This week the Hebrew calendar marks the Fast Day of Tammuz 17, which begins a three-week period of introspection and mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple.

Is there a message in these days for Gentiles as well as Jews?

In this week’s episode of the Jerusalem Lights podcast, our hosts relate to this question against the backdrop of the preeminent Torah principle of free will.

In this week’s Torah reading, Pinchas, grandson of the High Priest Aaron, singlehandedly staves off a devastating plague by striking a zealous blow against immorality, earning him a unique, new status of priesthood…and a ‘covenant of peace.’

Who was Pinchas and what was his unique contribution to the nation of Israel? Rabbi Chaim Richman and Jim Long share the fascinating background of this week’s Torah portion of Pinchas, and find chillingly timely, precise parallels between these lessons, and events currently taking place in America and throughout the world.