If one knowingly ate non-kosher beef, but didn’t think/realize that it could cause karet due to forbidden fats or blood, do they still get karet if these forbidden items were in fact in the meat?

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    Chaver, you need to speak to a rabbi. We all get concerned about one sin or another at some point, sometimes even EXTREMELY concerned, as you seem to be right now, but this is not an ideal forum for that. Also please remember that your yetzer hara will do everything in its power to convince you your sin is much worse than it actually is and there's no hope for you or your soul. That's not how Judaisim works. People commit adultery, murder and avodah zarah every day of the week and HA RACHAMAN HU, blessed be He, forgives them. Oct 29, 2019 at 4:08
  • A large majority of Jews in the US spend their entire lives eating blatantly non-Kosher food. 3 times a day. One slip-up at a McDonald's is not the end for you. Oct 29, 2019 at 4:11
  • This article helped me quite a bit the last time I felt the way you appear to feel right now. Read it and go talk to a rabbi tomorrow. jewishaction.com/religion/jewish-thought/… Oct 29, 2019 at 4:15
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    @joshk I’m asking from a perspective of seeking halachic knowledge (i.e hypothetically)
    – Fei23
    Oct 29, 2019 at 4:34
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    To clarify, if someone intentionally committed 1 sin but didn't expect that the behavior would merit a certain additional level of punishment, is he an intentional sinner deserving of punishment A, but an unintentional one NOT deserving of the greater punishment, or, in for a penny, in for a pound, and he gets all levels because once the act is intentional, he loses all rights to leniency.
    – rosends
    Oct 29, 2019 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


To 'earn' the karet punishment one must sin b'meizid - knowingly (First Rashi in Masecta Kritut). The required knowledge is a. knowing that the action is a prohibited at the time, and b. knowing the punishment for the sin.


There are two prerequisites for a beit din (Jewish court of law) to administer any kind of physical punishment (whether flogging of death, excluding enforcement of Rabbinical laws), a. there are two kosher witnesses to the deed (Deuteronomy 17,6). b. the transgressor was warned (Talmud Sanhedrin 40b) that a. the deed about to be committed is prohibited at the time. b. that the deed carries a specific penalty (Rambam Sanhedrin 12,2).

The reason the warning is required is to differentiate between an accidental (shogeg) and an intentional (meizid) violation. That is apparent from the Talmud in several places, such as Sanhedrin 8b, where Rabbi Yossi says that a scholar can be punished without prior warning since he knows that the deed is indeed prohibited.

  • I'm not sure why you conflate requirements for a court imposed punishment with the status of Meizid.
    – Double AA
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:18
  • @joehoward I had the same question as Double Aa. I’ll select this if you can provide some info on that.
    – Fei23
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:35
  • It seems to be a machlokes Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish on Shabbos 69a
    – Fei23
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:39
  • The Rambam seems to rule like Rebbi Yochanan in Hilchos Shogeg 2:2
    – Fei23
    Oct 29, 2019 at 15:47
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    Simple, a court cannot impose a punishment unless it is meizid, nor is karet decreed on some one unless it is meizid. From the laws of hatra'ah regarding court imposed punishment, we can learn the definition of meizid. Once we know that meizid means that the deed was done knowing of the prohibition as well as the consequences, we don't need a leap of faith to realize that if one of the requirements are lacking, it is a shogeg and there is no karet for shogeg.
    – Joe Howard
    Oct 29, 2019 at 16:08

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