A media firestorm kicked up last week after Mother Jones broke the story that President George W. Bush was to be the keynote speaker at the annual fundraiser of the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute on Nov. 14.
There is a scribal tradition, maintained in every Torah scroll, that testifies to the problematic nature of Pinchas' reward. "I give him my covenant of peace," God tells Moses regarding the young priest. But the word for peace, shalom, is defective. The letter vav is inscribed hollow. It is a broken letter, a broken shalom, a peace that can't endure.