Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, October 15, 2007


In Waiting on Tables, it was noted that Judaism and its Temple establishment excluded Jews with blemishes from participating in the rituals of the Temple. Was this exclusion a form of shunning like that practiced by the Amish? “Shunning, or meidung means expulsion from the Amish community for breaching religious guidelines -- including marrying outside the faith. The practice of shunning is the main reason that the Amish broke away from the Mennonites in 1693. When an individual is subject to meidung, it means they have to leave their friends, family and lives behind. All communication and contact is cut off, even among family members. Shunning is serious, and usually considered a last resort after repeated warnings.”

It is apparent to me from a cursory examination of the Rule of Community that the Qumran community practiced, much like the Amish today, “distance, separation and segregation” from outsiders which included a form of shunning of those in the community who had violated their rules. The stated rationale is that "They should keep apart from men of sin in order to constitute a community" (5.1-2).

The Pharisees, who were known as “the separated ones”, also
practiced “distance, separation and segregation” from those who were outsiders. Did the Pharisees shun those who violated their rules?

Was exclusion from temple rituals a form of shunning?

Copyrighted 2007


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