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I don't look like a terrorist. But several years ago, when I threatened to throw my daughter's doll in the trash, I looked like a terrorist to her. Throw away a doll? Maybe a time out from a toy, like her plastic computer or a puzzle or a game. To my daughter a doll is a member of the family. It was an unspeakably mean thing to say. Honestly, I would never do anything that heartless. It's just that some days, this single mother of a brilliant, beautiful, brassy little girl reaches the end of her rope and something absurd comes out of my mouth.
Last month we read from the Torah that the penalty for desecrating Shabbat was death. That was unsettling to those following along. Death for desecrating Shabbat? Someone joked that we would slowly lose our entire congregation if that was the case today. Now anyone who knows anything knows that even back then, it never happened that way. So why in God's name (literally in God's name!!) was death threatened for noncompliance?