This author has just finished learning Gemara Sanhedrin Chapter 11 — Cheilik, that is; to learn who is worthy of Olam Habah, who is not and who goes from this world to Gehennom for their deeds.
The final Mishna cited in Perek Cheilek deals with the Subverted or Seduced City (Ir HaNidachas). This Mishna takes up the last two pages of the chapter 11. And without going into specific cases regarding witnesses, exact circumstances, whether the subverters were defined by halacha as citizens of the city or outsiders, ownership of property or possessions which resided either inside or outside of the city, the Mishna parallels posukim in Wikepedia’s rendering of the pertinent posukim of Parsha Re’eh;
If they heard that some scoundrels had subverted the inhabitants of a town to worship other gods, the Israelites were to investigate thoroughly, and if they found it true, they were to destroy the inhabitants and the cattle of that town, burning the town and all its spoil…
Actually, the posukim, as rendered by Rabbi Artscroll in the Stone Chumash are clearer in Devarim, Chapter 13, posukim 16 through 18;
You shall smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword. You shall gather together all of its (the city’s) booty to the midst of its open square, and you shall burn in fire completely the city and all its booty to Hashem, your G’d, and it shall be an eternal heap, it shall not be rebuilt. No part of the banned property may adhere to your hand, so that Hashem will turn back from His burning wrath…
As with the Torah’s portrayal of the rebellious son (Ben Sorer U’Morer), there was never a documented case of a subverted city when Sanhedrin would have ruled and carried out the penalty. However, the principles, criteria and rules set forth in the halachot bring perspectives regarding deterioration in a group’s connection to Hashem.
Further, there seems a definite correlation between the halachot of Ir HaNidachas and the place in Sinai called Shittim where the Jews were encamped when Bilaam hatched his plot to Balak to have Moabite women seduce Jewish men in order that they worship the avodah zora – Ba’al Pe’or. Those who follow and learn Chumash will recall that the immorality taking place in Shittim and the resultant worship of the Ba’al Pe’or had, as its Divine consequence, a plague which had killed 24,000 Jewish men before Pinchas’ zealous act brought end to the dying.
Although avodah zora, as we have learned that it existed in early history — the prayer to and worship of false, inert, stationary dieties lacking in all senses, has long ago ceased to exist, this author can’t shake the nagging notion of a modern-day extrapolation of the deterioration and negation of connection to Hashem which seems to characterize the subverted or seduced city (Ir HaNidachas).
First, let’s consider the Merriam-Webster definitions of subvert and seduce:
Middle English, from Anglo-French subvertir, from Latin subvertere, literally, to turn from beneath, from sub- + vertere to turn —
1 : to overturn or overthrow from the foundation : ruin
2 : to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith
Seduce (Seduced City — synonym for subverted city as rendered by Maimonides’ Commentary on the Mishna Tractate Sanhedrin, page 161-164);
Late Latin seducere, from Latin, to lead away, from se- apart + ducere to lead
1 : to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty
2 : to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises
3 : to carry out the physical seduction of : entice to sexual intercourse
4 : attract
synonyms see lure
While the modern-day protexia-class regime and system of governance DOES NOT meet the strict halachic criteria defining subversion of a city via avodah zora and its resultant penalties, it surely seems to meet a criteria of subversion of Yiddishkiet, Jewishness, Jewish heritage, roots and history.
Thus, what is projected to transpire at Annapolis in the coming days seems, heaven forbid, to be the attempted actualization of successive
Israeli regimes’ lusting, at ALL costs, to eradicate from the Israeli intellect, mindset and psyche all traces and vestiges of Jewish heritage, history and traditions.
One must ask themselves these questions; Why would this small minority, which monopolizes control of Israel’s governance, “justice (sic) system” and institutions, cling to “land for peace(sic)” which has been proven total falsehood and folly time, time and time again, at the expense of thousands of Jewish lives lost or maimed? Why else would Israel’s leaders submit time and again to “battered wife” syndrome if not for total lack of self-respect and self-identity manifesting itself in their lust for uprooting and severing any and all Israeli connection with Jewishness? Why else would they force an endoctrination of Israel’s youth which calls into doubt all rights to the land of Israel? Why else would the minister of interior attempt to stifle religious aliyah? and there are countless other related questions.
What we see in Israeli’ism is protexia-class governance which is totally devoid of any belief-system, devoid of any level of spirituality. In short, even unlike the Greeks who worshipped body mind and physical prowess, Israeli’ism, as a friend recently commented, DOES NOT even offer an alternative belief-system.
The bottom-line; An honest, morally clean, straight-forward, self-respecting Jewish government would not maneuver itself into being controlled by the nations and would look after their national legacy. Instead, Israel’s corrupt and immoral leaders subject and subordinate themselves and the nation to the follies of others at our collective, dire peril. Thus, while the penalties of the subverted city don’t apply, it seems obvious that charges of treason may. MB