Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lineage & Halachah Ve-Ein Morin Kein

In discussion of Reb Chaim's article on the halachic status of Pre-Sinaitic Jewry, Ilan comments:

Pinchas had a problem due to genealogy too, sort of what you said when he was worried that people would claim that he killed Zimiri to cover up his own lineage, as his mother was a midianite and therefore he might be a gentile.

I'd like to throw a question out into the blogosphere regarding this, as I'm hearing this particular aspect of the Pinchas story for the first time.

If the story is true, then how is this particular genealogical uncertainty (regarding Pinchas and kehunah) connected to halachah ve-ein morin kein (as it must be, in light of Pinchas' Hashem-sanctioned atypical act of zealotry)?

There is a significant bit of understanding resting here waiting to be discovered. What is it? אתתא asks.

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vivek said...

A fascinating question. Perhaps Pinchas' presumed Midianinte maternal ancestry cancels out a blood-debt for the slaying of Kosbi. In other words there is a sort of book-keeping going on here. On the analogy of the 'Noether theorem' we might be tempted to say that the very subtle 'morin kein' concept stands as law here because (providentiallY )a symmetry arises showing that the relevant conservation law is upheld.

Liorah Lleucu said...

I can't follow the logic. Can you explain it using other words?

Dare to be true to yourself.