Friday, July 11, 2014

Taking an Unpopular Stand

Looking at this week's parsha, Pinchas, you can't help but think about Israel.

Our parsha talks about the laws of inheritance of the land of Israel.

Then, Moshe appoints Yehoshua to be the next leader. The one who would lead the Jewish people into the land of Israel.

It talks about the sacrifices brought at different times in our Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Israel.

The strange thing is, that this parsha begins in middle of a story about Pinchas, how he killed two people, thereby stopping a plague that took the lives of 24,000. For this, Hashem gave him the title of Kohen, priest, for him and all his future descendants and the namesake of our parsha, Pinchas.

What are we meant to learn from Pinchas about the land, the leaders, and the temple service of Israel?

There are times that we are faced with a dilemma: Do what is right or do what is popular?

Unfortunately it is very difficult to stand against what is popular, because "What will people say?", "everybody is doing it" and "they won't like me".

Pinchas was faced with this dilemma. No one was ready to stand up and do the right thing. In the face of that he stood up did what was necessary and saved the day. Stopped the plague, and is rewarded with the priesthood.

Same is true for the leadership of Israel. The whole world is against you but you need to do what is right. It is very difficult to be like Pinchas, but ultimately that's what stops our people from dying. That's how we inherit our land. That's leadership.

Same is true for each of us. Hashem chose us because we have it in us to stand up for what is true and what is right. If we do what Hashem wants in the face of what is considered popular, we too earn our title of ממלכת כהנים וגוי קדוש a kingdom of priests and a holy nation and we will merit to have our temple, the Beis Hamikdash, in Jerusalem.

Let's us daven that Hashem strengthen the leadership of Israel, that He keep our brothers and sisters there safe and that He protect our soldiers from harm.


  1. Right on, Rabbi Yitzi. Our leadership in Eretz HaKodesh all must daven for seichel and guts to do the right thing for Am Yisroel, Medinat Yisroel, and Klal Yisroel. May Hashem guide them in the proper path and may all our Chayalim be matzliach in their missions and return home swiftly and in good health. Am Yisroel Chai. Gut Shabbos.

  2. Exactly Rabbi, the government of Israel must use this opportunity to stop these rocket launcher for good. People do not realize that those that live with missile's range live in constant fear, and within seconds of an alert they must take cover. Children and adults have nightmares and experience constant stress anxiety. For the UN to state that Israel is violating international law by trying to protect it citizens , is another of their antisemitism. Thanks for your insight Rabbi, and Shabbat Shalom.

  3. Remember that a Palestinian boy was murdered by burning. I do not profer an answer here; but we can not make right the murder of the Jewish youths by simply exchanging violence in this interminable conflict. Dr John

  4. Lku"sh chelek 18 sicha 1, chelek 4.