Wednesday, June 26, 2013
This is huge.
In his commentary to the second verse in this week's Parsha, the Netziv writes that Moshe was specifically directed to inform Pinchas of his reward personally. Citing his son-in-law, the Netziv presents us with a parable about a general who is very close to losing a battle, to the point where he has virtually given up.
Along comes a lowly foot soldier who bravely leads the charge and succeeds in turning the battle around, bringing the army to victory when the general could not.
The king needs to reward this soldier for his initiative; he also needs to punish the general for his hesitation. By instructing the general himself to present the honors to the foot soldier, the king is able to accomplish both.
This is what is happening in the Parsha: Moshe is the general, Pinchas is the soldier. Because Pinchas picked up the slack when Moshe and the Elders were at a loss, he deserved the bris shalom; Moshe in turn needed to be dealt with accordingly for his inability to uphold the law for that fleeting moment.
When I saw this it knocked my socks off!