O Holy Shabbes Inspiration Pinchas

Rabbi James Stone Goodman serves Congregation Neve Shalom and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.

By Rabbi James Stone Goodman

You know we are dreaming peace all the time now

the evidence of that broken letter vav

in the word shalom of brit shalom [Numbers 25:12]

the covenant of peace

that may be what’s holding it up –

Let’s fix the vav in the brit shalom

this reward that is given to you Pinchas.

You were rewarded the priesthood

for that unseemly act [Numbers 25:7 ff.]

so what is it – this covenant of peace

the near peace and the far peace [Isaiah 57:19]

with the far peace you have confidence in the future

the near peace is more elusive

but hey –

we’re living here.

The near peace the inward peace

also elusive

the far peace

they’re negotiating a world away


here we are praying

working our gardens and our abs –

Pinchas you love an argument

your reward the priesthood

what about that diminished letter yud in your name? [Numbers 25:11]

something unfinished in you Pinchas [K’sav Sofer and Ha-amek davar]

we need you but we need you


That vav in shalom seems so broken right now

K’TIA! I holler [K’tia = broken]

remember the perfect vav before its brokenness

the sign of connection

sometimes I feel so hollow and broken too

K’tia! on me –

When I feel this way

use your language to integrate

the power of blessing

use your words to make peace out of the pieces

lift up the lower union to join the upper union

that’s vav in its complete form

the connector.

Vav means and

It’s also the straight up and down letter

the straight line vav

connecting heavens to earth

the vertical link.

Pinchas – fix that vav

restore the brokenness between us

within us

horizontal and vertical

communal and spiritual –

Oh priest-man fix it all

if you can’t we will

we’re working on it

we are whole and ready

and working it hard –

I’m trying to end this prayer

but I can’t.

I’m waiting for new language

something horizontal [vertical too]



the repair of the near and the repair of the far

suggesting something entirely new out of the old

might rise

something like –


D’var Torah – Pinchas

Rabbi James Stone Goodman serves Congregation Neve Shalom and is a member of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.