As intermarriage between Jews and their neighboring non-Jewish Midyanite and Moavite women has increased, a terrible plague suddenly broke out amongst the Jews taking the lives of twenty-four thousand people in its wake. It was only after a fanatical zealot by the name of Pinchus smote Zimri the Prince of the tribe of Shimon as well as Kosbi the daughter of King Tzur of Midyan, that the plague suddenly came to an abrupt halt. Pinchus is now being denounced as a hot-headed right-wing religious radical that was led by personal political motivations. Legal experts say that Jewish law does not permit a Jewish court to mete out the death penalty for such a frivolous crime.
This incident has caused an uproar amongst the members of the tribe of Shimon that is on very friendly terms with the tribe of Levi and now demands the immediate death penalty for Pinchus’s revolting crime committed in broad daylight against the prince of their tribe. How dare anyone take the law into his own hands when even Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t interfere. Many others are afraid that the murder of the princess of Midyan will destroy the peaceful relationship that exists between the Israelites and the Midyanites.
Police are being blamed for their lax security provided to the heads of a tribe. Reporters have been told that Pinchos carefully removed the iron end of the spear from its wooden handle, hiding the iron inside his clothing and used the wooden handle as a walking stick. He entered Zimri’s tent on false pretenses, claiming that he, too, wanted to have an illicit relationship with Kosbi. The security forces guarding the tent easily fell for his scam and allowed him to enter. “It all happened so fast,” the guards claimed that “by the time they realized what had happened it was all over.” A full investigation is being sort!
P.S. Luckily Moshe Rabbeinu was around and was able to provide us with G-d’s true take of Pinchos’s praiseworthy action or one can just imagine how the story would have ended. There certainly would have been a civil war.
With intermarriage in America alone skyrocketing to over 50% and over 300,000 non-Jews who came to Israel in the 1990s intermarrying as well, the problem has reached epidemic proportions. Had Pinchos lived nowadays one wonders what he could have done to stem the tide. When Zimri approached Moshe Rabbeinu and asked him if Kosbi was permitted to him, all the Jews burst out crying. Unfortunately when we see the terrible sad situation we are in nowadays, the only thing left for us to do is cry as well!