Enjoy four short thoughts adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Parshat Pinchas.

How to Judge

A true response to seeing someone learning with passion and fulfilling the commandments lavishly would be to be roused to a similar ardor oneself. If instead one is critical, it is almost as if one could not bear the sight of someone more virtuous than oneself. Pirkei Avot says: “Judge all men in the scale of merit.” When one has a feeling towards another person which does not accord with this maxim, then it is a feeling whose source does not lie in holiness and truth.

If one sees a Jew zealous in his service of G‑d, even a Jew with no claims to leadership or distinction, one must not dissuade or discourage him. For he, like Pinchas, is the bringer of true peace between G‑d and His people, the peace which is the opposite of separation and exile. He is the harbinger of the Messianic Age, who “shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers” in the ultimate and everlasting peace.
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The True Zealot

The true zealot is an utterly selfless individual—one who is concerned only about the relationship between G‑d and His people, with no thought for his own feelings on the matter. The moment his personal prejudices and inclinations are involved, he ceases to be a zealot.
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A Soul of Fire

As G‑d sees it, the soul of man is a spark of His own fire—a spark with the potential to reflect the infinite goodness and perfection of its source. Human life is the endeavor to realize what is implicit in this spark. Indeed, a person may lead a full, accomplished and righteous life and barely scratch the surface of the infinitude of his or her soul. Another person may blunder for a lifetime in darkness and iniquity, and then, in a moment of self-discovery, fan their divine spark into a roaring flame.
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All for Him

A “Moses” is concerned with G‑d’s purpose, not man’s. He wants to make the world a dwelling for Him, not merely a pleasant abode for mankind. Certainly, when G‑d’s dwelling is completed, it will also be very comfortable for man to live in, but that is not his purpose. He is concerned with G‑d’s objective, and the identification with that goal takes him beyond his personal self entirely and makes him the ultimate paradigm of leadership.
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