Putin faced a rebellion. It wasn’t overly serious. But symbolically important. Did he disarm it? To be determined. Moses also faces a rebellion in this week’s Parsha. A leader of one of the 12 tribes openly goads Jewish leadership by publicly fornicating with a Moabite princess – a dare, by way of a very public challenge to Moses’ moral authority. Moses is momentarily non-plussed, as are the Elders, in the face of such dramatic challenge to authority and morality.
However, a young upstart, by the name of Pinchas, rises to the occasion, takes the initiative, and applies the appropriate legal response, ‘liquidating’ both tribal prince and Moabite princess in one powerful blow, ‘neutralising’ the act of moral terrorism. And yet there is a vocal minority who hijack the ‘media’ of the day, strongly critical of Pinchas’ chutzpa, camouflaging their political aim by packaging it as righteous indignation protecting Moses’ good name and status: "How could you have the temerity to pre-empt Moses and the Elders?"
The silent majority prevails and Pinchas receives a ‘Purple Heart’ from Above, rising to the rank of Priesthood – his initiative is fully vindicated.
Let me ask you: Do you display the courage of initiative when your values stance is seemingly unpopular? Today we face a tidal wave of moral confusion aided by an amoral, commercially exploitative media, that distorts reality. Do you have the courage of your convictions to call it as you believe it? Would you decry a legal system that raises the spectre of legalising ‘voluntary suicide’ down to the age of 14! Well, that is happening right now in Canberra – the thin edge of the wedge, indeed why not down to 12 or 5 years of age. This flows easily from being comfortable at letting a troubled 10 year undergo a ‘sex change’ procedure as an antidote to ‘uncomfortable in his/her body’. This is simply a perversion of democracy.
Take a leaf out of Pinchas’ book – be brave and take initiatives to return a confused society back to normalcy.