The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Tammuz 21, 5766/July 17, 2006

"My covenant of peace"
(Numbers 25:12

"Disproportionate" response. This is the disapproving buzzword being bandied about by the international community these days concerning Israel's military response to the murderous attacks against the state of Israel by those who hate the G-d of Israel and the people of Israel. Without relating to the duplicitous nature of these words, the absurdity of the claim being made, or the cynical hypocrisy hiding behind the accusation, a "disproportionate" response to an evil being perpetrated is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, this past week's Torah reading, Pinchas, (Numbers 25:10 - 30:1), teaches us that a "disproportionate" response, when applied at the right time for the right reasons, is prized by G-d. Therefore, Pinchas, who stepped forth and skewered the two sinners, Zimri, an Israelite prince of the tribe of Shimeon, and Cozbi, a Midianite princess, was rewarded by G-d with "My covenant of peace." (Numbers 25:12) Moreover, Pinchas' swift action stayed the plague that was consuming the children of Israel as a direct result of their consorting with the enemy, and saved the nation from destruction, even as they stood east of Jericho, poised to enter the land.

We don't live in an age of prophecy, and even a child can glean the message being broadcast here: the swift and even brutal destruction of evil is a prerequisite for good to flourish. Recent Israeli governments, enacting the counsel of Bilaam, the heathen prophet, have armed the enemies of Israel, empowered their infrastructures of terror, abandoned the citizens of the north, exposing them to the deadly designs of the Hezbollah murderers, forced the good Jews of Gaza from their homes and livelihoods, and exposed the citizens of the south to murderous hatred spewing forth from Gaza. Barely one year after the infamous expulsion of 10,000 Jews from areas of the Holy Land deemed by self-proclaimed post-Zionists to be forevermore devoid of Jewish (Torah) presence, it is payback time. Whatever must be done to rout our enemies, and rid the people of Israel of the plague of self-deception and self-destruction, is self-evident and necessary.

Listen to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven explore the inner meaning of the "covenant of peace" forged between G-d and Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron the High Priest. Discover the bond between the zealous Pinchas and Elijah the prophet who lives to this day. Rabbi Richman also discusses the two inseparable "sides" of the Torah, the written Torah and the oral Torah.

Click to hear:

Part 1
Part 2