Friday, July 18, 2008

 

Pinchas Blogging: Round II (The Sermoning)

Fundamentally Parshas Pinchas is about the change in Leadership for the Change in Generations: Pinchas assumes the mantle of priesthood, although part of that is to keep him in line and channel his energies positively (c.f. Jewish legends about thieves whose skill is put to good use, etc. also c.f. how Levi becomes the priestly tribe in the first place). Joshua readies to receive the mantle of political leadership from Moses (and the split between Church and State in Israel becomes more complete as each is no longer headed by the brother of the other ... ooh -- internal rhyme!). And we have the daughters of Zelophohad for whom a new commandment is created that way they can have an inheritance: a passing of property to a new generation.

Meanwhile, in the prophetic reading, we have Elisha receiving the mantle of prophecy from Elijah. And even Hashem gets in on the act -- no longer is he the thunderous divinity of Sinai (too easy to confuse with the storm god Baal -- c.f. another prophetic reading: "no longer am I to be called your Master but only your Spouse") but God is now the still small voice of conscience. And do recall this, for example (in re. Erubim 13b).

I'm still polishing this up (and will probably deliver large parts of this simply extemporaneously as is my wont), but the above will be pretty much on what I'm sermonizing tomorrow.

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