Learn from Congregation B’nai Chaim: Torah portion Pinchas

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Rabbi Marc Rubenstein
Rabbi Marc Rubenstein. Valley News/Courtesy photo
Rabbi Marc Rubenstein, Special to Valley News The week’s Torah portion opens with God blessing Pinchas and his descendants with a life of peace. Pinchas earned this great reward for standing up on behalf of God and carrying out justice even against Moses’ authority for blatant disobedience displayed by the children of Israel. Last week’s Torah portion ended with King Balak resorting to his final strategy to weaken the powerful leaders of Israel: send beautiful women. For a quick summary, remember that Balak sequestered the most beautiful women from the tribes of Midian and Moab and sent them to seduce the Jewish leaders. His strategy was a success and led to a passionate love affair between Zimri, the leader of Shimon’s paternal house, and a Midianite woman named Kazby.
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