Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aaron the kohen has turned My anger away from the children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy the children of Israel because of My zeal. Therefore, say, “I hereby give him My covenant of peace . . .” (Numbers 25:11–12)

At the end of the last Torah portion, the people fell prey to the seduction of the daughters of Moab, and Zimri, prince of the tribe of Shimon, brazenly cohabited with a Midianite princess before Moses and the congregation of Israel. We are told that Pinchas “saw this, arose from the congregation, and took a spear in his hand.” As he drives his weapon through the couple, the plague that has been ravaging the people stops. Here, in the painting, bold strokes of paint capture the towering figure of Pinchas, appearing as a mountain of strength as he arises with outstretched arms extending like blue spears from his torso. His body emits an energizing green light.

In contrast to the horizontal spears and arms, vertical yellow rays of spiritual energy descend, as G‑d extends to Pinchas the covenant of peace and priesthood, rewarding him for his courageous act. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, said that the true greatness of Pinchas was that he acted in complete opposition to his peaceful nature, transcending his inborn instincts in order to bring reconciliation between G‑d and Israel.