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Questions tagged [capital-punishment]

Questions pertaining to capital-punishment according to Jewish law.

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Can a King execute Kohen Gadol that he thinks is מורד במלכות?

While Kohen Gadol is a citizen, he belongs to a different "authority" that a King is obligated to respect (see Rambam Melachim 2, 5): "אבל כהן גדול אינו בא לפני המלך אלא אם רצה ואינו עומד לפניו ...
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Rambam holds Christianity is Avoda Zarah, but also that breaking Noahide laws for gentiles warrants death. Can we infer Christians are to be executed? [duplicate]

Violating the Noahide Laws calls for capital punishment Christianity violates the Noahide Laws Christianity calls for capital punishment Is there are reasonable cause to believe Rambam doesn't make ...
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1answer
96 views

Are observant Jews of today are more pious than observant Jews of the Sanhedrin period?

Allow me to explain the logic of the question: During the time of the Sanhedrin, a Jew could be put to death for not following the law. While it was certainly enforced for things like murder, it ...
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4answers
244 views

Could a Jewish court try and execute a non-Jew?

When capital punishment was possible, could a beit din try and sentence a non-Jewish defendant that committed a capital crime? Or would a non-Jew whose transgression affected Jews never be tried by a ...
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181 views

Do Karaite Jews still believe that adulterers should get the death penalty?

This is a genuine question. As a Christian, I am often asked by atheists why I don't think adulterers should get the death penalty when Leviticus 20:10 clearly says that they should. My response to ...
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Capital Punishment and Kares simultaneously

I always understood that if a person does something that warrants capital punishment, and there are witnesses who warned them against the crime, that's all they are punished with. If it was done ...
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1answer
88 views

If somebody is over 60 and does an aveirah for which the punishment is misah biyedei shamayim, what happens?

I was learning today's Tanya (יג תמוז, beginning of אגרת התשובה פרק ד) I have a question based on the following part: כשעבר עבירה שחייבים עליה כרת, הי׳ מת ממש קודם חמשים שנה A violator of a ...
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is a animal more responsible then a child? if yes why?

if an animal kills a Jew it deserves the death penalty source if a child (under 13/12) kills a Jew he is completely free (no consequences)? if yes why?
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Censuring a variant reading

In Lev 24 we read the phrase "an eye for an eye." The talmud teaches (in Bava Kamma and Ketubot) that this refers to monetary value. Is there any source which criticizes a literal reading? More than ...
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What stops a modern Jew from practising stoning?

What stops a modern Jew from practising stoning? why don’t observant Jews keep the laws of death penalties as prescribed in the Torah?
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1answer
132 views

Capital punishment in Persia

This is not a Purim joke. Translations of the Book of Esther say the king sentenced people to be "hanged". But modern translations (including Sefaria) say they were "impaled". They translate "ha-...
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2answers
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What does the Halakhah says regarding Devarim, 22.13-21 regarding מוציא שם רע - Motzi Shem Ra?

I am an Italian gentile believer in HaShem, who engages in the observance of the noahide precepts, as commanded by the Creator in the Torah. I have never understood the exact meaning of Devarim 22:13-...
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2answers
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Yom Kippur more lenient than Shabbos?

The potential punishment for an av melacha on Shabbos is stoning (ch"v). (Obviously, only under certain circumstances and after repeated attempts to dissuade the sinner.) However, I learned here that ...
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1answer
118 views

What is the “death”? If Gentiles keep Shabbat?

What is the death? Physically? Or spiritually? A gentile who abstains from melacha is liable to death as it says "day and night they shall not stop" (sanhedrin 58b)
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1answer
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How did the talmud's description of stoning work in practice?

I am trying to understand the description of stoning given in Sanhedrin 45a (starting here). To summarize: They take the condemned to a place that is twice a man's height, the first witness pushes ...
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How can we reconcile Devarim 24:16 with BaMidbar 16:27?

It is written at BaMidbar 16:27 וַיֵּעָלוּ, מֵעַל מִשְׁכַּן-קֹרַח דָּתָן וַאֲבִירָם--מִסָּבִיב; וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם יָצְאוּ נִצָּבִים, פֶּתַח אָהֳלֵיהֶם, וּנְשֵׁיהֶם וּבְנֵיהֶם, וְטַפָּם (here it ...
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What is the significance of ובערת הרע מקרבך and ובערת הרע מישראל?

