Shabbos Parshas Pinchos 2019

July 28, 2019

  • Shabbos Mevorchim AV
  • Shabbos in Lakeview
  • Carlebach Friday Night Davening
  • Kotzker Vort: Moshe prayed that God not appoint Pinchos as leader
  • The Ahavas Shaul said the opposite of the Kotzker, that Moshe prayed that God should appoint Pinchos as leader
  • Sunday Morning Bike the Eruv


Another great Shabbos at ASBI.

Friday Night:

Friday night a newly married kid with the last name of Falk davened who was excellent. Very inspirational. Rabbi Wolkenfeld davened with much fervor. Rabbi Wolkenfeld spoke and mentioned the Kotzker on this week’s Parsha. On Chapter 27, Verse 16 Moshe requests of God that “God of Spirits of all flesh” appoint a leader for the Jewish people. Rashi comments that the reason why Moshe described God as the “God of Spirits of all flesh” is that Moshe wants God to appoint a leader who understands people and has patience.

The Kotzker said the Moshe was afraid that God was going to appoint Pinchos as the leader of the Jewish people, who Moshe did not want him because Pinchos was a “Kap’dan”, a strict and impatient person. That is why Moshe described God as the God of all spirits, as Rashi interpreted that God knows the spirit, the inner thoughts and proclivities of every individual.

Rabbi Wolkenfeld mentioned that this strictness played out years later in the incident of P’lagish B’Givyah, where almost the entire tribe of Binyamin was wiped out. Pinchos, as Cohen Gadol, told the people fight the tribe of Binyamin and did not try to bring peace. This may be somewhat problematic because the Urim V’Tumim said to go fight the tribe of Binyamin and you will be victorious. However, perhaps the proper approach should have been for Pinchos to arbitrate and avoid war. Pinchos also did not go to Yiftach to annul his Vow. As we know God responded to Moshe that it will not be Pinchos or Moshe’s sons, but Yehoshua.

Rabbi Wolkenfeld did not see the Kotzker Vort inside, so I showed him the Kotzker in Ohel Torah, page 55. I pick up this Sefer about once every 3 months. I happened to pass it by on Friday and took it with me. What Siattah Dishmaya that Rabbi Wolkenfeld said the Kotzker Vort and I had the Sefer.

The editor of the Ohel Torah added an explanation as to how the Kotzker understood this Verse to mean that Moshe did not want Pinchos to replace him. The Kotzker had two questions:

1) Who asked Moshe to give advice to God? On this to Kotzker answers that, once Moshe was told that he will not enter the land, Moshe was afraid that Pinchos, the Kap’dan, would be appointed.

2) Why did Moshe use the term, “אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָֽרוּחֹ֖ת“ – “the God of all Spirits”, to describe God?Because, as Rashi says, this phrase refers to God as knowing the inner thoughts, strengths and weaknesses of man. Moshe is requesting that God appoint a patient and understanding individual as leader, and per the Kotzker this could only be referring to not wanting Pinchos to be his successor. Rashi did say that Moshe wanted his son. I believe the Kotzker is saying, if so, Moshe did not have to say  “God of all Spirits.”

The editor of the Ohel Torah adds: why did Moshe think that God would appoint Pinchos? He answers, Pinchos was willing to die to save the Jewish people and this self-sacrifice is the province of Jewish leadership. Pinchos entered the tent of Zimri where Zimri’s family and friends would in all likelihood kill Pinchos. This Mesiras Nefesh made Pinchos potentially the successor to Moshe.

Comes along Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Shochet in his Sefer Ahavas Shaul, printed in 1916, pages 116 -119, and says the opposite of the Kotzker.  Moshe actually was praying that Pinchos be appointed the leader and that is why he used the language of “the God of the Spirits”. Pinchos should be leader for three reason.

1) Pinchos was the grandson of Aaron. Aaron must have taught his son Eliezer, who in turn taught Pinchos, to be a lover of peace, being compassionate and empathetic;

2) Pinchos was the recipient of 12 miracles. The Sefrei counts the 11th miracle that Zimri did not die when impaled, so as not to make Pinchos impure – Tamah. This was a holy act and should not be tainted with ritual impurity. This is the reference to God being “the God of Spirits” that Zimri was kept alive so that this noble deed should not be tainted with impurity.

3) Moshe also saw the Pinchos received a covenant of peace from God, so the Jewish people not hate him for this deed.

God responded that it has to be Yehoshua. Although Pinchos is not now a Kap’dan, he will in the future be stubborn. The Ahavas Shaul mentions a Gemara in Sanhedrin 110 with Achav and Eliyahu. He does not mention P’lagish B’Givah or Yiftach.

Went to my son’s house and had a delicious meal that my wife prepared.


