In the Hebrew Bible, apostasy is equated with rebellion against God, His Law, and and worshiping any god other than the Hebrew deity, Yahweh. The penalty for apostasy in Deuteronomy 13:1-10 is death:
“That prophet or that dreamer (who leads you to worship of other gods) shall be put to death, because… he has preached apostasy from The Lord your God… If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or your intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods… do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him… You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God.”
However, in practice, apostates of Judaism do not suffer the fate described in that verse as a basis of the law of the land. The most common dilemna facing Jewish apostacy throughout most of the world is family pressure and discontent.
However, in current day Israel, sanctions against apostasy in Judaism include the Orthodox tradition of shunning a person who leaves the faith, in which the parents formally mourn their lost child and treat him or her as dead. Apostates in Israel are forbidden to marry other Jews and may be denied citizenship as part of the Jewish Right to Return. Additionally, Messianic Jew’s, who are considered apostates, have suffered harrassment by Orthodox Jews and Rabbi’s. Protection of the civil rights of Messianic Jew’s in Israel has been inconsistent in lower courts but have been upheld in Israel’s Supreme Court.
These isolated cases should be monitored to determine the extent of governmental apathy.