December 2, 2016, Kislev 2, 5777, Israel
Peace and Violence, to the modern Liberal ear these are contradictions. We all know the silly hippy T shirt, "Fighting for peace is like F...ing for virginity."
The words of the foolish.
וידבר ה' אל משה לאמור. פנחס בן אלעזר בן אהרן הכהן השיב את חמתי מעל בני ישראל בקנאי את קנאתי בתוכם ולא כליתי את בני ישראל בקנאתי. לכן אמור הנני נותן לו את בריתי שלום
במדבר כה י - יב
"And God spoke to Moshe saying, Phineas the son of Elazar the son of Aharon the Cohen has turned my wrath from the Children of Israel by being zealous for my sake and therefore I have not destroyed the Children of Israel in my anger. Therefore I give to him my covenant of peace and he shall have it and his seed after him, the covenant of ever everlasting priesthood."
(Numbers, Chapter 25, verses 10 -12)
Phineas, Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aharon the Cohen, the high priest of Israel, saw an act that could not be tolerated. Against the orders of God and against the interests of Israel a Jewish man and a Midiyanite woman were "together". He rose up from among the congregation, took the law into his own hands, took his spear and smote the offenders.
An act of violence? yes. but..God says that for this reason he did not wipe out the Children of Israel.
The Torah/Bible records that after this God promised to Phineas and his descendants the Covenant of peace.
I am one of those descendants.
Note that Aharon was a man of peace. It is said he "loved peace and pursued peace" and yet!! he was not awarded the Covenant of Peace. No, it took an act of violence on the part of his grandson to earn that privilege for our clan.
Loving peace is not enough. Sometimes peace can only be achieved by an act of violence.
On my father's side I am a descendant of Aharon, the high priest, the Cohen, brother of Moses.
Now let's take a look at the other side of the family. My mother is a direct descendant of Kind David. But how did he become king? By an act of violence.
He saw the great Goliath (Alyath) of Gat and he slew him and cut of his head for the crime of mocking the living God of Israel. And God rewarded this act of violence by making David king of Israel.
Odd, you might think, But no. God is not a Liberal, God is a realist. And sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace but Peace comes as man of war.
Now what would have happened to the Children of Israel, at war with Midyan, had Phineas not taken this act? We shall never know but we are told that it would have been the end of Israel.
Fast Forward to our times. Germany, defeated in World War One decides to test the determination of the world. German troops, in violation of the Versailles treaty march into the demilitarized Rhineland. March 7, 1936. After the war German generals admit the Nazi Germany was no where near ready for a war. The far superior French forces could have destroyed the German army then and there. It would all be over. World War Two would not have happened. 65 million people would not have died.
But wait, attacking those German forces would be an act of violence. How could violence ever be justified?? After all fighting for peace is like...for virginity.
The answer is simple, violence and peace go hand in hand.
Let's imagine for a moment that the French army attacked the "not yet ready for prime time war" Germans. People would shout "Violence", this was an overreaction. Years later people would look back and think; was that act of violence really necessary? But they would have no clue that it not taken place a terrible war would engulf the world and millions would suffer, during the war and after.
But France did nothing, the world stood by, and Germany grew, and the rest is history. The good people, the virtuous, did not act. They did not take violent action. They did not act as Phineas the Cohen, or David, King of Israel, and they did not achieve an everlasting peace, they allowed war to take place. Again I quote the prophet of the time, “The malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous.” (Winston S. Churchill)
Yes, there is such a thing as fighting for peace, despite what it says on the hippie dippie T shirt. Ignore the T shirt, read the Bible. And may we all merit everlasting peace.
Wishing you all a good Sabbath.
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