Questions tagged [capital-punishment]

Questions pertaining to capital-punishment according to Jewish law.

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3
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1answer
108 views

What is the basis in the Torah permitting a king to kill someone?

Rambam in the laws of kings 3:10 states כל ההורג נפשות שלא בראיה ברורה. או בלא התראה. אפלו בעד אחד. או שונא שהרג בשגגה. יש למלך רשות להרגו ולתקן העולם כפי מה שהשעה צריכה. והורג רבים ביום אחד ותולה ...
4
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3answers
288 views

Is it a mitzvah to save someone from execution by Beth Din?

I am wondering how the laws of pikuach nefesh might apply to a situation of mitath beth din. Would bystanders be obliged to save the condemned from his lawful execution? What about members of the beth ...
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0answers
33 views

How did the altar indicate that the sons of Shaul were to be killed?

In Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 6:7 (also found in bYevamot 78b with an alternate girsa) King David uses the altar to indicate which of Shaul's son's should be given over to the Gibeonim. אמר להן הריני ...
3
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3answers
127 views

Why wasn't Reish Lakish punished for his crimes as a bandit?

Rabbi Shimon Bar Lakish is known to have been a bandit before repenting and becoming a Rabbi. Banditry involves thievery and violence. Would the Sanhedrin/Beis Hamidrash have an obligation to flog ...
10
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1answer
195 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
3
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0answers
62 views

What are the implications of “deserving death”?

The Sources frequently say that certain people "deserve death". Examples in the Talmud: He who transgresses the rulings of the Sages deserve death. [Berakhot 4b] He who emits semen in vain ...
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2answers
136 views

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. ...
2
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3answers
956 views

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 ...
-1
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1answer
84 views

When is ignorance of the law an excuse?

In capital cases (say, murder or adultery), ignorance of the law is a valid defense. A Jewish court requires two witnesses to give evidence that the defendant was taught ahead of time that his action ...
4
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2answers
305 views

Does Talmud introduce death penalties not mentioned in the Torah?

Does the Mishna or Gemara introduce any sin as liable for the death penalty, not mentioned in the Torah?
2
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2answers
213 views

Are observant Jews of today 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 ...
2
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1answer
78 views

(How) did the M'kallel know he was doing something the warranted death?

In Vayikra 24:12 it says they placed the person who cursed God in jail. The gemarah (Sanhedrin 78b) explains that Moshe did not know if this person's actions warranted the death punishment and that ...
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2answers
1k views

How should the 23rd judge vote?

Capital cases go to a court of 23 judges. A majority is required to convict, except that if all 23 vote to convict, the defendent goes scot-free. If 22 judges have already voted to convict, and the ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Should repentance and Yom Kippur save someone from capital punishment?

In Yoma 86a we find the following Tannaic statement If one commits a transgression that warrants karet or a sin punishable by death from the earthly court and then repents, repentance and Yom ...
2
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0answers
37 views

What was the consequence of Yael's sin?

The gemarah (Horiyot 10b, Nazir 23b) states that Yael sinned for the sake of God in sleeping with Sisra. I would like to know what consequence, if any, there was for this sin. Was her husband ...
7
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2answers
521 views

How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet?

How was the Mekoshesh, the man found gathering wood on Shabbat in Sh'lach L'cha, given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet, so he couldn't have been warned, being that the warning ...
10
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2answers
202 views

How can a rapist in the field be executed, if there were no witnesses?

The pasuk in Devarim 22:25 says But if a man finds the betrothed girl in the field, and the man overpowers her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. Now, the man can ...
3
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3answers
180 views

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, ...
5
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1answer
1k views

A rebellious elder is executed on the festival? How does that work?

The mishna in Sanhedrin 11:4 says that the rebellious elder is not executed by his local court but is instead taken to Yerushalayim and executed on the next festival in front of all the people. ...
11
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1answer
557 views

How were men allowed to watch an execution?

It says in Maseches Sota (8a) that that if a woman would be punished by stoning, she would be stoned virtually unclothed, and men would be allowed to attend. The Gemara says that there is no concern ...
12
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1answer
252 views

No obligation of counting birthdays and knowing one's age?

Age is a very important part of Jewish Halakha, with many dates being critical for one's responsibility, including Misos Beis Din (capital punishment). E.g. 3 year old girl can be betrothed and a male ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Is one liable for murdering after being sentenced to death?

If one was sentenced to death by a Sanhedrin. After leaving the court to his death execution he kills a bystander. Is he liable for that murder? If yes, is he re-judged? Or it depends on what kind ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Legal status of one sentenced to death until execution?

What's the legal status of one who's sentenced to death by a court (say smoked on Shabbos) from the moment of the verdict till the actual death: What're his economical rights (his property, estate, ...
6
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1answer
168 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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0answers
47 views

Weren't Dor Hamidbar exempt from all Mitzvos as “already sentenced to death”? [duplicate]

IIRC, one who was sentenced to death is considered already dead (גברא קטילא)(San 85a, but exact source needed) (or is it only about losing his property?). When G-d sentenced all 20-60 y.o. Jews to ...
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40 views

Sins incurring death according to Ari Z"L

In the Kriyat Sh'ma al HaMittah of the Ari Z"L there is a section of viduy which confesses sins which call forth particular death penalties. Is there any explanation of what these four sins are (as I ...
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3answers
258 views

Does an eye for an eye mean monetary compensation? [duplicate]

That's what I've heard it means. So the judges don't really pluck out the other defendants' eyes due to a plaintiff complaints. However, the judge would require the defendant to compensate for the ...
2
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0answers
61 views

How was the appropriate death penalty decided for each sin?

