12 Say, therefore, ‘I grant him My pact of friendship.
la-KHAYN e-MOR hin-NEE no-TAYN LO et b’-ree-TEE sha-LOM
יב לָכֵן אֱמֹר הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי שָׁלוֹם׃
25:12 I grant him My pact of friendship
The zealot, Pinchas, sees immoral behavior among the camp of Israel, and immediately responds with an iron fist and a sharp spear. Ironically, Pinchas is rewarded for his violent action with Hashem’s “pact of friendship,” known in Hebrew as brit shalom (ברית שלום), literally ‘covenant of peace.’ With this striking detail, the Torah illustrates a vital lesson. Genuine peace is not merely the absence of conflict. Pinchas did not negotiate with the perpetrators and attempt to achieve a compromise solution. By standing up for his principles, Pinchas demonstrated that only when based on eternal principles of truth and justice can true peace be achieved. A person who internalizes this idea and acts accordingly is a true “friend” of God.