Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Is Jewish Rebellion Merely One Phase of Submission?

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Is Jewish Rebellion Merely One Phase of Submission?

Article excerpt

Every culture despises an apostate. But Judaism, in particular, has always made hostility to the traitor, the deserter, the child who grows up to turn on the community, into a central organizing principle. Not for nothing is honoring your parents one of the Ten Commandments; and the Torah's prescription for dealing with a child who fails to honor his parents is ruthless. Listen to Deuteronomy: "If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not hearken to the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city: 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he doth not hearken to our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.' And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. …

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