I just love when I ask a question, hoping for any answer, and what I got is a full info... Ok, I'm getting a picture how the Judaism works today. The only thing I don't understand here is a word "kooky". A tip? Yes, believe me I know. I REALLY tried to explained that to them, and as a main argument I took Jewish interpretation of the story. They weren't listening, they kept babling about how Yahweh is a "cruel" just because he asked the Abraham to do so (they were completely "deaf" to the fact that Yahweh never really intended to let Abraham actually kill Isaac), and how Abraham is a "mad old man" because he obeyed Yahweh. They just can't see the big picture here. Sorry for bothering you with that but I don't want to leave you in an impression that I also don't see the point. Well, for example: "If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10) A "classic" cheat, which should be punished by death. Be at ease, I'm not trying to attack anyone - on the contrary, I'm trying to understand all the circumstances (from both religious and historical point of view): when, how or why this (well, not only this one, but I took it as a classic example of what I'm referring to) commandment was given/written? Was this punishment (death) for adultery common in that time, at least on Near East? I'm fully aware of complexity of my question. This is closely related to the question you asked above ("which laws are you referring to?") and my answer. I'm trying to get a clearer picture of an ancient laws (both civil and religious) and traditions on the Near East.