It has been said that if one wants to remain alive, one should prove one’s self indispensable to the community. How does this rule apply in practical manner?
Tosfos (Brachos 7a) writes that in the mere moment that Balaam could have cursed the Jewish People, the only word that he could have uttered was כלם, destroy them. In the past we have written how HaShem transformed the word כלם to מלך, King, and how this is reflected in the verse that states .
We can suggest another interpretation which connects to Parashas Pinchas. It is said (Bamidbar 25:11) פִּינְחָס בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הֵשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת קִנְאָתִי בְּתוֹכָם וְלֹא כִלִּיתִי אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּקִנְאָתִי, Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aharon the Kohen has turned My anger away from the children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy the Children of Israel because of My zeal. The Sfas Emes writes that Pinchas incorporated his action into the entire Jewish People. When a person senses a need to act on behalf of HaShem’s honor, there is always the temptation to take credit for one’s achievements. For this reason one must subjugate any thoughts of grandeur and self-aggrandizement to the benefit of the nation. The word that the Torah uses for destruction is כִלִּיתִי, which can be converted into the word כולם, referring to the collective.
Similarly, Balaam’s ambition of destroying the Jewish People was reverted to כלם, the collective.
Additionally, further on in the parasha we encounter the daughters of Tzelafchad, who apparently seek their own portion in Eretz Yisroel, when in reality, their goal was to be incorporated into the entire Jewish People.
Thus, we see that if one seeks to avoid destruction, of the individual and of the community, one should prove one’s self to be indispensable, i.e incorporating one’s self into the entire Jewish People.
HaShem should allow us to act for His honor and incorporate all our actions towards the benefit of the Jewish People.
Have a Magnificent and Simultaneously Humbling Shabbos!