Monday, 23 July 2018

Zevachim 101: Pinchas's Priesthood

Briefly on today's daf:

  • to explain the role of priests regarding ritual impurity and offerings, the rabbis tell stories about Moshe, Aaron and Miriam, particularly regarding their descendant  Pinchas
  • priesthood was conferred upon Pinchas after he killed Zimri ben Salu (one head of Shimon's tribe) and the Midianite woman who sinned with him (both idolatry and licentiousness)
  • Pinchas was Aaron's grandson, but Rav Ashi says that he did not become a priest unit much later because he was not at the initial ceremony conferring priesthood on Aaron and his sons
  • Pinchas is said to have "brought peace to the warring Israel tribes when they first came to the land"
  • the rabbis argue about whether Pinchas's calling to priesthood was in fact a blessing and what that blessing might have been
  • Pinchas's role continues to be debated and interpreted by modern Jewish thinkers
  • Pinches is used to defend violence in the name of adhering to Torah law
  • Pinches can also be understood as one who ended the inter-tribal conflict in the name of keeping Torah law

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