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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 12: "LOCHEIN hin'ni nosein lo" - The Baal Haturim points out that the numeric value of LOCHEIN is equal to that of "Midoh b'midoh," a reward of a measure for a measure.

Ch. 25, v. 12: "LOCHEIN hin'ni nosein lo es brisi sholom" - The M.R. 21:1 remarks on these words, "B'din hu she'yitol s'choro," - He is deserving to receive his reward. Some explanations of this medrash, which are based on the premise that in general there is no reward for mitzvos in this world (gemara Kidushin 39b):

1) This rule only applies to fulfilling a mitzvoh that is incumbent upon a person. Pinchos brought himself to do this mitzvoh which he was not responsible to perform. (Maharsh"a on the gemara Sotoh 14a)

2) Reward for mitzvos in this world is only a kindness of Hashem and not deserved, as the verse in T'hilim 63:14 states, "U'l'cho A'do-noy cho'sed ki atoh s'sha'leim l'ish k'maa'seihu." This is because Hashem has created us, and as his servants we must do his bidding. Any reward given is a favour.

However, regarding zealousness in killing Zimri and Kozbi, the halacha is that although it is permitted to kill them, one does not rule that way when asked, "halacha v'ein morin kein." Since Pinchos went beyond the required halacha he deserves to be rewarded. (Sfas Emes)

3) The Rashb"o asks, "Why is it that there is no reward for mitzvos in this world (Kidushin 39b)? Does not the Torah say "B'yomo si'tein s'choro," - You shall pay the worker his wages on the same day (Dvorim 24:15)?" He answers that we consider a person like a hired worker who receives payment at the end of the job. Since we are not sure if a person will remain loyal to Hashem ("Al taamin b'atz'm'cho ad yom mos'cho", Pirkei Ovos 2:4), he does not receive his reward in this world, for fear he will lose his reward by sinning. However, in Pirkei Ovos 5:18 it also says that one who brings merit to the public is assured that no sin will come to his hand. Pinchos brought about a great merit for the public, as is stated in verse 11, "Heishiv es chamosi mei'al bnei Yisroel." Since we are assured that he will not sin, he deserves to be paid in this world. (Yismach Moshe)

4) When one risks his life to do a mitzvoh he receives reward even in this world. (Zera Bo'reich on parshas V'es'chanan)

It seems that the logic behind this is that if a person risks his life, he might die and lose the opportunity to do many more mitzvos, as they can only be done in this ephemeral world. In kind Hashem repays him in this world. 5) When one does a mitzvoh that brings a merit to the public, he is rewarded in this world as well. (Pri M'godim in his general preface, P'sichoh Koleles 4:8)

6) Kohanim are an exception and receive their reward in this world as well. (Responsa Givas Halvonone page 4 in the name of the Chasam Sofer)

This would give new meaning to the words of this verse. "Pinchos ...... the Kohein ...... therefore I give him ......" Because he is a Kohein, I give him his reward in this world.

7) Just as there is no punishment meted out in this world for the lack of fulfillment of a positive mitzvoh, similarly there is no reward in this world for doing a mitzvoh. However, the gemara M'nochos 41a says that at a time of Hashem's great wrath He even punishes in this world for the lack of doing a positive mitzvoh. When Zimri sinned, Hashem was about to release His wrath ch"v upon the bnei Yisroel. Only Pinchos's act of zealousness prevented this, "Heishiv es chamosi" (verse 11). Since at this time a punishment would be meted out even for the lack of fulfillment of a positive mitzvoh, likewise reward for doing a mitzvoh at this time also deserves to be rewarded in this world. (T'vuas Shor on B.B. 9a)

8) Similar to the thought of the T'vuas Shor - Pinchos's act was zealousness for the sanctity of sexual activity, "shmiras habris." Not fulfilling the mitzvoh of bris miloh is one of only two positive commandments that carry a punishment, excision. Since this carries a punishment meted out in this world, likewise, guarding it also deserves a reward in this world. (If so, then surely doing a bris miloh itself, and bringing a Korban Pesach, which also carries the punishment of excision for lack of fulfillment, deserve to be rewarded in this world. However, I have not come across anyone who says this.)

9) A worker only receives payment at the end of his work. When applied to reward for mitzvos, this means in the afterlife. Since Pinchos is Eliyohu, and will not die, there is no possibility of giving him reward after he dies and is revived. He therefore deserves it immediately. (Rebbe Reb Heshel of Cracow)

10) In a similar vein, the Holy Zohar says that after killing Zimri, Pinchos's soul left him out of fright of being attacked by other bnei Shimon. He was given a new soul. Since he had already died, he now deserved payment. (Rebbe Reb Heshel of Cracow)

11) The gemara Kidushin 40a says that mitzvos that are between man and Hashem bear no fruit in this world, but mitzvos between man and man do. In the act of killing Zimri, Pinchos has done both. The killing of Zimri was a mitzvoh in relation to Hashem. The kindness of removing Hashem's anger from upon the bnei Yisroel was between man and man. For this he deserves reward in this world. (Beis haLevi Drush #1 and the Hornesteipler Gaon Rav Y.Y. Kanievski)

Ch. 25, v. 12,13: "Es brisi sholom, V'hoysoh lo u'l'zaro acharov bris k'hunas olom" - In the preface to Emunas Chachomim by Rabbi Aviad Sar Sholom Bacilla he brings the words of Rabbi Moshe Zakuta that people said that Pinchos was deserving of death by taking matters into his own hands and ruling that Zimri deserved death. This constitutes judging an halachic matter in front of one's own Rabbi, about which our Rabbis have taught that "Ha'moreh halacha bifnei rabo chayiv misoh" (Eiruvin 63a).

