THE WISDOM IN THE HEBREW ALPHABET (Rabbi Michael L. Munk): The letter ו (Vav): In many words, the presence or absence of a ו has no effect on
pronunciation, but Biblical exegesis often finds a special meaning implied by the vav’s presence or absence.
Spelling a word in its complete or full form signifies totality and integrity; spelling it in its
incomplete or defective form indicates deficiency or imperfection.
When a word appear once in its complete form and once in its incomplete form in the same context, it indicates contrast.
קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ: כִּי קָדוֹשׁ, אֲנִי ”Be
holy for I (God) am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). This verse seem to demand that Israel sanctify itself to the level of God’s holiness.
In reference to God, the word קָדוֹשׁ holy, is spelled in full, with a ו. This indicates a full and perfect
holiness which is indicative of God Himself. But only Hashem is perfect Holy.
Human beings are not expected to reach His Holiness. By practicing moderation man can attain only limited levels of holiness. This is indicated by the missing ו in the
word קְדֹשִׁים, holy, which refers to human beings (Maayanah shel Torah).
THE BROKEN VAV: ”See, I give him My covenant: Peace” (Numbers 25:12). When Pinchas found the two people whose sinful immorality had
caused a deadly plague to strike down thousands of people, he zealously killed both in sanctification of God’s Name.
As a reward for his devotion, God gave him a covenant of (SHALOM) peace. The ו in שָׁלוֹם
(in a Torah Scroll) is a broken one,.. The ו here is not missing, thus denoting that nothing was lacking in the blessing of peace, but it is broken to imply that the word can be interpreted homiletically as if there were no ו.
If the ו is omitted,
the word can be read as שָׁלֵם SHALEM, PERFECT (Kiddushin 66b). Pinchas was a perfect man, who, through his zeal, brought about peace between God and His people. He will therefore be the future Eliyahu who will herald the arrival of the Moshiach (Targum Yonasan,
THE PEACE BROUGHT ABOUT BY PINCHAS CAME THROUGH KILLING: Though bloodshed was necessary at that moment for the sake of all Israel, God – Whose very Name is SHALOM - regarded is as a crippled peace. Therefore,
the word SHALOM contains a broken ו.
As long as Israel lives in exile, it will never find complete peace (שָׁלוֹם with a whole ו). Only when Pinchas, who is identified as Eliyahu, brings the final Messianic redemption, will the crippled ו in Shalom
be restored. Then UNBROKEN PEACE will reign on earth (Oznaim LaTorah).
So, the Mashiach will subdue the nations not through war but through the words of peace he will speak to them, through which they will submit themselves
to his influence" (Metzudas). ”...And he shall speak peace to the nations,..” (Zechariah 9:10). ”...and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he shall put the wicked to death” (Isaiah 11:4,
55:4-5). With the speech of his lips; truth, rebuke, etc. The Mashiach will not need to use armed force in order to assert his authority but will do so through the power of his words.
"And David put his hand in his bag, and took
thence a stone (knowledge of God), and slung it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; and the stone (knowledge of God) sank into his forehead,.. and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone,
and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David... (1 Samuel 17:49-50, Daniel 2:31-35,40-44).
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD,
as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:11,13-14). It is the knowledge of God that dispels the cruelty that rules in its absence (Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum).
THE COVENANT OF PEACE (Leviticus 26:1-9 – Isaiah 32:17-18,
48:17-19, 54:10 – Ezekiel 34:23-31, 37:21-28). Through increasing knowledge of God it will eventually be possible for the proponents of Christianity and Islam to transcend their earlier levels of understanding and come to see the ultimate truth of the
Torah - and for all the different types and kinds of people to coexist peacefully, as declared by the prophets: Isaiah 11:6-8, 65:25, Hosea 2:20.