The Gemara states:1 “If one sees Pinchas in a dream, a wonder (peleh) is destined to happen to him [i.e., the dreamer].” Comments Rashi : “ ‘A wonder is destined…’ Just as there occurred with Pinchas, as the Gemara states in Sanhedrin.2

But the Gemara in Sanhedrin states that “six miracles (nissim) transpired with Pinchas.”

This being so, why is only a single wonder destined to happen to the dreamer?

Also, why does Rashi use the expression “a wonder (peleh) is destined… Just as there occurred with Pinchas,” when the Gemara states that “six miracles (nissim) transpired with Pinchas.”

In fact, the word peleh here refers to a kind of wonder that is even loftier than ordinary miracles. This is similar to its usage in the verse3 “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I shall demonstrate wonders.”

This verse implies that the miracles during the future Redemption will be veritable “wonders” compared to the miracles that took place at the time of the Exodus.4

This is Rashi’s intent when he states: “Just as there occurred with Pinchas, as the Gemara states in Sanhedrin.” The wondrous aspect that transpired with Pinchas is not the quantity of miracles but their quality , i.e., the miracles themselves came about in a truly wondrous manner. For the six miracles that occurred with him all transpired as upshots of a single event; each detail of Pinchas’ zealous action for G‑d’s sake was accompanied by its own miracle — a true wonder.

The matter is as follows: A nes involves the rupturing of natural barriers. The very fact that nature must be “broken” indicates that there is room for natural conduct; in order to perform a miracle, nature must be subdued. Thus, each time a miracle occurs, nature must again be subjugated.

But a peleh involves an event that is entirely removed from the bounds of nature, so much so that it is not necessary to “break” nature in order for the event to occur. Rather, miraculous conduct becomes the norm.

Rashi thus writes that a peleh , a single wonder (and not many wonders) are destined to happen to the individual who sees Pinchas in a dream, “as it occurred with Pinchas,” for the many miracles that transpired with Pinchas were truly part of a single “wonder” — totally removed from the confines of nature.

This peleh reflected an integral aspect of Pinchas’ very being; if this were not so, how is it that because a peleh happened to him on one particular day, whoever dreams about him is destined to have a peleh occur in his life?

In other words, G‑d acted toward Pinchas in a wondrous manner because Pinchas conducted himself in this selfsame manner; his ongoing spiritual service was not on an ordinary level. G‑d therefore acted towards him measure for measure.

For in a spiritual context, divine service in a “miraculous” manner means that a person serves G‑d with mesirus nefesh ,5 total self-sacrifice: just as a miracle demonstrates that nothing can stand in the way of His will, so, too, service in a “miraculous” manner means that nothing will impede the person from executing G‑d’s will; if necessary, the person will give his very life.

The service of peleh , however, goes even further, referring as it does to an individual whose total being is that of mesirus nefesh — he is totally dedicated to the A-mighty, and no desire other than G‑d’s exists within him. Therefore all his actions are permeated with mesirus nefesh as a matter of course.

Since Pinchas’ zealousness on behalf of G‑d knew no limits, and he always acted at the level of mesirus nefesh and peleh ,6 G‑d responded in kind.

Therefore, whoever sees Pinchas — who personifies peleh and mesirus nefesh — in a dream, is destined to have a peleh occur in his life.

Based on Likkutei Sichos , Vol. XXXIII pp. 164-167.