Saturday, February 21, 2009
Patti and I went to see the movie "Defiance" last night. (Yes, Friday is our date night). It is a gripping true story of a group of Jews who survived World War II by hiding deep in the forest, and defending themselves. Defending themselves from the Nazis who were trying to kill them, Villagers paid to rat on them, Partisans who see them as competition for scarce resources, and from the harsh living conditions. Amazing story. Well done movie.
Harsh living environment. Harsh reality of constantly being hunted down to be killed. Harsh rules they needed to live by.
In today's reading there are some harsh rules as well. One of them is no blaspheming - under penalty of death. Here is the story:
10 -12 "One day the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites. A fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of God and cursed. They brought him to Moses. His mother's name was Shelomith, daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put him in custody waiting for God's will to be revealed to them.
13 -16 Then God spoke to Moses: "Take the blasphemer outside the camp. Have all those who heard him place their hands on his head; then have the entire congregation stone him. Then tell the Israelites, Anyone who curses God will be held accountable; anyone who blasphemes the Name of God must be put to death. The entire congregation must stone him. It makes no difference whether he is a foreigner or a native, if he blasphemes the Name, he will be put to death."
23 Moses then spoke to the People of Israel. They brought the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The People of Israel followed the orders God had given Moses."