Shabbos Morning

Got to Shul at 8:05 AM. More great Chazzanus from Falk. At davening I sat next to Dr. Steve’s son-in-law, Mateo. I crashed Mateo and Ilana’s wedding three years earlier, refer to the blog post of Labor day weekend 2016. Tasty Cholent at the Kiddush. Went upstairs to Schmooze. I saw the Falk kid. He is not an Einikel – grandson – of the Pnei Yehoshua, Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk , 1680 – January 16, 1756. Falk told me that the Pnei Yehoshua was a Levy and he is not a Levy. He just got married two weeks ago and I wished him Mazel Tov. He got married in Teaneck at Roemers, which is the number one, YU wedding hall. Falk’s cousin is dating Dr. Steve’s third daughter. I told Falk that his cousin is dating a great family, that they are full of Chesed, and that his cousin should pop the question ASAP. On Sunday I was talking to my nephew, Nathanel, form New York. I happen to mention Falk and Borzak. Nathanel tells me that Falk’s cousin is Nathanel’s best friend. Wow.

Walked into Shul for Rabbi Wolkenfeld’s speech. As always a very good speech. Tzvi came in to listen to the speech. Afterwards walked around with Tzvi waiting for the Kiddush. Eli was at the Kiddush.

Took two bagels and went to Dr. Leonard Kranzler’s (Z’L) Chumash Shiur. Dr. Leonard Kranzler passed away the previous Sunday and his funeral was on Tuesday, the 24th. I went to the cemetery with Stern to honor Dr. Kranzler Z”L and his Chumash Shiur. Dr. Kranzler Z”L started the Shiur over 20 years ago and took great delight in learning and teaching Torah. We talked about the greatness of Dr. Kranzler and how do we honor him going forward.

Paul is the leader of the Shiur. I explained the verses of Moshe asking God to appoint a new leader, Chapter 27 – Verses 15 to 18 based on Rashi.

טווַיְדַבֵּ֣ר משֶׁ֔ה אֶל־יְהֹוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר:

טזיִפְקֹ֣ד יְהֹוָ֔ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָֽרוּחֹ֖ת לְכָל־בָּשָׂ֑ר אִ֖ישׁ עַל־הָֽעֵדָֽה:

יזאֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵ֣א לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם וַֽאֲשֶׁ֤ר יָבֹא֙ לִפְנֵיהֶ֔ם וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר יֽוֹצִיאֵ֖ם וַֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר יְבִיאֵ֑ם וְלֹ֤א תִֽהְיֶה֙ עֲדַ֣ת יְהֹוָ֔ה כַּצֹּ֕אן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵֽין־לָהֶ֖ם רֹעֶֽה:

יחוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה קַח־לְךָ֙ אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן אִ֖ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־ר֣וּחַ בּ֑וֹ וְסָֽמַכְתָּ֥ אֶת־יָֽדְךָ֖ עָלָֽיו:

Questions and comments in Shiur that we discussed:

Rashi on Verse 15 says that this verse comes to let us know the virtues of the righteous, for when that are about to depart from the world, they disregard their own needs and occupy themselves with the needs of the community.

However, Rashi in verse to 16 brings down a Tanchuma who says that when Moshe heard that the Omnipresent told him to give Zelophehad’s inheritance to his daughters, he said, “It is time to ask for my own needs-that my son should inherit my high position.

This seems to contradict the first Rashi. Rashi uses very strong language. Not that God should consider taking my son, but it is time to ask for my needs, and that this seems to be motivating Moshe’s request. Obviously this cannot be said.

Yehoshua is selected. Yehoshua did have military experience, but he was not selected for military prowess. He was selected for two reason.

1) He was a man with patience and understanding

2) because he deserves to be rewarded for his service, for he “would not depart from the tent” Exodus 33:11. This is what Solomon meant when he said in Mishlei 27:18, “He who guards the fig tree eats its fruit”.

These are three important ingredients in being a leader. One who is compassionate, fair and just; and two – someone who watched the previous leader and learned how to lead. This is called in Hebrew “Simush”. Not just someone who was a battlefield warrior. Yehoshua was the one to assume leadership. 3) Toughness. What about toughness? Shaul was not tough enough and he lost his kingship. This can be answered that Yehoshua stood up to the 10 spies. I would compare Abraham Lincoln to Yehoshua. Abraham Lincoln was compassionate, saw the righteousness of his cause, was in communication with his Generals giving military advice, and above all understood what was needed to heal the country from the devastating Civil War. Abraham Lincoln had a photograph above his desk of a prisoner of war who was skin and bones, must have been under 100 pounds. The POW looked like a Holocaust Survivor.

Shiur over at 2:45. Tzvi came to pick me up and walked to his place. I sleep with a favorite pillow and this whole time I was walking with my pillow. I took a walk with Sholem to Wrigley Field, sans pillow. The Cubs were out of town, but it was very active. Took a nap at the kids’ apartment and went back to the Shul for Rabbi Wolkenfeld’s Pircai Avos class.

I have always dreamed of living in Lakeview and now that my kids live their I get to partially live my dream.

Sunday, July 27, 2019:

Davened at Anshe Sholom. After davening I was part of the group that biked the Eruv with Rabbi David Wolkenfeld.

Learned with my Chavrusa at Noon for 1 hour. I was so tired that I had no clue what I was learning. Rabbi Ben Sugerman to the rescue. The next day I listened to his Shiur on the Gemara and he opened up my eyes. I want to be Rabbi Ben Sugerman.

Parshas Pinchos Shabbos ASBI Bulletin

Ahavas Shaul – Pinchos

In Loving Memory