לכן הנני נותן לו את בריתי שלום והיתה לו ולזרעו אחריו ברית כהונת עולם”- Therefore I will give to him My covenant And it will be for him and his offspring after him a covenant of eternal priesthood”

In relating the story of Pinchas killing Zimri and Cazbi when they sinned in front of the Jewish people, the Torah tells us that as a reward for his actions, Pinchas and his descendants became Kohanim. The Medrash makes an ambiguous statement that it was proper for Pinchas to be rewarded. The Even Yisrael explains the Medrash by looking at the Pasuk in Tehilim(106:30) that says that Pinchas stood up to fight and he stopped the plague. The Gemara tells us that when the Pasuk says “he fought” it means he prayed -and through his prayer the plague stopped. The Mishna in Peah 1:1, which we say every morning after bircas HaTorah, tells us that there are certain Mitzvos for which one eats the fruit of their reward in this world, but the principal of their reward is in the world to come. The Rambam explains this Mishna saying that all the Mitzvos enumerated in this Mishna are Mitzvos that are both between man and G-d as well as being between man and his fellow. He explains that because one did something that was both for G-d and for man, he is rewarded both in this world and in the world to come.

Pinchas’ action in killing the people sinning against G-d was a mitzvah between man and G-d; praying for the Jewish people was an act of kindness between man and his fellow. In the same way, we find Chazal refer to Daniel’s praying for the Jewish people as an act of kindness. Therefore Pinchas deserved to be rewarded both in this world and in the next world for doing an action that was both for G-d and for man.

The Gemara in Brachos tells us that one who has the ability to pray for another Jew and does not do so is called a sinner. This is because he had the chance to help his friend and he didn’t. We should learn from this Gemara the importance of thinking about others, trying to understand their struggles, and praying for their success. By doing this, we will not only forge better relationships with our friends, but, as we learn from the story of Pinchas, we will be doing an act that will be rewarded in this world as well as in the world to come.