The Inciter

Another troublemaker that is mentioned in the Parsha is called the מסית. He is the one who incites people to sin and turn away from the Torah. Today they would be called Jewish missionaries. They use all kinds of methods to lure away innocent souls "to drink from the forbidden fountain" (in the words of Chassidic singer, Mordechai Ben David in describing Mormon missionaries.) In this particular case of the מסית, we are told to have no pity on him as the Torah says, לא תחמול ולא תכסה, have no pity and do not cover up for him. We are urged to put to death this inciter. The Talmud says that we should choose grouchy judges to decide the case of the מסית. The Gemara seems to say that old judges would be grumpy as would childless judges. They will not be afraid to convict the מסית.