Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Do we need a "Pinchas" today ?


There are times when I wish we had a Pinchas or Eliyahu HaNavi today. Not that every Jew should be so perfect, Mitzvah keeping and frum but it seems, as if the majority of Jews has lost its ideals today. In the Jewish Quarter (Old City of Jerusalem) I once heard a little Israeli girl asking her mother what "that thing" is standing over there in the window. 
"Oh, this is a spice box for Havdalah (ceremony taking place after Shabbat and dividing Shabbat from the rest of the week)".
"Imma (Mummy) what is Havdalah ?"
It was unbelievable that this little girl at the age of about six had no clue about Havdalah. I suppose not even about Shabbat.

Isn't it sad how low many Jews have sunk ? No piece of Torah, no Midot (religious Torah bound character traits) but managing their daily lives by making a living. Plenty of people living in Tel Aviv care about a well - paid job, a nice apartment, a TV, a computer, going out for dinner and having a free life in any way. Jerusalemites may be more traditional, even when they are secular. However, in Jerusalem it is still unheard of that homosexuals walk hand in hand through the streets, as they do in Tel Aviv.

Modern Israelis travel the world after finishing their army service and what happens many times is that the guys come back with a Gentile woman. They go to Cyprus and marry her because Israel doesn't allow civil marriages between Jews and non - Jews.

Furthermore, Christian missionaries are very eager to convert Jewish Israelis to their idol - worship believe. Other Jews run away from Orthodoxy (not that they were religious but still kept Orthodox traditions) and prefer the Reform or Conservative movement. Today we are in the sad situation to say that, at least, they don't convert to idol - worship Christianity but remain Jewish.

Idol - worship as well as sexual perversion are still a topic in Israel. Let alone all those mixed marriages abroad where the situation, in this respect, is much more severe. I cannot help myself not getting angry when I see a Jewish man walking around with a Gentile woman. It just makes me sick. How can anyone only follow his desires but not think about his heritage, identy or the future ? How can anyone leave Judaism and run over to a religion where people worship a man dead Jew on a cross ? Are the Jews of this generation worse than those
in the times of Pinchas ?

It is probably just our G - d given destiny. G - d decided that the world should be this way and we act according to His plan without even knowing or realizing it. Or is everything up to my free will life and I decide if I follow G - d or behave like an animal ?

The world has never been perfect and already Noach had to face a wild society. Some Torah commentators say that Noach made the mistake and didn't warn his environment that G - d is bringing about the Flood. However, the Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin tells us that Noach did warn the people but got fed up after a while because no one wanted to listen to him.

To be honest: I am not going up to people and try fixing their behaviour, as I don't see it as my task fixing the whole world. What I do is keeping away from such people and I need to admit that I wouldn't have had the courage Pinchas had. Of course, it doesn't mean that we should walk around with a spear and stick it through someone's body. What most of us not participating in these acts silently hope is that someone will rise up (maybe Meshiach) and take the world back to a proper behaviour.

We definitely need a "Pinchas" today but, as far as I look, I don't see anyone around.


  1. Hey, wait with your verdict. Children are asking same questions over and over again. So you need to grant them some benefits of doubt. The real issue is that not many Israelis see the abundance and richness of Jewish life and the jewish life cycle as a great achievement. Yet, this leads to another dialectic question: isn't this exactly another great achievement?

  2. B"H

    What would we do without the Kaf S'chut (Benefit of a Doubt) ? :-))))

    Mant Israelis don't see it but try finding something. Even tonight at Tel Aviv's "Laila Lavan - White Night" cultural festival all over town.

    Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi Lau is giving classes as part of the cultural programme. At the Great Synagogue in Allenby Street and I am going to have a look at all those potential Pinchas victims (just kidding). But honestly, I am going to have a look at the classes.