By Yael Dworkin
“Let the one who reads the letter be the agent to carry it out”
(Rashi on Bamidbar 25:7)
A great message I learnt from a great teacher, Rabbi Biller:
Sefer Yetzira teaches about the energetic challenges and advantages latent in every month. The challenge of Tammuz is in the realm of how we see things. In Tammuz, somehow, it is easier for us to see the half empty part of the glass. Critical and judgmental thinking seems to be the order of the day. What would not be an issue for us in the month of Nissan, seems to irk us to no end in Tammuz. Yet, thank G-d, this is not the entire story of Tammuz. This challenge is offset by the advantage this month is blessed with- which is the power of the right hand. As we all know, the right hand represents strength as well as the power of giving and loving. This is the reason why we are taught to prefer the right hand over the left one when doing the mitzvos. The right side, being the side associated with Chessed is the energy we want to imbue our doings with. So, it appears that the power of the right hand comes to support, mitigate, and offset the power of critical judgmental thinking of Tammuz! This is great news and great guidance for life!
Practically speaking, we are basically being taught that when we see a chisaron, a lack, or something off and wrong- instead of being downfallen from it- we are to take matters into our right hand and be proactive! We are to problem solve- to do a positive action and make whatever it is it right again. This is one of the awesome messages for us in this week’s parsha.
In the final aliya of the parsha, we read how Pinchas reacted to seeing the leader of the tribe of Shimon doing something horrendously immoral, a desecration of G-d’s name. He saw and went straight to Moshe Rabeinu with what he saw, as Rashi explains:
“Pinchas…saw: He saw the deed and reminded himself of the law. He said to Moses, “I learned from you, ‘If someone cohabits with an Aramean [heathen] woman, zealots have a right to strike him…’ “
Moshe, realizing that he had forgotten the halacha of what to do in this situation, gives Pinchas a striking response, as Rashi continues:
“He (Moshe) replied to him, “Let the one who reads the letter be the agent to carry it out.” Immediately, “he (Pinchas) took a spear in his hand….” – [Sanh. 82a]. (Rashi on Bamidbar 25:7)
This dvar Torah is not suggesting for us to be as zealous as Pinchas was at that time. We are not as righteous or as pure as Pinchas was. We cannot be certain that our motivations will not have any self-serving aspects to it, which would disqualify us from acting out with zealousness as Pinchas did. However- on our level, there seems to be a strong message for us on the regular day-to-day. Moshe Rabeinu says to Pinchas:
“Let the one who reads the letter (the memo) be the agent to carry it out.”
In other words: You noticed that which is missing, or off, or wrong, or lacking? You’re noticing implies that you have also been empowered to do something about it! It’s not for you to say: let somebody else take care of it- why should it be my problem, etc. etc. You got the critical eye? You also have the supporting right hand to fix things. The critical eye was paired up with the right hand for just these types of scenarios- for you to be the agent of change for the positive!
May this Tammuz be the month that we finally know to bring the right hand of Chessed into all matters we see need fixing, bringing about the final geula, seeing the coming of Mashiach and the building of the eternal Bais Hamikdash Amen!!