Divrei Torah
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending
out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you
this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of
Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the
neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.
A special thank you to
Aaron Friedman for always looking over the divrei torah.

This week’s Parsha begins by informing us that Pinchas received the covenant of peace
rewarding his act of zealotry. At first glance, this seems ironic, a covenant of PEACE for
being a ZEALOT???
But if we think about it a little deeper, with the understanding that Shalom means more
than just peace but rather harmony and perfection, then it makes ‘perfect’ sense.
We are not a people who act solely with Chesed, as unbridled Chesed leads to
immorality... Nor are we a people who act solely with Gevurah-strict judgment, as too
much Gevurah in Chinuch pushes kids away... Rather, we are a people who seek to fuse
our Midos into perfection; using Chesed in its proper time, Gevurah in its proper time, and
likewise with all other Midos.

The proper definition of shalom is having a perfect balance in all midos and using each
mida in its proper time.

This is the hallmark of our Gedolim, a few that I have merited to meet and see for myself,
and many more of whom I have read about. They may have some very strong opinions
about certain topics and certain practices, but when you come to speak with them, their
warmth, love, and care is so evident.

This, I suggest, is the understanding of the covenant of Shalom concerning Pinchas.  
Pinchas, as the Torah emphasizes, was a grandson of Aharon, the quintessential lover of
mankind. Pinchas had in his blood the warmth and love of Aharon. Yet when it came to
matters that he had to take a strong stance on and act zealously, he did so. Hence he
merited the covenant of SHALOM for his act!

May we all take this lesson to heart, to always work hard towards having a synthesis in
our Midos, using each one positively in its appropriate time.

{Editor’s note: This week, we began the three weeks, ending with Tisha B’av, the day we
mourn the destruction of our Beis Hamikdash. The Gemara says that if a person lives in a
generation that the Beis Hamikdash has not been rebuilt, he must consider it as if his
generation destroyed the Beis Hamikdash.

Rabbi Aharon Feldman pointed out that the Gemarah is teaching us that we have to look
at the destruction of our Holy Temple as if each and every one of us destroyed the Beis
Hamikdash. The only person to blame is ourselves. Rabbi Feldman pointed out that if we
would examine ourselves carefully, we would see that we exert so much effort in our daily
and personal life to shift the blame from ourselves on to other people. “I was late to work
because of this reason,” or, “I couldn’t finish the project because of this…” that is the
beginning of our personal destruction. When we wipe away all of the excuses and "step-up
to the plate," we will be transformed into stronger and better people who can take to the
plate and face any of the pitches that Hashem throws our way. Instead of bunting to first
base, we can hit a home run right out of the park.

May we all take this lesson to heart as we enter into the three weeks; that it is our own
faults and shortcomings that cause us to be the way we are and once we come to that
realization, we will be able to work on ourselves and rebuild our own Beis Hamidash and
ultimately bring Moshiach with the Beis Hamikdash in our days.}

Editor: Baruch Leib Gross

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author,
and not necessarily to that of Cong. Shomrei Mishmeres or any other group or individual.
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