There are four capital punishments (Skilah, Sreifah, Hereg and Chenek) and there seems to be a hierarchy in terms of severity (heavy to light) but is there any discussion of how the specific crime ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why were Er and Onan punished if they were under 20?

As seen from this question, the Heavenly Court does not punish an individual (at least in this life) if he or she is under 20. However, according to Seder Hadoros (Year 2217) Er and Onan were 7 or 8 ...
6
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1answer
124 views

Is the punishment for loshan hara death or tzaraas?

What is worse loshan hara about a thing or about a person? We see that Miriam said Lashan Hara about a person and got Tzoraas We see the meraglim said Lashan Hara about trees and stones and received ...
5
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2answers
80 views

Source for the requirement for an action to be within “toch k'dei dibbur” of a warning for Capital Punishment

In order for a person to be killed by Beis Din via a capital punishment, there needs to be: a) 2 witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15) that saw him transgress a sin that is liable to death. b) a warning ("...
7
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1answer
76 views

How was the Mekalel given the death penalty if the punishment wasn’t known?

Inspired by How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet? The OP there asks how the Mekoshesh, the one who chopped wood on Shabbos could be put to death if he ...
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0answers
40 views

(How) was Joshua allowed to trick Achan?

In Sanhedrin 43b it says that Joshua tells Achan that if he confesses he will be pardoned (והיפטר). Rashi explains that Joshua verbally deceived Achan into confessing, making Achan think he would not ...
2
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0answers
27 views

What is one's liability for intentionally exposing someone to a dangerous virus?

Consider Reuven, who takes an airborne virus (however he got it) and sticks it in Shimon's air vent. As Shimon is continuously exposed to this virus, he becomes progressively sicker. What is Reuven's ...
4
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3answers
159 views

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 ...
10
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1answer
163 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
157 views

Arba Misos Beis Din- 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, ...
5
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1answer
97 views

How does frequency of a Sanhedrin killing make sense in light of the concept of “Kippah”?

The mishnah on Makkos 7a states: סנהדרין ההורגת אחד בשבוע נקראת חובלנית רבי אליעזר בן עזריה אומר אחד לשבעים שנה רבי טרפון ורבי עקיבא אומרים אילו היינו בסנהדרין לא נהרג אדם מעולם רשב"ג אומר אף הן ...
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1answer
142 views

How is the law in a case of multiple edim zomemim justified by Chachomim?

Mishna Makkos 1 (5) describes the case of witness who are zomemim. The mishna according to Chachomim (with whom the halacha goes) says If others [i.e. another pair of witnesses] come and are ...
3
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2answers
271 views

How could they stone with esrogim without a court case?

The mishnah in Sukkah (48b) tells of a Tzadukki who, on Sukkot, performed a service in the temple incorrectly and all the people in the temple stoned him to death with their esrogim. I would like to ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Why does a Na'arah Me'orasah convert who has illicit relations not receive Skilah?

Kesuvos 4:3: הַגִּיּוֹרֶת שֶׁנִּתְגַּיְּרָה בִתָּהּ עִמָּהּ, וְזִנְּתָה, הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶנֶק. [...] הָיְתָה הוֹרָתָהּ שֶׁלֹּא בִקְדֻשָּׁה וְלֵדָתָהּ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה, הֲרֵי זוֹ בִסְקִילָה. [...] הָיְתָה ...
4
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3answers
143 views

What is the theological basis for changes in the practices of Judaism over the centuries?

There are many events or practices in the Old Testament which might seem brutal to a modern Western person; for example, I remember reading a passage about a man who was stoned to death for collecting ...
6
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2answers
799 views

Why only ten? Why not all of Haman's children?

According to the Gemara Megila 15b Haman had 208 children. Why did they only hang 10 of them?
2
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1answer
289 views

If a non-Jew steals is he liable to the death penalty?

Stealing is a Noahide commandment. If a non-Jew violates a Noahide commandment, he is condemned to be put to death. Does this mean that if he steals a shave perutah ( שוה פרוטה, a tiny amount) or ...
1
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3answers
744 views

Should anyone be burned to death?

In Leviticus 20:14, it states that a man who has relations with a woman and also with her mother is a despicable lech, whose punishment is to be burned to death. This is one of two transgressions ...
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0answers
40 views

Why is one obligated to the death penalty if he follows Beis Shamai

Why is it, that if one were to follow Beis Shamai's halachic opinions, he'd be obligated to the death penalty, as we see the Gemara in Brachos 11a says that: רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר עשה כדברי בית שמאי ...
3
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2answers
38 views

Who must forewarn transgressors?

The Gemara in Makkot 6b says that a transgressor in capital cases is never executed unless his two witnesses were the ones who forewarned him, because the Torah says: "At the mouth [Al pi] of two ...
9
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1answer
384 views

Confessing to Adultery

In the Mishna, Sotah 1:3 and 3:3 both speak of instances in which a woman suspected of having committed adultery admits of her crime before drinking the water. Given that the penalty for adultery is ...
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0answers
94 views

How can Kares be greater than execution by beis din (and also eternal according to R' Kapach)?

In this exposition of what kares means, the following view is quoted: [...] R. Yosef Kafach (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhos Teshuvah ch. 8 n. 4) offers a different interpretation. He suggests that the ...
5
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2answers
111 views

Is kares a greater punishment than capital punishment, or vice versa?

In many cases (e.g., no warning, no witnesses) a capital crime is not punished by a beis din, but instead the offender gets kares. Let's assume for the purposes of this question that kares includes ...