A Challenge of Ideology

Parshat ראה discusses three deviant situations in Judaism. First the נביא שקר, the false prophet, followed by the מסית, the one who incites, and the עיר הנידחת, the condemned city.

In each of these cases, the penalty is very severe. The נביא שקר and מסית are put to death and the עיר הנידחת is completely destroyed.

These are prime examples of situations where we do our best to convict and in the case of the מסית, we are told not to have pity on him.

The lesson here is that there is a huge difference between an individual’s personal sin and one that reflects a challenge in ideology. When the ideology of the מסית and נביא שקר, undermines and challenges the sanctity and truth of Judaism, there is no place for mercy. Shabbat Shalom