Thursday, 05 Jul 2007

Written by Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

The parashah for this week is not without its challenges and problems. At the end of last week’s reading, we saw Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, murder with a bayonet-like weapon an Israelite and a Midianite woman in flagrante. The first verses of this week’s reading appear to provide divine sanction for a zealous, violent, religious fanaticism, which becomes the justification for a perpetual covenant of priesthood with Pinchas and his descendants (Num. 25: 6–13).   

The views expressed in this D’var Torah do not necessarily reflect the position of Leo Baeck College.