Our Parasha starts off in the middle of a story. Last week, at the end of parashat Balak, Pinchas put his life on the line and avenged the immoral act of Zimri ben Salu , the Nasi of the tribe of Shimon, with Kozbi bat Tzur, princess of Midian. By doing so, he stopped the plague that had already taken a toll of 24,000 Jews, from wiping out the rest of the nation. In this week's parasha, Pinchas is rewarded with priesthood and immortality.
The question, of course is, why isn't Pinchas rewarded immediately in the pesukim of last week's parasha?
The answer is one that makes us think. Not every time there is an impulse to give rebuke is it correct to do so. And even if one is to avenge the honor of Torah, there is also a way to do it. Impulsivity can ruin everything. We must pause and hold ourselves . Pinchas' act was justified only because first, he got Moshe's approval. He avenged in accordance with the Torah: first, he asked the Rabbi. The Torah holds us in suspense in order to tell us that the one who makes a מחאה , a protest, needs to be checked thoroughly to ascertain exactly what his intentions and motives are. Is this person the suitable person to make the protest? And, what is the proper time and way to make the protest? All these points must be carefully examined before deciding if the person is deserving of praise and reward. This is the lesson the Torah teaches us by putting the reward on pause. That only after careful examination is rebuke and protest praiseworthy.
R' E. Lapian zt"l draws on a beautiful point in Ashrei, one of which we remind ourselves three times daily. The reason why our Rabbis instituted our saying Ashrei so many times throughout our lives is to remind ourselves of the kindness of the Creator, so that we can follow in His ways. Only at the very end of Ashrei, we say שומר ה' את כל אוהביו ואת כל הרשעים ישמיד Hashem watches over all His loved ones, and He will eradicate all the wicked. This teaches us that first one must be טוב לכל good to everyone, רחמיו על כל מעשיו merciful to all His creation; סומך לכל הנופלים supporting all those who are falling...משביע לכל חי רצון fulfilling the wants of all the living...צדיק בכל מעשיו righteous in all acts, and then, and only then, one can be ואת כל הרשעים ישמיד one who fights the wicked…
It is so much easier for a parent to punish a child then to talk to him. It is much simpler to just kick a kid out of class or school than to deal with him. The right way is to consult a wise, experienced Rabbi who is considered a Daat Hatorah, one whose mind is constantly thinking Torah and Halacha. If not, if a teacher or parent does not consult with such an authority, he will take upon himself part of the responsibility for what this child will go through in life, because of such a "simple mistake".
There is a Torah. And there are people who are not following in its ways. If we treat them like people as we teach them the laws, relating to them with respect and dignity, they will be more receptive to what the Torah has to tell them...