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Shabbat 114a:

ואמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן: כל תלמיד חכם שנמצא רבב על בגדו — חייב מיתה

And Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yochanan said: A Torah Scholar with a fat stain found on his clothes is liable for death

When Rambam codifies this, he leaves out the death penalty. When Shulchan Aruch Harav codifies this, he mentions the death penalty in the footnotes.

My question: how do we understand this "death penalty". Hyperbole? Real? Is it just reminding us that Chillul Hashem is a cause for being liable for death?

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  • כָּל מְשַׂנְאַי אָהֲבוּ מָוֶת implies that they attract death, not that they are actually chayav misah.
    – The GRAPKE
    Feb 25 at 12:22
  • The Talmud also says that those who don't listen to the words of the Sages deserve death -- chayyav mita. We'd be dropping like flies if it meant exactly what it says. Besides, no death penalty can be imposed that is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah. Feb 25 at 13:06
  • @TheGRAPKE how do Rabbis with fat/blood stains attract death?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 25 at 17:06
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    They make the Torah repulsive.
    – The GRAPKE
    Feb 26 at 7:35
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    Repulsion is a feeling. Scorn relates to verbal mental processing.
    – The GRAPKE
    Feb 26 at 14:10

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