How could this happen!?  How could he – of all people – fall away?  This is appalling!  Such wretched and tawdry pests!  And who knows this better than him!?  Who is more intimately acquainted with their sordid doctrines than he is!?  And he defects!?!  He decides to join their ranks!  Of course I’m panicked!!!  If he can be conquered by this cursed religion than who amongst us is safe!?  Of course I’m caught off guard!  None of us could’ve predicted this.  Of course I’m freaking out!  I don’t see how you can insinuate that I should calm down.  I’m not going to masquerade as if all is well!  The fact is – now we have to overhaul the entire plan!  …and we have no guarantees that the new conscript (whoever that might possibly be …you and I both know that the new recruits have miserable resumes – at least compared with his) won’t turn out to be deserters like him!

*At this point the speaker abruptly charges upon a passive and dutiful servant standing on the margin of the room.  After bludgeoning the servant with a candelabra approximately 3 dozen times, weariness quells the savage act of rage and the servant is carried from the room by two scribe spectators who are all of sudden eagerly looking for an excuse to vacate the premises (the servant would be pronounced dead circa 4 1/2 hours later …the head trauma was severe and the physicians speculated that normal brain function would’ve been minimal to non-existent had he survived).

He sat there looking a bit dejected and crestfallen for about 6 minutes, but then – having reclaimed his fervor – he rose to his feet and resumed his hysteria.

You do realize that he was the keynote for the symposium schedule for next week in Damascus? (we had him booked since August 4 years ago!).  He said that he’d like to go a little early to “take care of some pressing business.”  He gave us a passionate speech regarding his intentions to imprison (and if possible execute) as many who belonged to The Way as he could prior to the start of the colloquium.  Shoot, I accompanied him to the offices of the HP to request the requisite letters to be presented to the synagogue officials whence he arrived!  And now it turns out he’s a turncoat!  And I’m left to find a replacement on such short notice!  …Who else is qualified to handle the delicate nuances of our legal system, while at the same time manifesting the zeal and passion which he seemed to possess in such abundance (or at least I supposed him to be zealous up until I received news of his heinous apostasy)?  What a waste!  …All of his efforts and accomplishments!  All of the imprisonments and executions of our enemy by his own hands – and for what!?  How could he – of all people – be recreant!?  What a shameful and wretched waste!  Who else had a pedigree like his!?  I haven’t even heard of another member of the tribe of Benjamin who’s been circumcised within the prescribed guidelines.  And now he’s throwing all of that away!  He’s treating such glorious gain as if it were rubbish!  …It makes me sick to my stomach.

*At this point the speaker literally paused to rub his tummy for about 3 minutes, for it seems he had actually inflicted himself with nausea at recounting the atrocity of his hero’s heretical conduct.  Whether or not his biliousness ever subsided is uncertain, but either way he recommenced his denunciation after a hasty girth massage.

And you know the thing that drives me nuts!?  The potential!  …he had so much potential!  He was on pace to surpass the greats!  He was already advancing beyond many his own age among our people!  And he was so extremely zealous for the traditions of our fathers!

*Here – after only a brief harangue – the speaker simply starred-off into space for about 15 minutes.  The remaining scribes were exceedingly unsettled by this, for usually it was in those moments of seeming contemplation where he was actually brewing his most intense batches of rage.  …then, all of a sudden, he burst into tears.  These were distinctly not tears of contrition, but rather these were the blubberings of a man wallowing in his own self-pity, insecurity, and fear.  And after 4-5 minutes of his sniveling – in a very low, timorous, and defeated voice – he said:

If he has been lost …any one of us could be next.