(Obviously this is an incorrect application since in this matter the halacha is "ein morin kein," - The teacher may not rule that one should kill this type of sinner. Only a person in the heat of zealousness to act against such a repugnant act, with the intention of sanctifying Hashem's Torah may do so.) The gemara Eiruvin 63a brings three opinions regarding one who judges an halachic matter in front of one's own Rabbi:

1) Rabbi Eliezer says that he has a tradition that "Ha'moreh halacha bifnei rabo chayiv misoh," - he deserves the death penalty.

2) Rabbi Elozor says that "Moridin oso migduloso," - he should be removed from any position that he has.

3) Rabbi Levi says that "Ozil l'Sh'ole b'lo volod," - he will end up in the abyss and not leave over any children.

To counter the claims of the public, Hashem responded by saying that Pinchos was not a "moreh halacha bifnei rabo" and will not suffer any of the three consequences mentioned in the above gemara.

To counter the claim that he deserves death the verse says "Es brisi sholom," which refers to Pinchos becoming Eliyohu, who never died. (I am not sure how this is indicated in the words. Perhaps it is a connection with the words "brisi hoyso ito haCHAIM v'hasholom" said at the end of birkas hamozon of a bris meal, or possibly because "d'Pinchos zeh Eliyohu" numerically equals "sholom" (see Zohar 1:93 and 2:190, Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer ch. 29 and ch. 47, Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on Shmos 4:13, Rashi B.M. 114b d.h. "Lav Kohein"). To counter the claim that he deserves to be demoted from his position the Torah says that he will have a "bris k'hunas olom," - that quite to the contrary, he will be elevated to the position of Kohein for all future generations.

To counter the claim that he deserves to leave this world without leaving over any progeny, the verse says "V'hoysoh lo u'l'zaro acharov," - that he will leave children after him.

Ch. 25, v. 13: "V'hoysoh lo u'l'zaro acharov bris k'hunas olom" - Why wasn't Pinchos inducted into the Kohanim Association when the sons of Aharon were? Many answers abound. Possibly the following may be added to the list. It is the opinion of the Tosfos Yom Tov in mishnayos B'choros 7:7 that a Kohein who has killed someone may not do service in the Mikdosh for the rest of his life. Since Pinchos would kill Zimri in the future, Hashem did not allow him to become a Kohein when the children of Aharon became Kohanim. Only after killing Zimri as a non-Kohein was he inaugurated into priesthood. A question can be raised on this line of thinking. If one who is already a Kohein loses his right to serve, one who is not yet a Kohein should surely not be able to serve. However, this can be refuted by saying that only killing done by a Kohein is a sufficiently strong stain on one's soul that he loses the merit of serving.

Another answer to how Pinchos was afterwards able to serve as a Kohein in spite of having killed someone is that this killing was a mitzvoh.

Another answer is that the Holy Zohar says that Pinchos was so frightened upon killing Zimri, fearing being killed by Zimri's fellow tribesmen, that his soul left him. Hashem revived him by placing the souls of both Nodov and Avihu into him. When these souls of Kohanim entered him, he became a Kohein. Thus a new Pinchos who did not kill was allowed to serve in the Mikdosh. The Rebbe Reb Heshel of Cracow says that the words of the Holy Zohar are alluded to in verse 11. Pinchos the son of Elozor and also the son of Aharon, as he was now a reincarnation of Nodov and Avihu, "haKohein," is now a Kohein.

Ch. 27, v. 5: "Va'yakreiv Moshe es mishpotoN lifnei Hashem" - When Moshe was asked if there was an opportunity for the defiled people to bring a Korban Pesach, he responded, "Imdu v'eshm'oh" (Bmidbar 9:8). Why didn't he say the same to the daughters of Tz'lofchod? Perhaps it is because in our case Moshe is dealing with women. Rashi (gemara B.B. 119b) says that they came in front of Moshe, Aharon, and Eliezer in their Beis Ha'midrosh, study hall. Moshe would not say that they should stay there until he has a response from Hashem. He would prefer that they step outside the Beis Ha'midrosh and wait there for his response. Alternatively, he did not say these words because of the dictum of the mishnoh in Pirkei Ovos 1:5, "Al tarbeh sichoh im ho'ishoh."

This answer fits very well with the comment of the Sefer Kol Dodi on the next verse. It states "Kein bnos Tz'lofchod dovros nosone ti'tein ......" Why doesn't Hashem only relate the answer, "Nosone ti'tein ......?" There is an halacha that a judge should repeat the words of those who come in front of him with a claim. This is a safety measure to assure that he has properly understood them. This is derived from M'lochim 1:3:23. However, Moshe did not want to do this with the bnos Tz'lofchod because of the aforementioned "Al tarbeh sichoh im ho'ishoh." Hashem actually told him two things. The first was "Kein bnos Tz'lofchod dovros," - You have CORRECTLY understood the claims of the bnos Tz'lofchod in spite of not repeating their claims to them. Secondly, Hashem responded with an answer, "Nosone ti'tein ......"



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