This is the first question in a series on Ben SU"M.
Let me recap on this Mitzvah (Rambam Mamrim 7):

  1. A 13 to 13 and 3 months old boy that disobeys his father and mother in a very specific way of
  2. Stealing his dad's money, buying a large amount of meat and wine with it and consuming it in "half-done" in a company of bad guys.
  3. The parents take the kid to a 3-judges court first and have the boy beaten.
  4. The boy continues and it escalates quickly to the court of 23, which gets him stoned.

All the Meforshim explain how bad this behavior is, so bad all Israel has to see him executed and take notes.

Usually, for every capital sin (think Shabbos), we have tons of deRabanan rulings that prevent others to get close to transgressing. However, there are no deRabanan regulations here whatsoever to potentially prevent this situation.

For example:

  1. Measures to prevent disobeying parents before age of 13.

  2. Special measures for a child that steals money from his parents.

  3. Prohibition to eat meat half-done.

  4. Prohibition of hanging out with bad friends.

Why there's no D"R regulation and even no mentioning that "שמא יבוא לידי בן סו"מ"?

  • 6
    If you hold לא היה ולא נברא then there would be no need for any rabbinic precautions – Joel K Nov 5 '18 at 21:24
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    Aren't there rabbinic prohibitions on stealing? Why don't those help prevent this too? – Double AA Nov 5 '18 at 21:30
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    @alberko what's your point? The derabanans work to prevent both. Your premise is just false. There are derabanans to prevent ben sorer umore – Double AA Nov 5 '18 at 22:09
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    The Torah already included a ready made D'rabbanan (fence against coming to be a real BSUM) by having the boy merely whipped the 1st time. – David Kenner Nov 6 '18 at 0:55
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    Also "The Rabbis did not decree about something that is considered unusual." milsa d'lo sh'echichah, lo gazru bey Rabbanan. – David Kenner Nov 6 '18 at 1:02

מלתא דלא שכיח ליה לא גזרו ביה רבנן - the Rabbis only initiated decrees on things which are common.

The Ben Sorer uMorer is an uncommon scenario (perhaps an impossible scenario), and therefore there are no decrees regarding it.

The Rabbis did enact decrees regarding the more common scenario of a child struggling to respect his parents. Hence, they decreed that one may not sit in his parent's chair, etc.

*with thanks to David Kenner

| improve this answer | |
  • Fine idea. Seems true – kouty Nov 7 '18 at 21:38
  • They didn’t decree that a child may not sit in his parent’s chair. That’s a d’Oraisa of איש אמו ואביו תיראו, not a d’Rabbanan. It’s their explanation of the passuk, sure, but that’s an important distinction. – DonielF Nov 7 '18 at 23:04
  • gotta +1 that :) – David Kenner Nov 18 '18 at 5:38

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