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July 8, 2015 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Pinchas

I actually found this week’s Hafotrah to be more interesting than the Torah portion.  After Jezebel threatens the life of Elijah, Elijah goes into the wilderness and talks to God.  But the “going into the wilderness” part is most interesting.  The medieval commentator David Kimhi (according to the Soncino Chumash) points out that after Elijah learns his life is in danger, he first flees to the southern kingdom of Judah (not ruled by Jezebel and her husband Ahab) and then flees to the wilderness because he decides that even in urban Judah he is not safe from the northern kingdom’s assassins.

So what?  I occasionally read what I call “vending machine theology”- the idea that if you put mitzvah x into the machine of reality, God will give you some desired outcome – or conversely, the idea that if you put sin y in the machine God will punish you.

The Elijah story strikes me as a rejection of that view.  Presumably Elijah, a prophet of great repute, did many fine things.  Yet even he fled Jezebel rather than expecting Divine protection.


One Comment

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  1. Steven in UK / Jul 9 2015 1:40 am

    Interesting qestion for our times, does God protect individuals or indeed countries from random political events?.

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