I am looking to understand the theology behind a negative commandment being repeated in the Torah in order to make whomever transgresses it punishable for 2 sins.

See for example Rashi on Vayikra 25:36 (from the Gemarah) נשך ותרבית. חַד שַׁוִּינְהוּ רַבָּנָן, וְלַעֲבֹר עָלָיו בִּשְׁנֵי לָאוִין (בבא מציעא ס'):

Conceptually, what is the significance of having a particular sin be counted twice?

  • It’s particularly egregious?
    – Joel K
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 16:24
  • Notably this only comes up in a handful of cases - I only know of three off the top of my head, and Sefaria’s bringing up a fourth assuming their search function isn’t broken.
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 16:31
  • Wait, the Mitzvos are pretty much fixed, but one can transgress a couple of them in one act, as having relations with his married sister (IIRC the highest number the Gemmorah cites is 7 - plowing with a bull and an ass on Shabbos etc). It appears to me that the problem stems from counting the Mitzvos (that was unexisting in the times of the Gemmorah), for example לא תקום ולא תטור are counted as two, despite being the same feeling.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 16:38
  • 1
    Just thinking off the cuff... One act that has two distincly different negative effects on the soul / psyche / character would perhaps be counted twice. From that sugya in Bava Metzi'ah - one is violated by your taking profit, the other by their incurring loss. (And if the item changes value while borrowed, it is possible to violate one without the other.) MAYBE there are two sins because the unhealthy relationship to money is distinct from the unhealthy relationship to the person in need. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 20:55
  • Can an aseh override 2 lavin?
    – Loewian
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Sefer HaChinuch 343 says:

So why did the verse divide them?" [That is] meaning to say, why did it divide them and not write, "Give neither your money nor your food with interest." "To cause the transgression of two prohibitions" - meaning to say, to give multiple warnings about it (Bava Metzia 61a). And this matter is what I have said above (Sefer HaChinukh 336), that the Torah will occasionally repeat warnings about that which it wanted to distance us from greatly. And it is possible for us to say about this, similar to what they, may their memory be blessed, said about other matters, "The Torah speaks like the language of man" (Berakhot 31b). And likewise, the Torah is constantly warning about that which requires our vigilance in the way that people will repeat their conditions and speak much when they warn one another about a weighty matter - so that the [listener] be aware and vigilant about it in all circumstances. And even though it is fitting that a person should be most careful about the word of God - even if he heard the word through the slightest hint - this is all from His great kindnesses upon His creatures, that in a few places He repeated warnings for them many times - like a parent disciplines his child. And we should therefore thank Him for all the goodness that He, blessed be He, bestowed upon us.

In summary, the significance of having a particular sin counted twice is to emphasize the importance of the prohibition.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .