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Be Like Pinchos. Don’t Reinvent Yourself… Reincarnate Yourself!

Posted on | June 27, 2013 | By Rabbi Dovid Schwartz | 4 Comments

From the Waters of the Shiloah-Plumbing the Depths of the Izhbitzer School

Imagine if you could live your life over again with total recall of all of your mistakes and missed opportunities AND with the accumulated wisdom, experiences and skills to seize all the missed opportunities and to avoid all the mistakes! Such a life would be truly deathless. RavTzadok – The Kohen of Lublin tells us how to live this dream:

When a person resolves to be Moser Nefesh-to die a martyrs death to sanctify HaShems Name with absolute sincerity and unconditional decisiveness (i.e. that if is G-d’s will that it is better for him to die than to live, heaven forfend, then he is gladly willing to die) he is, paradoxically, saved from a decree of death. G-d considers his thoughts and kabolos= resolutions that he takes upon himself as though they’ve already been done.. As such, someone sincerely resolved to die, has died! Afterwards, it is as though he were reincarnated and reentered this temporal world a second time cognizant of what he ruined (was mekalkel) in his first incarnation and capable of repairing (being metaken) all of the damage in his new incarnation. Every imaginable sin can be repaired this way as death atones for all.

Pinchos is identified by our sages as the literally immortal Eliyahu Ha Navee. The formula described above was the one employed by Pinchos. He was fully prepared to die when attacking Zimri, who would’ve had the law on his side had he overwhelmed Pinchos. As the Tamud in Sanhedrin82A teaches:“Had Zimri turned around and slain Pinchos he’d be exempted from the death penalty on the grounds of self-defense. ”So while Pinchos did, in fact, survive he was fully prepared to die Ahl Kidush HaShem= to sanctify HaShem’s Name. Thus, he merited the Covenant of Peace and, as Eliyahu, lived forever.

Adapted from Tzidkas HaTzadik 158

Comments

4 Responses to “Be Like Pinchos. Don’t Reinvent Yourself… Reincarnate Yourself!”

  1. Bob Miller
    June 27th, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    Didn’t Moshe Rabbeinu actually give Pinchas the green light? If so, was Pinchas’ act a classic case of kanaus or something a bit different?

  2. Rabbi Dovid Schwartz
    June 27th, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

    Pinchas’ act was THE classic, definitive case of kanaus . Moshe did not precisely green-light it. He implicitly told Pinchos “you have remembered my lesson on this matter accurately”

    Such acts of vigilantism fall under the extra-judicial Halachic gray area called הלכה ואין מורין כן = “It is the Halacha (literally ‘the way to go’) but no one may rule / issue a p’sak to do so”.

    Because there is no mitzvah to slay a “boel aramis“, because it is l’halacha but NOT l’ma’aseh , Zimri was within his legal rights to defend himself with lethal force. It was more likely than not that Pinchos would die. Several miracles (of the total IIRC of ten) helped Pinchos slay Zimri instead of the other way around. Not expecting a miracle Pinchos was basically forfeiting his life determined to prevent Chilul HaShem or to die trying.

  3. Bob Miller
    June 27th, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    If Pinchas consulted with Moshe in any way whatsoever before doing the act, didn’t it become less self-directed and less heat-of-the-moment?

  4. Rabbi Dovid Schwartz
    June 27th, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    I’d agree . But IMO a close reading of the Gemara reveals that Pinchos was not “consulting” Moshe or “asking a shailaeh” in the conventional sense. He was trying to end the massive weeping and the awkwardness of Moshe Rabenus “forgetting” the Halacha.

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