Devar Torah for Parshas Pinchas 5781

Cosby in This Week’s News

Cosby is in the new this week. But not just the secular news, in which Cosby was released from jail where he was serving time due to a sexual crime. Jews around the world will be reading about Cosby’s sexual crime in this week’s parsha, which is Parshas Pinchas.

Who was Cosby?

She was a princess of the Midianite Kingdom. A very important gentile lady.

Yet the people and leaders of the Midianite Kingdom hated the Israelites so much that they sent their women – including Princess Cosby – to seduce the Jewish men to have intimate relations. Princess Cosby worked on Zimri, the president of the Tribe of Shimon, and she was successful. Her co-prostitutes were also successful and caused over a hundred thousand Jews sinned in this way. Then a plague broke out and 24,000 of them died…

…until Pinchas stopped the plague.

In a sense, he was the opposite of Cosby. She hated the Jews so much that she reduced herself to a prostitute to cause them to sin. Pinchas loved G-d so much that when he saw the people publicly sinning, he was upset for G-d’s honor, quickly confirmed that the law permitted him to take drastic action, and then killed both Zimri and Cosby in the midst of their act.

What can we take out from this? Watch out for hate, as it can blind someone, causing them to act illogically. Sending a princess to act as a prostitute? But if hate is on the mind of the princess, then it seems logical to her. During the very end of WWII, Hitler had so much hate towards the Jews that instead of sending his few resources to protect his country which was being attacked on multiple fronts, he instead sent these resources to kill Jews as quickly as he could. He was successful in this project – until the enemy troupes managed to stop him.

Love can also blind, but in a good way. Pinchas had such intense love for his Creator that he could not bear to see the leader of a tribe engaged in relations with a gentile in full view of the public! All the other leaders were crying and unable to stop this act, but Pinchas took his love and directed it against these two sinners, stopping their act and stopping the plague (which incidentally saved thousands of people who had also sinned but were not whipped out by the plague).

Wishing you all a good Shabbos!


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