Pinchas and “Connected Criticism”

Over at Jewschool, I have some thoughts on how, amidst rockets and airstrikes, Jewish lefties have a strange double task, to both console and further trouble their people:

This week we read Parshat Pinchas, which opens with God’s approval of Pinchas’s vigilante killing of Zimri, an Israelite prince, who is sleeping with Cosbi, a Midianite princess (Numbers, 21:1-15). Liberal Jews are used to being alienated from Pinchas or condemning him, but this week, some of us uncomfortably find ourselves in Pinchas’s position.

Read on to see why, and how to strike the balance

5 thoughts on “Pinchas and “Connected Criticism”

  1. Mr. Magarik,

    My mother’s name was Ann Magarik Kaplan. She was from Riga, Latvia.
    I wonder if we are some how related. A friend caught your name in the Forward(?)
    a few months ago.

    • Hi Harriet— Nice to hear from you. My father’s family was also from Riga, and it seems likely to me we are related. More of an answer than that I cannot give you, though perhaps if you give me a little more information, I can check with my dad? Take care, Raffi

    • Hi Harriet—

      It looks like we are related! I’d rather not give out more information publicly, but if you give me your email or email me, I have some more information and would love to put you in touch with my dad (Larry), who sends his love and would love to be in touch.


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