G‑d said to Moses: Avenge the vengeance of Israel on the Mideanites…

And Moses spoke to the people, saying: Arm from yourselves men for an army, to take G‑d's revenge upon Midean… (31:1-3)

The Almighty sees the war on Midean as the avenging of the honor of His people, but Moses and the Jewish people are concerned only with the honor of G‑d.

- the biblical commentators

The old cantor in Chernigov passed on to his eternal rest, and the town's rabbi, Reb Nachum, had to appoint another in his place. A most promising candidate was proposed, but Reb Nachum hesitated, and explained:

"The late cantor was a pious man, who wept as he led the prayers. This fellow also weeps, but the difference between them is in the timing: the old cantor shed tears when proclaiming 'I (G‑d) am the first, and I am the last, and, beside Me, there are no gods.' But this one is more moved by "man is founded in dust and is destined to dust…' "