The Blame Game
Almost forty percent of the cases in the Central African Republic’s court system are witchcraft prosecutions. Most of the accused are Pygmies who are known for bewitching each other. Do you have an infected toe? You can accuse your neighbor of hexing you because he doesn’t like you. Did bad weather ruin your day with the kids? Blame someone with whom you recently had an argument for casting a spell on you. A bird crashed into your windshield? Blame an enemy! You can accuse him of shape shifting and he will have to face trial.
The sole foreign non-governmental organization, an Italian group called COOPI that exists to promote human rights, favors keeping these laws on the books: “If people thought witches could hex with impunity, mobs would simply seize the alleged offenders, bring them to a pit, and bury them alive – the only known effective way of dealing with a witch. “If we do not apply laws against the Practice of Charlatanism and Sorcery, we will apply lex talionis,” that is, the rule of an eye for an eye, as preached in the Bible. (The Atlantic Monthly – June 2010 – “Hex Appeal” page 19)
Everyone can play the blame game. The uneducated blame witchcraft, and the educated blame the blamer’s behavior on the Bible.
It may sound bizarre, but is it really? I have often heard from people who consulted a Kabbalist that they were told they could blame their problems on an Evil Eye. Then, of course, there are the people who blame their parents, a spouse, the community, the world – everyone except themselves.
Yet, is it preferable to sit at home, and complain and kvetch without blaming anyone or to go out and blame?
“The people took to seeking complaints.” (Numbers 11:1) “Moses heard the people weeping in their family groups, each one at the entrance of his tent.” (Verse 10) This is the first time that the Children of Israel complain without blame. They sat at home and cried. They didn’t blame Moses. And, this is the first time that Moses responds to a complaint by complaining, “Why have You done evil to Your servant? Why have I not found favor in Your eyes, that You place the burden of this entire people upon me?” (Verse 11)
So, I must repeat my question; “Is it preferable to sit at home, and complain and kvetch without blaming anyone or to go out and blame?”
To be continued…
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