On this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amidah
"Structure of the weekday Amidah"
One of the prayers:
"Known as Birkat HaMinim ("the sectarians, heretics") this asks God to destroy those in heretical sects (Minuth), who slander Jews and who act as informers against Jews."
On this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minuth
Mishneh Torah, Minim it states that:
"Five peoples who can be classified as heretics(hebrew "Minim").:
- One who denies the existence of God or the ruler of the world
- One who says there are two or more rulers of the world
- One who accepts there is one Master of the world but maintains He has a body or a form
- One who denies that He is the sole First Being and Creator of all existence
- One who serves entities that serve as intermediary between him and the eternal Lord such as stars, constellations or any other entity"
I don't understand why Jewish people must ask God to destroy those who do not believe in God or for any of the other seemingly benign reasons stated above. Do Jews consider people who deny the existence of God dangerous?
The second part of the prayer which speaks about destroying those
"who act as informers against Jews" also raises confusion. Why would Jews ask God to destroy "informers" in particular. If we assume that Jewish people do everything right then there should be nothing to inform anyone about, thus no need for the informers to be destroyed. Asking God to destroy informers seems like admitting guilt and trying to cover something up so no one will know about it.
The part of the prayer that speaks about slander is the only logical reason in this prayer as to why one might ask God to do something as rash as to "destroy" someone.
A heretic, as explained on this Wikipedia article: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heretic
Is someone who has ideas that are different from the ideas that a certain religious group teaches.
Obviously everyone who is not Jewish will have ideas that are different then those of Jews. This is somewhat contradictory and hypocritical because I am sure that Jewish people have different ideas then that of other religions as well.
Please understand that I am not posting this out of hate. I simply do not understand why we must ask God to punish those who do not agree with Judaism, it seems unnecessary and hypocritical.