Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

According to this unsubstantiated Wikipedia entry, criminals condemned to death by Beith Din were drugged and rendered senseless prior to being executed.

Is this factually correct (either Halachically or historically)?

share|improve this question
    
doesn't the gemarah say that if a man is going out to be executed and says to write and give a bill of divorce to his wife it is binding? if he was senseless this would not be the case –  user2110 Mar 12 '13 at 16:03
2  
@nikmasi, he could be drugged afterward. –  Seth J Mar 12 '13 at 16:11
    
@Nikmasi, that could have been before he was drugged; more likely, that's discussing a case of someone being taken out for execution by the Greeks or Romans, not Jews! –  Shalom Mar 12 '13 at 23:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Sanhedrin 43a:

אמר רב חסדא היוצא ליהרג משקין אותו קורט של לבונה בכוס של יין כדי שתטרף דעתו שנאמר (משלי לא) תנו שכר לאובד ויין למרי נפש

Said Rav Chisda: One being taken out to be executed, we give him a drink of a dose of frankincense dissolved in a cup of wine, to discombobulate his mind. As the verse (Proverbs 31) says, "give strong drink to one who is lost, and wine to the bitter of soul."

I don't think it was drugged to the point of unconsciousness, but some type of sedation.

share|improve this answer
    
I had always wondered how to translate discombobulate into Hebrew. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 12 '13 at 23:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.