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Thank you Fred for sourcing it. The majority opinion in the Talmud is that a warning "this carries the death penalty" is sufficient, without specifying what method of execution. As Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's Living Torah puts it: Since it was not specified what must be done to him, they placed him under guard. The death penalty was specified (Exodus ...


Many commentaries go case-by-case through each of the "terrible mistakes" of the Jews in the desert and explain how they are not as terrible as they seem. For example, by the sin of the Golden Calf, the Ramban explains (32:1) that they did not want to create an idol to serve, but rather to appoint a new leader, a Moshe replacement, to lead them now that ...

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