Leah’s Blog Parashat Pinchas 2023
Parshat Pinchas – July 2023
Ingrained into the sons of Yaakov Avinu from the first stories we know of them is the expertise in military tactics and warfare. It was never initiated but used as a defense system much like what we see today in the IDF.” “- ” ארדוף אויבי ואשיגם ולא אשוב עד כלותםI will pursue my enemies and overtake them, and I will not return until they are consumed.” Washing our sons’ laundry in their early army days had me knowing this passuk (verse) by heart as it was printed on the back of the T shirts personalizing their specific unit, Egoz. Psalm 18, written by none other than King David himself describes a time in our history when all enemies were pushed back way beyond Israel’s borders. King David is the symbol of the ultimate warrior. The Talmud tractate of Sotah deals with the issues relating to the emotional and ethical state of a soldier, who should join ranks and who should not. A lot of time has passed from then with our people knowing sovereignty and unfortunately knowing exile. But the intrinsic qualities we inherited as masters in warfare is in our DNA. Now that we’ve miraculously returned to our Land, the topic comes up again- it’s a headline. Impacting me personally was when our boys were inducted; it introduced me to the brave and professional boys they bonded with there in their elite unit, boys from all different backgrounds but all with the same shirt with the same passuk, with the same ideal of authentic skilled Jewish expertise in armed encounters. They learned urban warfare as well as camouflage in concealment like dressing as a rock and staying that way for two straight days to name just the tip of the iceberg. Now that our sons train new soldiers, I have come to realize the incredible miracle of it as my father of blessed memory was a lone survivor of the holocaust that had joined the underground in Poland and had a rich history of his own in military success. It’s inborn.
A summer of terror is upon us here in Israel, holy terror to be exact– In Jerusalem, Huwara Tel Aviv, the Jordan Valley, the Galilee, all over. Israel is being bullied and attacked by vicious savages. This is not only a territorial threat, this is a religious one. We have enabled terror to flourish in the very heart of this country, in the centrum that defines our history and who we are. We have forfeited and given them full control as they burn destroy and build terror centers instead of us defining to them and to world powers what Israel needs to do in order to secure peace and stability- THIS IS OUR LAND. Have we gone mad? Paying a dear price now as Café’s are attacked, alarm, dread panic and trepidation grip Israel in its realization of what a mistake Oslo was. We told them- do not give them guns! We told them- do not forfeit our backbone heritage sites. Yet, the west was certain that an Arab spring would flourish here. A new firm policy that seeks out our enemies and crushes them must be implemented! NOW! So that they can never send a rocket from just a stone’s throw from Mount Gilboa or off a boulder of a hill in Samaria, or pull a knife on mothers walking with strollers in Ramat HaChayal. France percolates now as those areas in the back neighborhoods where “autonomy” was granted to them explode – a mirror of what is happening here, because what happens here- happens everywhere. This is the pupil of Hashem’s eye.
Parshat Pinchas comes to speak about the origins of zealous enthusiasm for integrity. The first quality you must have as a soldier is TZEDEK- Justice. Standing up on Mount Gerizzim, I have a good vantage point. I can see the Tomb of Yosef Hatzaddik that was ransacked this week and I can just make out the stone wall at the ancient gate of Tel Shechem in the old grey dust. What called to mind for me was the original story of Shimon and Levi in fixing disgrace, how they demanded honor restored to their sister; they opened that gate wide while charging into the enemy “And they journeyed and the terror of Hashem was upon the cities that were around them and they did not pursue after the sons of Yaakov. (35:5) Later Yaakov comes to bless “And I have given you Shechem above your brothers, which I took with my sword and my bow.” Chazal wonder if Yaakov Avinu himself participated in this war. Yaakov Avinu became Yisrael upon entering Israel. He became a warrior for the honor of this Land. In exile he was Yaakov, being told what to do and spineless, in Israel he became Israel- a fearless warrior. The might in this Land demands it of you. Shimon and Levi go on to have children and their children have children. Levi produces Pinchas who in his zeal corrected the way things went wrong with Zimri descended from Shimon. Pinchas comes to teach us that when a lack of justice ethics and character stare you in the face- you better come and be the soldier that fixes it.
Now as the might of Israel has become revealed, the enemy wishes to conceal it. It is up to the IDF to live act and be prepared to fight to remove disgrace -for the honor of our little sister, for the stones and dust of this land we love so much.
This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Yehudah Yitzchak – Z”L HY”D, the brave warrior angel of the Egoz unit that fell this week in Jenin.
Shabbat Shalom, Leah