By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
In Parashas Pinchas, we learn about how Pinchas killed Zimri and Cozbi in an act of kana’us, zealousness. Hashem responded to this act by telling Pinchas that he had saved the Jewish nation from the wrath of G‑d. Hashem rewarded him with the covenant of peace—specifically that Pinchas and his descendants merited to serve in the Holy Temple as kohanim. The Midrash Tanchuma describes here the greatness of peace, as the world functions by virtue of peace, and the Torah is inherently peace, as it says, “All its ways are pleasant and all its paths are peace” (Mishlei 3:17).
We see that Pinchas acted with zealousness to uphold the Torah’s laws. We would automatically assume that his zealous response was the opposite of peace; he slaughtered two individuals. Yet this act led to a reward of peace because the Torah is completely peace. Therefore, someone who abides by its laws will cause peace to propagate, even in situations where one might expect the contrary.
When the basis of our actions stems from our allegiance to Hashem and his Torah, this always leads back to a furtherance of the glory of Hashem in this world. We must remember that our actions must always be tempered by our contemporary rabbanim, and we see that Pinchas consulted with Moshe Rabbeinu prior to taking any action. Much like Pinchas, we may at times be faced with the challenge to go against the trend. In our current society, we realize that there is great danger in chasing after many of the social norms of the society around us. As Jews, the chosen people, we have a supreme obligation at all times to submit all of our actions to a higher authority. Much like Pinchas, we always must remember that being an eved (servant) of Hashem means defending His honor, even when it isn’t popular, even when we find it difficult, and to keep our focus on doing all we can to sanctify His name.
When it comes to a marriage, the whole goal is peace. And just as Pinchas was prepared to uphold the honor of Hashem and do that which is difficult, it is no easy task to maintain shalom bayis when we face our own competing needs and tendencies toward anger. It’s often difficult to focus on giving and on emulating Hashem. Following the laws of the Torah is the best way to maintain a steady atmosphere of peace in the home. It won’t always be easy, but it can serve us well to remember the zealousness of our great ancestors such as Pinchas, who paved the way for us to accomplish all the goodness we set our hearts and minds on. We too can act with zealousness in upholding the Torah, and in so doing, we should also merit the covenant of peace, so that our homes can be pleasant, wonderful places. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.