Did you hear the news? There is a brewing political situation, which may or may not develop into a scandal. It seems that some politicians may have said or done something which may or may not have been the wrong thing to do, depending on the circumstances at the time, and/or our understanding of the law.

Innocuous, you say? Well it's the cover-up that sinks them every time. The press picks it up, questions began to fly; who knew what, when? A commission is empowered and an investigative process instigated. A slow leak of information began to surface. Diplomatic cables are tendered, emails examined, witnesses are cross-examined for reliability. Red herrings, smoking guns, cover ups; clichés galore. Scandal rules the airwaves.

We know that everyone slips up occasionally and most of us would forgive and forget in the face of an honest admissionSound familiar? Well I'm not referring to any particular contretemps; rather this is a template of every political scandal. It's a game; they get it wrong, they deny it; we try to catch them in a lie. The teflon ones get away with it, while the less lucky ones "retire to spend more time with their family."

Makes me wonder, if a leader just had the courage to look us in the collective eye, admit to a mistake and promise to take better care in the future, wouldn't he be better off in the long and short run. The electorate is realistic, we know that everyone slips up occasionally and most of us would forgive and forget in the face of an honest admission.

This week's Torah reading discusses the situation where a leader or king accidentally did something wrong, admits his sin and wishes to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of his people and the eyes of G‑d. Fascinatingly, unlike contemporary elected officials who squirm, spin and deny any wrongdoing, even to the extent of destroying their career in the process, a Jewish leader would publicly acknowledge his mistake and offer a sacrifice to G‑d as a penance.

The king as the figurehead of the nation would utilize this opportunity to publicly demonstrate his continuing commitment to the Commandments, and the people would thrill with the knowledge that their leader recognized his own imperfections and was openly willing to address them.

We all go off the rails on occasion, whether in our marriage, financial affairs, or relationships. We have the choice to deny the past and refuse to address the future, or to act like a true leader and face up to ourselves. The temptation is to creep into the wriggle room of life, and bluff and bluster our way past the problem. However this soft option will only lead us further into the muck, as the cover-up compounds the original sin.

Only when we are prepared to confront our demons, and honestly and publicly undertake to improve, do we demonstrate our capacity for self-invention, reinvigoration and true leadership.