Pinchas: A Sicha
Read Part 1 here.
But How is He Going to Make a living?
It’s a fair question. Your shvigger asked it about you and your wife will ask it about your future son-in-law. The simple answer is: G-d wants us to have a relationship with materialism and yet remain above it all.
Now we can understand why the issue with Pe’or happened before entering the land of Israel, after the first generation of Jews in the desert died.
The cause was the hyperfocus and becoming entrenched in materialism. People think financial success and the like depends mainly on the effort exerted through natural avenues and ventures– the bounds of nature. People forget that it’s G-d alone who gives the ability to succeed. People forget that material avenues for success are just keilim, vessels to enclothe His blessing: material effort is just the “bucket” to catch G-d’s blessing. (It happens to be His will , that He blesses us in everything we do ).
Therefore, while in the desert, where their food was the mon (manna), bread from heaven, they saw tangibly that people who took more didn’t gain and those who took less didn’t lose out (3). There wasn’t any room to be mistaken: their food came from G-d. They wouldn’t hold of materialism as an end in itself (4). Only upon entering the land (5), where they would need to begin relating to materialism and the natural order, was there room to be mistaken.
So how do we rectify the wrong that was done with the sin of Pe’or?
The atonement and cleansing (6) of the sin with Pe’or happens through the zealousness Pinchas had, the self-sacrifice. If we rely solely on our intelligence, there is room to be mistaken– after all G-d blesses us in all that we do, within the bounds of nature. We can wrongly assume that the concealment of nature is a complete one, G-d forbid (after all, hashem made the concealment in the first place). Therefore, the necessary avoda is that of self-sacrifice and really relating to G-d on His terms. Then we can come to the recognition of truth– that nature in itself is G-dly.
Likkutei Sichos vol. 4 p. 1328
1. See Kuntres Umayon
2. This concept is explained at length at a farbrengen (Likkutei Sichos vol. 18 p. 294).
3. Sh’mos 16:18
4. Similarly the scouts (meraglim) were mistaken when it came the land and their relationship with it. See Likkutei Sichos vol 2. p. 1042
5. At that point they had already conquered Sichon and Og.
6. Iggeres HaT’shuva, Chapter 1.