by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek
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Parashat PinchasPinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the Priest, turned back My anger away from the Children of Israel when he was zealous with My jealousy in the midst of them; and I did not destroy the children of Israel with My jealousy.
When he zealously avenged Me: Rashi: When he avenged My jealousy; When "He displayed he anger that I ( G-d) should have displayed." All terms of "kina" mean the heated wrath, to take revenge a matter.
WHAT IS RASHI SAYING?
Rashi tells us the meaning of 'when he was zealous with My jealousy'. By comparing Kina (Jealousy) to N'kama (revenge) and then to hot glowing anger.
What would you ask here?
A Question: Why does Rashi need to take these three steps to explain the word "kina"?
WHAT IS BOTHERING RASHI?
An Answer: Rashi is trying to make sense out of the words "b'kano es Kinasi' Since trhe word 'Kina' means jealousy and jealousy is an emotion, it is not an action. But Pinchas was praised for his act of killing Zimri and Kozbi, not for his emotion.
How does Rashi deal with this?
An Answer: Rashi says that the Kina here was really n'kama (vengeance) and n'kama is an act. So Pinchas was praised for his n'kama. But the Torah calls it 'kina' because Rashi says in some cases (and this is one) the word k'ina connotes not just emotion but also action.
Rashi then rephrases the verse to say "He displayed he anger that I ( G-d) should have displayed."
Rashi goes on to tell us that k'ina means "hot anger" and such hot anger doesn't remain merely an emotion. It's heat, so to speak, forces it into action. Note that this fine line between jealousy and revenge is evident in the English language as well. Jealous the emotion, becomes zealous, the act of avenging.
Dr. Bonchek is publishing a new book on Rashi, called "Rashi: the magic and the Mystery" . It has a biography of Rashi & his special character traits. And outlines clearly Rules for interpreting Rashi in depth. We are looking for dedications to help publish this book. Those interested, please contact Avigdor Bonchek at Drbonchek@gmail.com.
This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
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