On seven occasions, Moshe tells the Bnei Yisrael to kill a sinner and “destroy the evil from your midst” - ובערת הרע מקרבך. These seven occasions are (all sources are in Devarim): Executing a Navi ...
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1answer
348 views

Sudden Menstruation and Sex

I am having trouble finding any treatment of this topic on the internet. A couple who has been having sex suddenly discovers that a blood flow has begun. Are they liable for kareth? Leviticus 15 ...
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3answers
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If a kohen participates in a stoning is he still allowed to bless the people?

The shulchan aruch codifies that a Kohen who kills someone may not bless the people. If, in the times when the Sanhedrin administered capital punishment, a Kohen saw a situation that warranted the ...
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3answers
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How to understand Hilchot Mamrim 3?

In Hilchot Mamrim 3a, it states: מי שאינו מאמין בתורה שבעל פה, אינו זקן ממרא האמור בתורה, אלא הרי הוא בכלל המינים, ומיתתו ביד כל אדם. [ב] מאחר שנתפרסם שהוא כופר בתורה שבעל פה--מורידין ולא מעלין, ...
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1answer
200 views

Why did God sanction killing everything that breathes against the 7 nations?

Why did God sanction killing everything that breathes against the 7 nations? Why did God sanction such a thing? How is every single person of these nations to blame? Deuteronomy 20:16 "However, of ...
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237 views

How many Israelites were punished for the golden calf?

We know that 3,000 were killed by sword as punishment for the sin of the golden calf. But how many were killed by the plague, and how many by the water ordeal? (How many of these were B'nei Yisroel ...
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1answer
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Why does the Gemara go through each death penalty?

The Gemara Sanhedrin 50a writes the order of the death penalties. It starts with Stoning, proving that Stoning is more severe than any other form of death penalty. Then it moves to Burning, proving ...
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1answer
121 views

Are we still obligated to do capital punishment for Karet? [duplicate]

According to Halacha and the Torah, are we still obligated to do capital punishment like stoning people for sins like breaking Shabbat? Is this rule kind of swept under the rug or is there a reason ...
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1answer
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Theoretically, in a perfect environment, what would happen if a king would commit a capital crime?

The Mishna (according to the Gemara) says that kings of the house of Yehuda (basically, the good kings) and all kings before King Yannai would be judged, and the Radvaz writes that (in theory), a king ...
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Sanhedrin 6:6 - Halacha or common practice?

The Mishna in Sanhedrin 6:6 speaks about after a Sanhedrin kills a someone who is liable the death penalty: והקרובים באים ושואלין בשלום הדיינים. ובשלום העדים. כלומר שאין בלבנו עליכם כלום. שדין אמת ...
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2answers
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Is a non-Jew executed in Beit Din hung? Is his body Promptly Removed?

Do the laws in Devarim 21:22-23 referring to the commandment to hang as well as the prohibition of leaving the body apply to a gentile who is executed by Beit Din in Eretz Yisroel? 22 And if a man ...
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Assisted suicide and Sabbath desecration

Someone with a chronic illness wants his Orthodox caretaker to remove him from life support. The sick man invites a pair of witnesses and a bet din of 23 into his hospital room where the witnesses ...
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1answer
136 views

Pinchas-style act nowadays

Is there any situation whereby a Pinchas-style execution would be justified nowadays? I am particularly interested in whether a 'zealous act' against a public sexually problematic sin is possible in ...
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How do modern Jews observe commands that talk about putting people to death? [duplicate]

Leviticus 20:10 talks about putting adulterous peoples to death. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 talks about putting a rebellious son to death: ... his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring ...
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2answers
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Does teshuva remove punishment?

In Bamidbar 15, the text speaks of someone who commits an intentional sin (mentioning idolatry and blasphemy) and says that kareit is the punishment (if there was no warning) etc. Then the story of ...
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1answer
114 views

Death penalty for non-Jews

Murder in the Torah is punished by the death penalty, but with many conditions. Were the rules of death penalty the same for Jews and non-Jews living in the holy land? What were the differences? ...
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Atonement and the Death Penalty

"Ordinary murderers are allowed to achieve atonement for their souls in their execution. Only especially vile murderers - such as a false witness whose lies are discovered after the person who was ...
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Does a dead man walking get saved on Shobbos?

