9 Tamuz 5774
The law was broken. Jews were suffering and dying and all the leadership seemed able to do was stand and cry. Someone stepped into the breach - for the sake of Am Yisrael; for the sake of God's Name; and, to prevent more deaths.
When it became known, the whole nation condemned the one who had stepped into the breach. "Murderer!" they screamed. "This isn't our way," yelled others. He was hauled away to face "justice."
Reads like today's headlines, doesn't it?
Except, this matter took place 3300 years ago and it was a Jew-on-Jew killing, not a matter of slaying the enemy Midianites, though that happened, too. We relive it every year in the cycle of parshat hashavuah readings. This account began at the end of Parshat Balak last week and it culminates this week in Parshat 'Pinhas:'
"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Phinehas the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the kohen has turned My anger away from the children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them, so that I did not destroy the children of Israel because of My zeal. Therefore, say, "I hereby give him My covenant of peace. It shall be for him and for his descendants after him [as] an eternal covenant of kehunah, because he was zealous for his God and atoned for the children of Israel."
A group identifying itself as "Jewish Bloggers" has issued "an open condemnation of the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir" and signed their names to it.
You won't find my name there.
Neither the media nor the police are to be trusted. We will probably never know what the real facts are. If it really was Jews, for all we know, they could be Pinhasim!
It seems to me that when a situation appears very confusing and it's difficult to figure out where to stand, it's best to take a cue from the Hellenized Erev Rav regime. Whatever they condemn must be the right thing to do. And the more vociferously they condemn it, the more right and powerful it must be.