Get six complete and original sermons for Parshat Pinchas (or purchase them individually)
1. Does Israel Belong to the Jews?
Why is Israel so important to the Jews? Why do we insist that it is ours by right? We find the answer in this week’s Torah reading, where we learn that Israel does not just belong to the Jews; Israel is the Jews. All the more emphasized during the Three Weeks.
2. How Important is Yichus
How important is yichus (pedigree)? Some people are so consumed with family lineage that it determines who they will or will not marry. When does obsession with yichus spill over into discrimination? Are all people equal or are some more equal than others? Some interesting insights into the answers to these questions come from this week’s Torah reading.
3. Is the Torah Chauvinistic?
One of the harsh critiques aimed at Torah Judaism is that it is chauvinistic: no female rabbis or cantors; a partition between the genders during prayer; women are given fewer mitzvot… These arguments are not to be dismissed but addressed. And in this week’s Torah reading addressed they are.
4. Judaism vs. Terrorism
What is the antidote to fanaticism, racism, fundamentalism and extremism? The answer is found in the actions of two zealots, Pinchas and Elijah, who teach us how to stand strong with your values with a deep sensitivity and humility.
5. War and Peace: Is There a Peaceful Approach to War?
How should we react when we witness a crime – with aggression or with passivity? Do we confront or ignore? How should a man of peace deal with injustice? The answer to these questions can be found in this week’s controversial Torah portion, where God grants a zealot and a killer a “covenant of… peace.”
6. Zealots, Radicals and Peaceniks
Torah abhors all forms of fanaticism and extremism. In fact, the only documented instance of suicidal zealotry in Jewish history ended with the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple and the Jewish exile. which we commemorate these days. Why then does the Torah sanction the zealotry of Pinchas in this week’s Torah portion?! And what does this teach us about modern day zealotry and its dangers?