Pinchas: Chapter 14

Why is the righteous punished for the iniquity of his generation


Rabbi Shimon says that the Other Side is content to control the Righteous because then it can afford to ignore the rest of the world. For this assertion we have the evidence of the story of Job, where the Satan's attention to Job enabled God to save the rest of his generation. If the righteous one is strong, and he bears his afflictions and overcomes the accuser, he can save the whole generation - indeed, this is how Moses became the Faithful Shepherd over Yisrael, and why he will control them in the World to Come. Moses asks Rabbi Shimon why one righteous person is affected while another is not, and the response is that God does only what is necessary: if one will suffice, He only afflicts one, but if the sins are widespread He will also afflict other righteous men. Moses talks about three types of righteous people, all of whom become a chariot for Adam and the patriarchs, and who acquire from them the strength to suffer and to protect the whole generation.


A flood of wisdom and healing forces pours out of this passage. We're told that Job and Moses were men of titanic spiritual strength who wrestled with and triumphed over Satan, preoccupying him in order to free their entire generation. Our reading resurrects their fortitude and might, luring Satan back into battle with these great spiritual warriors. The Zohar and the spirit of Job and Moses now bear the brunt of Satan's attack so that our entire generation is freed from the clutches of the Other Side. These great warriors secure their final victory over this age-old foe.

Moreover, in our meditation, we contribute to the demise of Satan, repaying the righteous who have fought so valiantly for us throughout the ages. The righteous souls among us here and now stop suffering on our behalf. The final bell is rung and this cosmic conflict between life and death, good and evil, is ended at last, with Life and Goodness victorious.

The Zohar then expounds upon the spiritual function of the body's organs, including the liver, the spleen, the kidneys, the heart, and the lungs, and their relationship to sin, disease, and the patriarchs. Disease originates in the liver, caused by the sins we commit, knowingly or unknowingly, this life or past.

When disease strikes, there must be bloodletting from the right arm in order to heal the entire body. Thus, here we invoke Abraham, who signifies the right arm, to spiritually blood let. Our bodies are now purified of disease as we cleanse our sins and the iniquities of our generation. Esau represents the liver and Ishmael represents the spleen. When reading this passage, negative blockages in our liver and spleen are purged while the destructive influences of Esau and Ishmael are dissolved into nothingness. Our meditation invokes the greatness of Isaac, who represents the Left Arm side of judgment. Blood is herewith let from the left arm, generating healing and purifying all transgressions. Our reading summons forth the power of Jacob, who represents the body. Blood is herewith let from both the right and left arms, arousing well-being and cleansing all trespasses.

Our heartfelt contemplation of these verses evokes Adam and all the patriarchs when disease, sickness, and sin are rampant in civilization. Blood is herewith let from the veins in the head, thus healing and regenerating the body's organs, bones, and blood, and cleansing this world of all of its sins, wiping out airborne diseases and all plagues.

Finally, the healing process and the regeneration of our cells and souls are sealed by Moses, whose name is rearranged into the Mem Hei Shin, one of the 72 Names of God, that ignites health, well-being and restoration.

All these miraculous effects are achieved on account of the holiness of this book and the saintliness of the Patriarchs. Our acknowledgment and appreciation of this truth magnifies the healing effect exponentially with every set of eyes that fall upon these verses.