There's a man who's חייב מיתה by the kingdom. He's in jail waiting to be executed when he slips and falls and bashes his head on Shobbos. There a guards that could save him. Do the guards have to ...
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3answers
590 views

Why were Haman's sons killed?

While the text explicitly states that Zeresh was involved in the plot to kill Mordechai (5:14), it never states that Haman's sons did anything wrong. If Korach's sons can end up being meritorious, why ...
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Can one be deserving of execution and karet for placing a stumbling block in front of the blind?

For example, if one man does not commit idol worship, or eat chametz on Pesach, but attempts to get another man to violate these mitzvot. Would an ancient Beit Din find this man guilty of a capital ...
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Stoning of homosexuals

Is the stoning of homosexuals in the Torah to be taken at face value or is there a deeper meaning beyond the scripture itself? When Moshiach comes, will the courts actually mete out such a punishment ...
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1answer
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Source that King/Beis Din would hang couples for being publicly intimate

The title says it all, for the most part, but I remember once hearing that, if it was deemed a common problem, the Beis Din was allowed to round up couples for being publicly intimate, and hang them. (...
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2answers
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Arba Misos- 1 Mitzvah or 4?

Tosfos on Makos 2a (Kol Hazomemin) brings a Tosefta which says that if you can't give someone their destined Arba Misos (meaning the one their Aveira warranted), you can give them a different one, ...
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Why did Hevel suffer?

I've heard many times from Rabbis and Morims that every suffering we have in life is the consequence of something bad we've done. And for babies that suffer at birth and righteous people that seem to ...
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84 views

Practiced Death Penalty Alternatives

My understanding is Halacha supports the use of the death penalty in theory but typically not in practice. The use of imprisonment as punishment is a recent development for Jews. These two ...
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107 views

Ben Sorer U'Moreh and Embarrasment

Tosfos in the Gemarah Sota 10b writes that being מלבין את פני חבירו is a sin that one should rather give his life up for. Therefore, in the case of the Ben Sorer U'Moreh, why do we make such a big ...
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3answers
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Why was the kipa a justified way to execute criminals?

The Mishna Sanhedrin 81B brings a form of execution where the convicted person is placed in a tight chamber, fed minimal amounts of food to shrink the stomach, and then fed a lot to cause the stomach ...
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1answer
234 views

Is there no such sin as a wayward daughter? If so, why not?

The mitzvot and sins are not equal in their distribution. Some are only applicable to men, some to women, some to Kohanim, to Kings, etc. In the case of a wayward (or rebellious) son who is described ...
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1answer
249 views

Handing over a murderer to the Goel Hadam?

וְשָׁלְחוּ זִקְנֵי עִירוֹ וְלָקְחוּ אֹתוֹ מִשָּׁם וְנָתְנוּ אֹתוֹ בְּיַד גֹּאֵל הַדָּם וָמֵת. The elders of his city must take him [the intentional murderer] and hand him over to the blood ...
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Death Penalty for Desecrating God's Name?

In light of some of the recent embarrassing criminal incidents involving visibly religious Jews in the United States, it made me think of something I had read once ( or vaguely remember reading ) that ...
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Why was the man in Numbers 15 put to death?

Once, when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they came upon a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him as he was gathering wood brought him before Moses, Aaron, and the whole ...
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does false prophet always incur death penalty

The Torah tells us (Deut.20) that if someone utters a prophecy in the name of God and even a minute detail of that prophecy does not occur, then the prophet is false and incurs the death penalty. ...
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Why did Moshe insist on killing the Midianite babies?

After the Midianites enticed the Israelites to fornicate and worship their false deity (Baal of Peor), Moshe launched a surprise attack and slaughtered all the adults, but the warriors left the ...
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1answer
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When do other punishments other than death penalty, exempt one from a fine?

I'm not well-versed in the laws of various punishments and how they interact in the g'mara. I've seen places -- most recently Ketubot 45, today's daf -- where it says that somebody is punished with ...