Rabbi Yonah Burr
Pinchas: Little Chefs
פינחס בן אלעזר בן אהרן הכהן השיב את חמתי מעל בני ישראל בקנאו את קאתי בתוכם
פרש"י "בקנאו את קנאתי בקצפו את הקצף שהיה לי לקצוף"
Pinchas the son of Elazer the son of Aharon HaKohen removed my anger from the Jewish People when he avenged My vengeance among them
Rashi explains: When he avenged the vengeance that I needed to take.
Rav Moshe Feinstein z”l makes an interesting observation. The posuk seems to highlight that the reason Pinchas deserved a reward was that “he avenged the vengeance that Hashem needed to take”. The fact that he shared -- partnered -- with Hashem. That he took upon himself to execute something that Hashem Himself would otherwise have needed to do.
Rav Moshe illustrates this with a beautiful parable. A mother is carrying packages and her young child wants to help her. She is preparing a meal and the eager child wants to pour something into the batter. It would be easier for the mother to just do the jobs herself. The ‘help’ of the child might even slow her down! But the fact that the child wants to help warms the mother’s heart -- and creates a cherished moment and maybe a lasting memory.
The same can be said regarding our relationship with Hashem. Certain Mitzvos that we do are really Hashem’s ‘responsibility’. For example, giving tzadaka to the needy- really Hashem is the One Who sustains us all. However, He gives us the opportunity to ‘help’ in the task, by giving us the mitzva of tzadaka. Besides the reward due for the performance of any mitzva, a special bond is created by the fact that we are sharing in the job alongside Hashem.
This can be our attitude towards life in general; we were placed in this world to perfect ourselves and to help others- to partner with Hashem in His master plan!
How fortunate we are to be charged and trusted with such a mission! May we all merit reaching our potential and being the best partners we can be!
Have a wonderful Shabbos!