Posted by: mosesfromsinai | July 18, 2011

Matos – Tribes

This week’s Torah reading is Matos – Tribes.  In the Parsha we find a strange request from the Al-mighty of Moshe.  This is the last responsibility Moshe is to have before his death.  The Al-mighty asks of Moshe to take Nikama -Revenge against the nation Midyan for their enticing the Jewish men to sin with idol worship.  Nikama – Revenge in Jewish law is a big no no.

However, we see that when it reflects a national issue Nikama -Revenge is a requirement.  It no longer is a personal situation between two people.  There are reasons given why the Moabites were excluded from this.  One reason is that they had a legitimate concern that Israel was going to do them harm and thus they had a right to defend themselves.  Where as Midyan was doing this just out of hatred.  Israel was not going to take anything from Midyan.  Another reason given is that  Ruth, the great grandmother of King David was to come from Moab.

Another unique aspect of this event of Nikama -Revenge is that Moshe acted upon it immediately, even though after finishing this last task his death would follow.  We see from here that national issues should not be delayed.  In our lives we must look at those items that affect us on a broad scale and take immediate action.  The concept of Nikama-Revenge is not only not applicable, but it is a Mitzva, a requirement to do battle and correct the situation.


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