In Yoma 86a we find the following Tannaic statement

If one commits a transgression that warrants karet or a sin punishable by death from the earthly court and then repents, repentance and Yom Kippur suspend his punishment, and suffering absolves and completes the atonement

So if someone is found guilty of a capital offense by a beis din, but prior to that he has already repented and a [at least one] Yom Kippur has passed.

Wouldn't the above statement imply his punishment should be suspended - and he should not be executed? (And if you say "but suffering completes the atonement", suffering is not the same as actual death/execution).

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Does teshuva remove punishment?
    – DonielF
    Oct 6, 2019 at 2:48
  • It's not a duplicate - that question is asking in general whether teshuva can save from punishment, but here I'm asking specifically whether the Tannaic quote from Yoma 86a implies capital punishment can be suspended (avoided). And if not, I would like to know how that quote can then be interpreted.
    – user9806
    Oct 6, 2019 at 4:48
  • Your question is subsumed in his final paragraph, which specifically asks about the death penalty.
    – DonielF
    Oct 6, 2019 at 5:48
  • It may be talking about only after there is no more capital punishment, ie after the Sanhedrin stopped
    – Lo ani
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:48

1 Answer 1


Short answer: No!

This is discussed in Keritot 26a

ואמר רב תחליפא אבוה דרב הונא משמיה דרבא חייבי מלקיות שעבר עליהן יה"כ חייב פשיטא מאי שנא מחייבי חטאות ואשמות ודאין

And Rav Taḥlifa, father of Rav Huna, further says in the name of Rava: Those liable to receive lashes for whom Yom Kippur has passed are liable to receive those lashes after Yom Kippur. The Gemara asks: Isn’t that obvious? What is the difference between this case and the case of those liable to bring sin offerings and definite guilt offerings, who must bring them after Yom Kippur?

According to this site the Be'er Sheva writes that it's obvious that same applies to those who deserve the death sentence; Yom Kippour does not absolve them from their death sentence.

בבאר שבע (כריתות שם) כתב שכל שכן שחייבי מיתות בית דין שהתרו בהן חייבים מיתה אף אחר יום הכיפורים.‏

A quick look at the Be'er Sheva (page 95 ד"ה חייבי - middle of LH column) teaches us that he says that Yom Kippour atones for those sins which deserve the death penalty - but only of there were no witnesses around to warn the perp.

Be'er Sheva page 95 ד"ה חייבי - middle of LH column

Rabbi Yissochor Ber Eilenberg (1550-1623) wrote the Be'er Sheva - a Tosafot-like work on 7 tractates, hence the name.

  • Thank you for your answer! It's still not clear though how to reconcile this Keritot 26a with Yoma 86a - which clearly says teshuva+Yom Kippur suspend punishment. Moreover, about a regular lav (i.e. deserving lashes) it says "[...] repentance suspends his punishment and Yom Kippur atones". So not only is punishment suspended, but the sin is completely atoned for after Yom Kippur passes. So why does Keritot 26a that you quoted say "Those liable to receive lashes for whom Yom Kippur has passed are liable to receive those lashes after Yom Kippur"?
    – user9806
    Oct 6, 2019 at 16:48

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