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Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Pinchas: Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Where did Zimri the Great Tzaddik go Wrong?

Zimri was from the Dor Deiah. This generation lived 40 years in the desert subsisting on Man, heavenly food from Shamayim in simple conditions. They spent their days drinking with thirst the Torah of Hashem. Materialism did not enter anyone's mind. These people were on the level of Malachim. Zimri was not merely from the common folk of this generation, he was one of the leaders of Shevet Shimon. His mistake with Kasbi cannot be taken at face value. So what happened?

Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz explains that many great people erred because they saw the greatness of the future generations that would come from them. Korach saw Shmuel HaNavi as his future descendant, and was sure that he was more righteous than Moshe Rabbeinu. Achitofel saw that Shlomo HaMelech would come from his granddaughter Basheva, and assumed that he himself would be king and therefore rebelled against Dovid.

Zimri saw that a Nasi of Bnei Yisroel would marry a princess of Moav and an heir from their union would exact revenge on Moav. His mistake was that he was only the head of part of Shevet Shimon and not the Nasi of the Shevet. Similarly Kasbi was not the daughter of a proper King and she was also not worthy of this.

So who was this Nevuah talking about? It referred to Boaz who was the sole leader of his generation and Ruth who was the daughter of Eglon the King of Moav.