The mishna in Sanhedrin 11:4 says that the rebellious elder is not executed by his local court but is instead taken to Yerushalayim and executed on the next festival in front of all the people.

אֵין מְמִיתִין אוֹתוֹ לֹא בְבֵית דִּין שֶׁבְּעִירוֹ וְלֹא בְבֵית דִּין שֶׁבְּיַבְנֶה, אֶלָּא מַעֲלִין אוֹתוֹ לְבֵית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, וּמְשַׁמְּרִין אוֹתוֹ עַד הָרֶגֶל וּמְמִיתִין אוֹתוֹ בָרֶגֶל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז) וְכָל הָעָם יִשְׁמְעוּ וְיִרָאוּ וְלֹא יְזִידוּן עוֹד,‏

This is according to R' Akiva; R' Yehudah says he is executed immediately and messengers are sent to all communities with the announcement.

My question is about R' Akiva's interpretation. Is he really saying that the execution occurred on the festival day, which would involve several forbidden melachot? For Pesach or Sukkot it could instead mean chol hamoed, the intermediate days, but that doesn't help for Shavuot. Or does the mishna just mean at the time of the festival, and they would execute him either before or after? What does בָרֶגֶל mean here?

I didn't find an answer in the g'mara here.

  • I beileve it means on the erev,I remember there is a censored gemara in sanhedrin 43 which details a sekila case on erev pesach,also there is another case in shas I think in RH which also occured on erev RH
    – sam
    Sep 3, 2019 at 3:23
  • Thanks @sam. Where does one look for the censored g'maras? The erev RH case is interesting too as that's not one of the festivals. Sep 3, 2019 at 3:26
  • Not meting out punishment on Shabbat is one of the 613 commandments. It's not just a issue of Melakha
    – Double AA
    Sep 3, 2019 at 11:45
  • @DoubleAA true, and I assume that applies to Yom Tov as well but don't know for certain. Sep 3, 2019 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


Artscroll answers your questions in their notes to this Mishna

In general, once someone has been sentenced to death, the court must execute him on the same day to spare him the emotional agony of waiting for his death. R Akiva rules, however, that since the Torah requires everyone to know about the execution of the rebellious sage, his execution must be delayed until the next pilgrimage festival, when everyone is in Jerusalem.

The execution is not carried out on Yom Tov itself, but during Chol Hamoed (Tiferes Yisrael). If the next festival is Shavuos, which has no Chol Hamoed, he is executed on the day after the festival when the people are still in Jerusalem (Minchas Chinuch 497:7).

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