Back to Parsha homepage
D''vrei Mordechai

by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l
Archive of previous issues

What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways? (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)

Parshas Pinchas


This D'var Torah is based on a vort from the Kedushas Halevi.

The Chumash tell us that Zimri ben Salua took a woman from Midyan and was intimate with her in front of the Am. Pinchas was enraged by what he saw and took a sword and killed him. The Gemara tells us that Pinchas was Eliyahu Hanavi. The Ari HaKadosh explains that Pinchas was Kayin. Now this is a little harder to understand. That Pinchas - a Tzaddik who felt kinah for the Ribbono Shel Olam and acted upon it is Eliyahu, makes sense. But Kayin? A man who refused to bring the best of his crops as a karban? A man who murdered his brother and tried to hide it - this is the man who became Eliyahu? How can we explain this?

Let's look at Kayin. Kayin's aveira was r'zecha - murder. Kayin was his father's eldest, which made him a Kohen. When Hashem told him that the blood of his brother was screaming from the ground, Kayin answered "Hashomer Achee Anochi"? Am I my brother's keeper?

Now let us look at Pinchas and Eliyahu. Pinchas, a Kohen, took Kayin's sin of murder and turned it into a mitzvah. This was the first tikun. The second tikun will come at the time of the Geulah when Eliyahu will announce the coming of Moshiach. Kayin said "Hashomer Achee Anochi" - we usually read it as a quesion. But it wasn't - it was a statement - I am my brother's keeper. Pinchas took responsibility for his brother's actions and obliterated a blight on the Am. At a bris we have "Kiseh Eliyahu" - a special seat for Eliyahu. This is because at a bris, we cut a part of the body that is later buried in the ground - to make up for the blood of Hevel that called out for justice.

Everything happens in stages - a neshama could not go from Kayin to being Eliyahu Hanavi - first he became Pinchas and was metaken on the sin of murder - then he could become Eliyahu and be metaken on the sin of spilling blood on the ground.

Back to Parsha homepage | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
Jerusalem, Israel