More often than some might suspect, the weekly Torah portion reflects uncannily well the issues and events in the world today. And especially this week, parsha Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) inspires us to ask the question, “just what does it MEAN to be ‘zealous’ for Yahuah,” and what, then, do we do when the, uh…’stuff hits the fan?’

Join Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship for a two-part study of the Torah portion that some have called one of the most “problematic,” even confusing, in the Book.

And, again no small ‘coincidence’, the parallels with the ‘prince of peace,’ Who also said He came not to bring “peace, but a sword,” seem to contradict a lot of what we have been told to believe. Scripture notwithstanding.

First, the Erev Shabbat reading and outline of the entire parsha:

The Sabbath teaching is where Mark hits the “hard lesson” head-on. And in the process again suggests that what of what we’ve been told, whether in the sanitized midrash, or the sell-out sun-god-day skool versions, may just miss the point.

It’s again about “choose life.” Even if, all too often, both now, and ‘in the eyes of’ even Moses, some would try to force a choice of death.

And it’s also why the commandment from Leviticus 19:16 (which directly precedes the more famous admonition to “love your neighbor as yourself”) should come to mind as we consider Pinchas’ actions.

“Pinchas: Do NOT Stand Idly By the Blood of Your Neighbor!”

The combined two-part podcast is here: