ חָבִיב עָלֶיךָ כְּשֶׁלָּךְ, וְהַתְקֵן עַצְמְךָ לִלְמֹד תּוֹרָה, שֶׁאֵינָהּ יְרֻשָּׁה לָךְ. וְכָל מַעֲשֶׂיךָ יִהְיוּ לְשֵׁם שָׁמָיִם:

(12) Rabbi Yose said:Let the property of your fellow be as precious unto you as your own; Make yourself fit to study torah for it will not be yours by inheritance; And let all your actions be for [the sake of] the name of heaven.

13 יג
הבא על אמו בחלום יצפה לבינה שנאמר כי אם לבינה תקרא הבא על נערה מאורסה יצפה לתורה שנאמר תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלת יעקב אל תקרי מורשה אלא מאורשה הבא על אחותו בחלום יצפה לחכמה שנאמר אמר לחכמה אחתי את הבא על אשת איש בחלום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא והני מילי דלא ידע לה ולא הרהר בה מאורתא

It is stated: “Moses commanded us Torah, an inheritance [morasha] of the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4). Do not read it as morasha; rather, read it as me’orasa, betrothed.

14 יד
ומפני מה אין מצויין ת"ח לצאת ת"ח מבניהן אמר רב יוסף שלא יאמרו תורה ירושה היא להם רב ששת בריה דרב אידי אומר כדי שלא יתגדרו על הצבור מר זוטרא אומר מפני שהן מתגברין על הצבור רב אשי אומר משום דקרו לאינשי חמרי

With regard to a similar matter, the Gemara inquires: And for what reason is it not common for Torah scholars to give rise to Torah scholars from among their sons? Why are Torah scholars generally born to paupers, who are not Torah scholars themselves? Rav Yosef said: This is so that they should not say the Torah is their inheritance. Therefore, it is unusual to find that all the sons of a Torah scholar are also Torah scholars. Rav Sheshet, son of Rav Idi, said: This is so that they should not be presumptuous [yitgadderu] toward the community, with the knowledge that they will be Torah scholars like their fathers. Mar Zutra said: Because they take advantage of their fathers’ standing to lord over the community and are punished for their conduct. Rav Ashi said: Because they call ordinary people donkeys.

15 טו

Avot DeRebbi Natan 2:4

Once Rav came to a certain place where, though he had decreed a fast [for rain], no rain fell. Eventually someone else stepped forward in front of Rav before the Ark and prayed, “Who causes the wind to blow” – and the wind blew. Then he prayed, “Who causes the rain to fall” – and the rain fell.

Rav asked him: What is your occupation [i.e., what is your special virtue that causes God to answer your prayers]? He replied: I am a teacher of young children. I teach Torah to the children of the poor as well as to the children of the rich. From those who cannot afford it, I take no payment. Besides, I have a fish pond, and I offer fish to any boy who refuses to study, so that he comes to study. (Ta’anit 24a)

16 טז

Avot DeRebbi Natan 2:4

“Raise up many disciples” – The school of Shammai says: A person is to teach only one who is wise, humble, of good stock, and rich.

But the school of Hillel says: Everyone is to be taught. For there were many transgressors in Israel who were attracted to the study of Torah, and from them sprang righteous, pious, and worthy men. To what may it be compared? “To a woman who sets a hen to brood on eggs – out of many eggs, she may hatch only a few, but out of a few [eggs], she hatches none at all."

17 יז

Taanit 24a

Once Rav came to a certain place where, though he had decreed a fast [for rain], no rain fell. Eventually someone else stepped forward in front of Rav before the Ark and prayed, “Who causes the wind to blow” – and the wind blew. Then he prayed, “Who causes the rain to fall” – and the rain fell.

Rav asked him: What is your occupation [i.e., what is your special virtue that causes God to answer your prayers]? He replied: I am a teacher of young children. I teach Torah to the children of the poor as well as to the children of the rich. From those who cannot afford it, I take no payment. Besides, I have a fish pond, and I offer fish to any boy who refuses to study, so that he comes to study.