THE FIRST QUESTION WE MUST ASK OURSELVES IN EVERY SITUATION
July 27, 2016
Beis Moshiach in #1031, Bitachon Bytes, Pinchas

By Rabbi Zalman Goldberg

One of the challenging aspects of bitachon is the ability to always synchronize our views with the perspectives of Torah. Torah has guidance on every occurrence and being that the Torah is Hashem’s Will and Wisdom (רצון and חכמה), these guidelines are actually Hashem’s guidelines. Many people have a take on many topics; the question is: are those opinions in line with the Torah’s views? A person with a strong connection to Hashem will be on the right track on most, if not all, occasions

Parshas Pinchas begins by relating Hashem’s response to the Shvatim’s disparaging remarks about Pinchas. The Shvatim claimed that Pinchas was evil and cruel. He was descended from Yisro, who prior to his conversion to Judaism would fatten calves in order to slaughter them to idols. A cruel act indeed. Pinchas ‘slaughtered’ a Jewish prince, also a cruel deed. Thus, even though his zealousness could be described otherwise, they called it zealousness of cruelty. Hashem responded with Pinchas’ true lineage and intentions. Pinchas is a descendant from Aharon, who pursued peace for the whole community. Pinchas intended to bring atonement for the Yidden and to stop the deadly plague, and therefore it was truly a Divine zealousness.

There are two key differences between the Yidden’s view and Hashem’s in this story. Firstly, Pinchas’ zealotry was considered haughtiness (since the Jewish leaders did not instruct Pinchas to act in such a manner) and not as doing Hashem’s will with bittul. Hashem responded that Pinchas was the person who was fully devoted to Hashem’s way. Those who claimed that it was Pinchas who was the haughty one were actually the bigots who could not handle that someone else was taking the correct action. The Shvatim’s view, in this case, was diametrically opposed to how Hashem saw it. Instead of the Shvatim being the ones who were devoted to Moshe and the leadership, and Pinchas being the one who acted out of line with Hashem’s will, they were the opposition to Hashem’s view and Pinchas with his zealotry was the one full of devotion to Hashem’s Will.

Secondly, the Shvatim claimed that Pinchas committed a deed of tremendous cruelty. Not only was the killing a cruel act, but the person killed was a prince. The general position of a prince included the obligation to defend his people and bestow goodness upon them. So Pinchas assassinated an essentially good person. Not only that, this kind man was in the midst of demonstrating his kindness to his tribe. When the tribe of Shimon complained to their prince that they feared capital punishment, he sinned with Kozby to defend his tribe and show them that they are not wrong. Thus Pinchas’ cruelty is only doubled.

In contradistinction to this view, Hashem saw Pinchas as a descendant of Aharon, who always sought to bring about an atmosphere of peace wherever he went. Pinchas too had the kind intention of bringing peace between Hashem and the Yidden. Hashem’s wrath was provoked because the Yidden were sinning with idols and adultery. Zimri was the real cruel one in this case, since he had the chance to inspire his tribe to return to Hashem, and yet he caused them to stoop lower in sin. From a G-dly perspective, that is the real cruelty. Pinchas was the truly kind one for bringing peace to our relationship with Hashem.

Here again the Shvatim were opposed to Hashem’s view in regard to who was kind and who was cruel. Pinchas not only stopped the prevailing epidemic, he also brought about a covenant of peace, a ברית שלום, which is the true peace.

If we are seeking a stronger revealed connection to Hashem, then in every situation we need to ask ourselves, “What would the wisdom of Hashem say? With whom would the Torah side?” If we don’t know we can always seek the advice of someone whom we could expect to be in tune with what the G-dly outlook is. This is all encompassing and will bring good results in every area of life that it is applied to.

It’s important to always entertain thoughts with the correct perspective. An example of this is the sad fact that upon seeing a person dressed in tattered clothing, most people do not think too highly of him/her. Pity would be nice, although some people might just plainly look down at them. Not so was the daughter of R’ Meir Simcha Chein of Nevel. He would always praise the qualities of the bachurim of Tomchei T’mimim to his children. How exalted was the character, the service of Hashem of a Tamim, etc.

One day a Tamim came to their home, looking quite disheveled. Reb Meir Simcha’s daughter remembered viewing the bachur with the greatest respect, despite his external appearance. The perspective that Reb Meir Simcha instilled in his children was the correct one from a G-dly perspective. Even if his child would have pitied the bachur, it would have been fine, but inaccurate, because a Tamim is truly a gem to treasure. Let us attune ourselves more with the way Hashem views and perceives the world and all that inhabits it.

 

Rabbi Zalman Goldberg is a well sought after speaker and lecturer on Chassidic thought. His writings and recordings on the topic of Bitachon can be accessed at http://www.gotbitachon.com. You can also receive his one minute daily Bitachon clip by sending a WhatsApp to 347.546.4402 with the word “Bitachon.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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