Israel is a strange country, it’s one of the most difficult puzzles to anyone who is a non-believer or atheist, this is the country of the Jewish people, if you’re Jewish you will be accepted there (however criminals and people with issues are not automatically let in).
One of the things they say about Israel (I think it was Sam Harris that said it once) is that the problem is that its not a country that is dedicated to a religion but rather a religion that has been forced to confine itself in one country that would not systematically abuse an ethnic or religious group, in simple words the state of Israel was created so Jews could have one place that does not repeatedly murder and abuse them.
So we all know that Israel is the land of the Jews, but do not expect to see a lot of Rabbi’s dressed in black when you’re in the airport, Israel is a secular democracy with a majority of non religious Jews. Many of the secular Jews call themselves “traditional” because the keep the main holidays, and that is all they do. Many others have little or nothing to do with the religion and you will find life in the big cities of Israel to be very much like any other western city, even on the Sabbath.
The news out of Israel in the last week told of a great Rabbi that had been murdered by a visitors, a man who met with the Rabbi to ask him to help out in some martial problems had waited a couple of months for the miracle to work, when it did not he decided that he will pay a visit to the old Rabbi and kill him for his false promises (even though its almost certain that nothing had been ever promised).
This is one of the things that makes it very difficult for an atheist to overlook, people who are not “really” religious visit a very religious individual, many times with some sort of offering, like a donation or even direct payment for the time and services, in hope that the “holy” person will proceed to pray and work miracles for them and their needs. How profane can that be, on both sides, to have one even suggest that he can perform miracles, and for the other to shortcut his way into a better position, leveraging the good ranking the Rabbi has with the almighty.
And when you act like humans did thousands of years ago, visiting a shaman or a sage to have a better life, offering them compensation in return and expecting miracles to happen, it also makes perfect sense to punish the shaman if he does not deliver, not only what he might promise or suggest, but also if he fails to deliver what was expected subjectively of him. So a punishment of stabbing someone to death as punishment for not fulfilling his duty makes perfect sense if you try and think 2,500 years back.
One final word about this Rabbi, he was a grandson of one of the better known Kabalist Rabbis of Israel, and continued to do the same as his grandfather did, which is mostly helping the community and learning the bible, these people are not the rich preachers of the U.S. and most of them live in very modest homes and humble lifestyles. This man really did try to help out people, he spent a lot of time seeing and meeting people with problems, it is only a shame that instead of dropping god and the ancient books or yore he did not turn to the light and learned psychology or medicine to really help people progress.