The Torah tells us which relationships are forbidden and what the punishments are. Some of them are cut off from the people, some are strangled, some are burnt, killed by sword others are stoned. The Gemora says that strangulation is the easiest way to die among these punishments. But why does a man who sleeps with a married woman only get strangled? This is a terrible sin that breaks a family, hurts everyone involved and might bring illegitimate children into the world. Shouldn't he get a harsher punishment?
I am asking about the severity of the sin and the punishment, not about the types of death that the court gives.

  • I think you mean some get stoned, not killed by the sword
    – Heshy
    May 2, 2023 at 14:54
  • Are the others not also terrible sins? I don't understand the question. The easiest form of capital punishment is still pretty terrible.
    – Double AA
    May 2, 2023 at 15:04
  • It's still human.
    – The GRAPKE
    May 2, 2023 at 15:13
  • 1
    אלו הן הנהרגין רוצח ואנשי עיר הנדחת. Not forbidden relationships
    – Heshy
    May 2, 2023 at 15:17
  • @Heshy can you explain please May 2, 2023 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


The reason is technical, as the Talmud makes clear:

Rabbi Yonatan says: It is not because strangulation is the most lenient type of capital punishment; rather, there is a principle that every death penalty stated in the Torah without specification is nothing other than strangulation, whereas the other types of capital punishment must be stated explicitly in the verse. [Sanhedrin 52b]

  • yup that is one answer, yet also the gemora says because strangulation looks the most like a natural death. The question is about the crime rather then the technical (I agree with your answer looking for something more droush)... R SR Hirsh also has a nice peshat.... May 2, 2023 at 19:16

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