"Pinchas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest has calmed my anger," God tells Moses. "Through his violent and vengeful zealotry, he has saved the Children of Israel. For this I give him my covenant of peace. And for endless days will he be a priest."
"Send scouts, one from each tribe, distinguished leaders all of them, to explore Canaan," God tells Moses. So Moses selects Shammua, Shaphat, Caleb, Igal, Hosea (aka Joshua), Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Gemalli, Sethur, Nahbi and Geuel.
We need to approach the act of eating in a way far more mindful than is currently the case. In this week's biblical portion, Beha'alotcha, we have perhaps the archetypical biblical story of what consumption looks like without mindfulness.
One year, one month and one day after the Exodus. God speaks to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the desert at Sinai, telling him: Take a census of the Children of Israel. Count their names. All the men, 20 years of age or older.
When you come to the Promised Land, the earth should rest. A Shabbat to God. Sow your fields for six years. Prune your vineyard for six years. Gather the produce for six years. In the seventh year, give it a rest. A Shabbat to God.
It is a simple yet profound challenge -- be holy, imitate God in our own lives. It is the fundamental lesson that for Jewish civilization, the ultimate goal of life is not "happiness," it is "holiness."
God tells Moses to tell Aaron not to come before the Holy of Holies regularly -- so that he will not die like his sons Nadab and Abihu -- because the Divine Presence appears there as a pillar of cloud always.
If a person is found to have real tzara'at, his clothes should be torn, his hair should be grown and he should act otherwise like a mourner. He should cry out: "I am ritually impure! I am ritually impure!" Over and over.
Israel atones. Next day, Moses gathers everyone together. "These are the things God commands: Work for six days. The seventh is holy for you. Rest completely then. Do work and die. Do not kindle a fire in our home on this Sabbath day."
And command the Children of Israel: Bring pure, clear, ready-to-light olive oil to ignite the lamp so that it may burn continually. Aaron and his sons should arrange it so that it will burn from night to morning.
Enter Jethro, the high priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses. He's heard all about God's kindness to the Israelites: the redemption from Egypt, the split sea, the war with Amalek, the manna and the water in the desert.