As we know, there are two types of sins: sins between man and man, and sins between man and G-d.

I used to think that adultery is a sin between man and man. However, reading Mishneh Torah, I stumbled upon the following statement:

Neither repentance nor the Day of Atonement atone for any save for sins committed between man and God, for instance, one who ate forbidden food, or had forbidden coition and the like; but sins between man and man, for instance, one injures his neighbor, or curses his neighbor or plunders him, or offends him in like matters, is ever not absolved unless he makes restitution of what he owes and begs the forgiveness of his neighbor.

Do I understand correctly, is Rambam saying that adultery (as it is a forbidden coition) belongs to the category of sins between man and G-d, and can therefore be atoned for by repentance like other sins between man and G-d during Yom Kippur (without having to beg forgiveness from any individual as sins between man and man require)?

  • 1
    בין אדם לחבירו is only about monetary damages, or those that can be evaluated as such (as an insult), therefore even murder is בין אדם למקום, as there are no damages to pay. (similar to civil court), Rape, on the other hand, IS b/w man and his fellow as it is all monetary.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:32
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    BTW there's no consensus AFAIK on those terms to start with.
    – Al Berko
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:37
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/106511/…
    – Alex
    Oct 6, 2019 at 19:56
  • Maybe it's both? The Mishna in Chagiga (1:7) says that adultery leaves behind a trace (the Mamzer born thereof) and thereof is irreversible, at some level. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן מְנַסְיָא אוֹמֵר, אֵיזֶהוּ מְעֻוָּת שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִתְקֹן, זֶה הַבָּא עַל הָעֶרְוָה וְהוֹלִיד מִמֶּנָּה מַמְזֵר. אִם תֹּאמַר בְּגוֹנֵב וְגוֹזֵל, יָכוֹל הוּא לְהַחֲזִירוֹ וִיתַקֵּן. Oct 7, 2019 at 9:57
  • @DannySchoemann it does leave trace if a mamzer is born. But otherwise, is there any monetary damage? Oct 7, 2019 at 17:16


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